Our top Dartmouth walks navigate not only the South West Coast Path, but also the River Dart, rolling countryside,...
The Totnes to Sharpham walk is so picturesque, we just had to make a visual guide to show you the natural beauty of one of South Devon’s glorious walks. This moderately easy walk along along the Dart Valley trail takes you to Sharpham Vineyard, where you can sample locally-produced wine and cheese!
The bustling ancient market town of Totnes is situated at head of the estuary of the River Dart, and is the starting point to The Dart Valley Trail, a scenic walking route that follows the lower valley of the Dart to its conclusion at Dartmouth. The first length of the trail links Totnes to the village of Ashprington, and because of the network of paths (and cycle routes!) it’s possible to walk from Totnes to Ashprington and back, using mostly different paths.
A major bonus of this walk is the riverside vineyard and cheese-making centre at Sharpham, where you can sample both cheese and wine, and even tour the vineyard if time allows! If you’re feeling really energetic, then extend the walk a little further and visit the strawberry picking fields in Ashprington, or head to Bow Bridge to enjoy a well earned tipple by the waters edge at The Watermans Arms.
OS © Crown copyright 2018 CS-49390-P7H3Y2
To view the OS map for our Totnes to Sharpham walk, please click here.
Walk through The Plains and when the road swings right, bear left onto the public footpath alongside the leat. Top tip; The cafe next to the roundabout found just before you walk through The Plains (The Curator) serves brilliant coffee and freshly baked patisseries
When the leat joins the River Dart follow the path back to the road and you will reach the Steam Packet Inn on the left. Here, take the marked diversion to your right up the hill and follow the signs taking you onto The Dart Valley Trail
Choose the footpath option instead of the fully paved cycle path, taking the route that runs parallel to the River Dart
At the end of the fenced path, continue ahead into the wood. Wind through the woods keeping close to the river. Look out for the small riverside beach nestled under the trees which makes for a serene rest point!
You will soon emerge in a field. Continue along the bottom of this field (still parallel to the River Dart) and then bear right, continuing to follow the bottom of the field.
You will soon find yourself above riverside marshes, keep following the footpath to a stile and then descend alongside the reed beds
A further couple of stiles later, and you will find yourself at the bottom of another field. Follow the bottom of the field to another stile that enters woodland
Go into the woods, continuing to a gate that takes you into a further field. Head through into this field, cross the valley and head diagonally left (uphill) over the field, to rejoin the cycle path.
At this point, The Dart Valley Trail joins the cycle route and in this elevated position you can enjoy fantastic views of the reed beds, the river and the opposite side of the valley
Following the cycle path, you will soon pass through a gate and reach a junction. The cycle route (and the walk’s return) bears to the right, but for the outward leg of the walk continue ahead down the track
Keep your eyes peeled for a stile on the right handside. Cross the stile, and then climb diagonally across the field towards the next stile at the top
After a steady climb you will reach a viewpoint, which boasts epic views of The Dart Valley. Don’t forget to look towards Dartmoor and try to seek out the craggy outline of Haytor in the distance
Once over the stile, you will rejoin the cycle route. Continue climbing this path through the woods
The path will soon reach a lane. Down the lane to the left is the route to Sharpham, so take this route if the lure of sumptuous cheese and wine is too tempting (if you do visit Sharpham, you will have to return the same way to this point)! The views are spectacular down this lane, so even if you’re not planning a visit to the vineyard, it’s a great viewpoint and well worth the extra walk
To continue towards Ashprington, follow the lane ahead to reach the village. Here, you will find the The Durant Arms, a popular pub serving homemade food and fine ales
If you are keen to extend your walk further, to yet another popular pub, then continue along the road through the village. At the bottom of the hill turn left over Bow Bridge, and you will find The Watermans Arms, situated on the waters edge
To return to Totnes from Ashprington retrace your steps up the hill past the church and follow the lane to the entrance gates to Sharpham
Bear left along the path next to the gate and continue down hill through the woods, passing the stile used for the outward leg
Continue on the cycle route for the remainder of the walk.
At the end of the path turn right and then immediately left next to the Steam Packet Inn
Continue along the road to return to The Plains and the walk’s starting point.
There’s so much to see and do in and around Totnes, check out our favourite things to do in the idyllic market town of Totnes. If you’re feeling inspired by the sound of the indulgent walk to Sharpham, take a look here at our Dartmouth to Dittisham walk, or our Dartmouth to Blackpool Sands route – both trails are great for foodies!