Fisherman’s Path to Fingle Bridge
Walking the Fisherman’s Path to Fingle Bridge is a beautifully scenic adventure in Dartmoor National Park that is filled with picturesque scenery and local history. While out on the trail, you will traverse the countryside and take in stunning views of Castle Drogo, the last castle to be built in England, before continuing along the winding banks of the River Teign to visit the 17th Century Fingle Bridge. This wonderful walking route will appeal to anyone with a love for the outdoors or an interest in history.
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Route Description for Fisherman’s Path to Fingle Bridge
While the Fisherman’s Path to Fingle Bridge is a relatively easy adventure that can be completed by walkers of most skill levels, there are a few sections of steepish terrain that could slow travel for some. Be sure to wear proper walking footwear and take your time along the trail. Additionally, parking at the trailhead can be limited, so try to arrive early to secure a space.
For those that enjoy scenic forest walks and local history, this route is a perfect way to spend a few hours on the weekend. While out walking the trail, you will be exposed to some wonderfully atmospheric stretches of forest along the edge of the River Teign, and can witness some beautiful historic architecture that dates back hundreds of years. What a great way to get out and explore the beauty of Dartmoor National Park.
Setting out from the car park, head north along the road and turn right in 87 m onto the footpath. Keep left along the trail and follow along the winding banks of the River Teign for 0.6mi to arrive at a fork. Take the path on the right and continue on for the next 1.2 km, keeping the river on your right side while you cut across the open fields below Castle Drogo, a 20th Century country house with the reputation of being the last castle built in England.
Entering into the cover of the woods that blanket the terrain along the gorge, you will find a bridge on your right that crosses over the river. Make your way over the coursing water and keep left at the fork, making your way across a stile to continue along the river’s edge. Keep the river on your left for the next 2.6 km, as you work through the peaceful woodland landscape to eventually arrive at the edge of a road. Looking to the northeast, the Iron Age hillfort known as Prestonbury Castle can be seen atop the ridge and to the south you will find Cranbrook Castle, another hillfort of the same period, sitting atop a different ridge.
Turn left here to make your way across Fingle Bridge, a lovely arched packhorse bridge that dates back to the 17th Century. On the opposite side you will find the Fingle Bridge Inn, an excellent place to grab some mid-walk refreshments and relax for a spell. From here, make your way across the road and head through the kissing gate to pick up the trail on the north side of the River Teign, following it to the west for 2.7 km along the base of the steep sloped gorge. Reaching a junction at the bridge below Hunter’s Tor that you had previously used to cross the river, continue straight through and retrace your steps along the initial part of the trail to return to the car park where you began your journey along the Fisherman’s Path to Fingle Bridge.
Constructed between 1911 and 1930, Castle Drogo is a beautiful country house built in the mixed-revivalist style, and is known for being the last castle to be built in England. The man who commissioned it, Julius Drewe, wanted to build it on land that he believed once belonged to his medieval ancestor, Drogo de Teigne.
Constructed during the 17th Century, Fringe Bridge is a beautiful arched packhorse bridge that is made of granite. The name comes from nearby Fingle Brook, a tributary of the River Teign that runs alongside it. The bridge was popular as a means for transporting supplies through the gorge and was repaired in 1809.
Frequently Asked Questions
How old is Fingle Bridge?
Fingle Bridge was built early on in the 17th Century, with partial repairs occuring in 1809.
Can you swim in the River Teign?
There are several spots along the River Teign that are suitable for swimming, particularly below Castle Drogo; however, the current can be quite strong along the river, making it unsuitable for children or less-experienced swimmers.
Insider Hints for Fisherman’s Path to Fingle Bridge
- There are a few steep portions along the trail; however, handrails are mostly present for assistance.
- Wear comfortable walking footwear for this adventure.
- Pop into the Fingle Bridge Inn for some mid-walk refreshments.
Getting to the Fisherman’s Path to Fingle Bridge Trailhead
To reach the Fisherman’s Path to Fingle Bridge trailhead from Chagford, drive northeast on North Street/B3206 for 0.6 km and make a slight left. Continue on for 0.5 km, where you will find a car park on the right next to the Chagford Swimming Pool.
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