One of our favourite dog walks in the Totnes area is at North Wood, at the Staverton end of the Dartington Estate. This part of the estate allows dogs off-lead all year round, unlike the Deer Park for example. However, it is important to note that it is a working wood, and there can often be heavy machinery operating in some areas. But if you’re looking for a Staverton dog walk, you should definitely check this place out!
There are a number of entrances which you can use to enter North Wood, I tend to park near Staverton Bridge Nursery and enter through the gate on the corner opposite.
Inside the wood there is a simple network of paths leading through the beautiful mixed woodland. My usual route follows the path up towards the Huxham’s Cross entrance, and the location of the only dog bin. Hopefully your dogs will do their business on the way up the hill so you can make use of this, and not have to carry the bags around the rest of the trail!
Once at the top of the hill, follow the top of the ridge down the centre of the woods. Bear right at the end, then turn left back down the hill. At the bottom of this hill I recommend heading right for a short walk to the River Dart. It won’t be long until you reach the steps on the left of the path, which lead down to an awesome little beach where you and the dogs can have a paddle and a play in the water!
Now retrace your steps back up to the path, and back towards the evergreens. Continue along the bottom of the woods and you’ll eventually end up back by the entrance where you parked. If you have a few minutes to spare there is an option here to head back to the river again. You’ll see a path down to a small hut on the right hand side. Follow this and the path continues right along the water’s edge! Be warned though, this path doesn’t actually go anywhere, so you will have to turn back eventually. Either that or face scrambling up a steep muddy bank through the undergrowth (yes, that actually happened to me).
ATTENTION: When the river is running high, after heavy rain or meltwater, be careful with your pups in/near the water!
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