A walk to take you off the beaten track to secluded pools and grassy river banks deep in a wooded river valley.
Dartmeet is one of the most popular destinations on Dartmoor. Situated on the river Dart, Dartmeet is a a great place to cool off on a hot summers day. It also features the remains of a traditional clapper bridge which would have been the only means to cross the Dart in years gone by. Its plentiful parking and picnic spots, cafe and associated facilities make it ideal for family days out.
Most visitors never venture more than a stone's throw from the car park. For those who enjoy peace and quiet or getting closer to nature then a short walk is all it takes to get beyond the sight of humanity's impact on the moor.
Leave Ashburton via Western Road and turn right at the Peartree Cross junction. Follow the road past Holne Bridge, Newbridge and Poundsgate as it joins the B3357. The road will take you up and over the hill past Sharp Tor and then there will be a long descent, at the bottom of the hill turn right before the bridge into the Dartmeet car park.
Head across the road from the car park - staying on the left bank when facing down stream. Follow the well beaten path across the grassy field on the river bank.
Follow the path as it veers uphill to the left at the end of the field and then through the gate into the nature reserve.
Look out for fish patrolling the river bed and jumping for prey.
The path takes you around a private field and then back to the river bank. As you continue along the path - you will see grassy fields sloping gently down to the river, mossy boulders jutting out into the river, lush woodland and walls of bracken and gorse. Look out for fish patrolling above the river bed and occasionally jumping for prey on or above the surface.
If you follow the path for a little over 1km you will find a spot where the path comes down to the rocky edge of the river and where there are large flat boulders extending into the deep waters - the perfect place for wild swimming and picnicking!
The path is clearly defined for most of this walk but uneven and rugged so wear comfortable walking shoes if you have them.
Swimming in the Dart is exhilarating but you should never swim alone . Bear in mind that the river bed may be uneven, submerged rocks may be slippery and there is a strong current in places.