Walk 3460 - printer friendly version
Dr Blackall's Drive & Ponsworthy Walk
Author - Lou Johnson
Length - 6.8 miles / 11.1 km
Ascent - 800 feet / 242 metres
Grade - easy/mod
Start - OS grid reference SX711708
Lat 50.5227460 + Long -3.8197501
Postcode TQ13 7NT (approx. location only)
This Devon walk explores a scenic section of the Dartmoor National Park lying north of the Dart Valley. The route follows Dr Blackall's Drive which offers fine views over the valley, visits the summit of Mel Tor, passes through the village of Ponsworthy and finishes with a section along the River Dart. Part of the walk follows the Two Moors Way.
After just over two kilometres of easy walking the track bends sharp right (grid ref. SX695724). Bear left off the track and follow the path to the rocky summit of Mel Tor. After enjoying the excellent view descend northeast to re-join the track. The track is enclosed by walls and soon turns sharp left still between walls. Reaching an open area, turn sharp right and continue north following the wall on your right. Pass through a parking area to reach the B3357.
Go straight across to continue following the Two Moors Way. There are several paths, so head to the left-hand end of the trees ahead. Bear slightly right to follow the onward path north to reach a road (grid ref. SX695739). Turn right along the road to a junction. Continue ahead signed to Ponsworthy. The road soon becomes a narrow lane and descends to reach a T-junction in the village after 500 metres (grid ref. SX700738). Turn right uphill and continue for 800 metres to reach Leusdon Common. Reaching a fork, bear left along the lane signed to Leusdon Church. Pass the church on the left and start to descend quite steeply down the lane with some views over the Dart Valley ahead.
Reaching the hamlet of Lower Town, take the signed path on the right just past a stone barn (grid ref. SX711729). Follow the clear track with the hedge on your right. Follow the track where it bends sharp right and then bear left following the track to pass in front of Spitchwick Manor. Reaching a T-junction of tracks, turn left following the hedge which should be on your left. Continue to reach a group of trees where the path bears half right and enters woodland. Continue through Great Wood to reach a lane (grid ref. SX716720).
Turn right and follow the steep lane down to a junction. Bear right, signed to Ashburton. You soon reach the banks of the River Dart on your left. Just past some metal railings on your left, you can access the banks of the River Dart. Continue along the bank of the Dart for a kilometre back to New Bridge car park.
Reaching the start - The car park can be reached from the A38 at the southern end of Ashburton. Exit the A38 and take the B3352 signed to Ashburton. Continue straight head and you soon pass a brown sign on the left "New Bridge 3 miles". Continue ahead ignoring all side roads and turn left into the car park just after crossing the River Dart.