The Dartmoor Way project was conceived back in 1999 with the aim of creating both cycling and walking routes around Dartmoor. A Steering Group was formed that comprised of representatives from the Dartmoor National Park Authority, local business's and members of the cycling and walking communities.

This resulted in the both the cycling and walking routes being set up by 2002. The cycling route was waymarked but funding restrictions meant the walking route was map and description only. The route also only circled the Northern half of Dartmoor as it was felt at that time that this offered the best of Dartmoor scenically.

The route remained in this form through to 2010 when a few members of the original steering group made the decision to re launch and revitalize the routes. It was decided as well to completely circle the Dartmoor and use the original route that crossed the centre of the Moor to be incorporated as a ‘High Moor Link' enabling 2 smaller circles to be undertaken or a figure of eight.

The cycle route was re launched in 2013 with Sustrans acting as the umbrella organization overseeing the project. The Dartmoor Way shares NCN routes 27, 272 and 28. A website,, with downloadable 1:50k OS map sections, route description and other features was launched together with a brochure that is distributed widely around the TIC's, accommodation providers etc.

Now, 11 years on, the Dartmoor Way walking route has been created and launched. This has been a more ambitious project than the cycling route primarily because the whole route has had to be waymarked from scratch. As with the cycling route, the new walking trail now completely circles the Moor. This is a joint DNPA/Ramblers project and the Dartmoor Way CIC (Community Interest Company) has been formed to create the route. Funds have been garnered from Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust, Totnes Ramblers Franklin Legacy, the National Lottery Community Fund, Pennon Environmental Fund and other smaller contributions.

Members from the assorted Ramblers Groups around Dartmoor have helped with the waymarking and will provide the ongoing route maintenance. DNPA have installed new posts where extra signage is required and the National Trust, Woodland Trust and Natural England, whose properties the route passes through, have all played their part in helping to set the route up.


Mr Edward Franklin was a member of Totnes Ramblers who provided a legacy bequest, requesting that funds be used for the benefit of the group. Totnes Ramblers encourage members to submit ideas for projects to use the Franklin fund and a sub committee reviews opportunities and decides which ones to pursue. Larger projects are brought back to the main committee and/or members for approval.

There have been several projects to date and an early project was the creation of the Franklin Totnes Trail, an approx. 7-mile circular walk around Totnes.

Other completed projects, working with local organisations, include: installing new steps along a stretch of the South West coastal path; new gates and path surface on some permissive paths across the Dartington estate; placing a granite clapper bridge across a stream (which previously required wading) on the Two Moors Way.

Following a special meeting of Totnes Ramblers, substantial funding was agreed for the Dartmoor Way with the Totnes contribution helping kick start the project.

Totnes Ramblers' website details can be found here.

Much of the work way-marking the route and help with ongoing maintenance of the Dartmoor Way has been carried out by various Ramblers Association groups together with other walking groups based near Dartmoor. A special thanks needs to be extended to these group as without their help, the setting up of the route would not have been possible. They are:

Groups from the Ramblers: Totnes, South Devon, Moorland, Tavistock, Plymouth;
Other Walking Groups: Bovey Tracey Ramblers, Okehampton Rambling Club, Newton Abbot Ramblers.

Dartmoor Way funders: The Steering Group gives heart-felt thanks to all the above who have made ours Way Mark project possible. Thanks should go to our Volunteers too.