Three fantastic Devon walks from train stations

You might have noticed my recent focus on adventures by train. At the beginning of 2022 I decided to explore the possibilities of travelling by train, not just for day trips or holidays but to enjoy all my usual outdoor activities, and hopefully a few more.

So far it’s been great fun.

Adventures by Train

I’m discovering that it’s entirely possible to travel by train to your wild camping adventure, take a train trip to a river swim, and even follow an old railway line on foot (starting at a train station of course).

So far my easiest adventures by train have been walks.

Walks from train stations

In fact I’ve been surprised, not just by how many brilliant walks are accessible by train but also by how much more relaxing and interesting making the journey by train can be. Here are my top three reasons.

  • Trains don’t give you parking hassle
  • Trains show you a landscape before you walk it
  • Trains make you walk places you might otherwise have missed

Believe it or not, trains can take you off the beaten track.

I know. That’s a weird one to get your head around but there are loads of lonely train stations out there, in the middle of wonderful countryside.

And they’re not usually at the places everyone else is trying to park.

Devon walks from railway stations

I’m starting to think I could find a satisfying walk from any train station in the UK. City stations usually give access to canal or river walks. Remote stations are often on great footpath networks. And most coastal train stations can get you to the beach in less than five minutes.

Visit the English Riviera by train.

If anyone wants to buy me a train ticket, I’ll gladly accept the challenge!

The best Devon train walks

But with its moors and coastline, this fair county offers the best walks however you travel. Whether you want to explore the history of a city, follow a river or get in some big hill views, you can do it in Devon. So here are my top five Devon walks by train.

1. Turf Locks from Exeter St Davids Station

Cross the River Exe at Exeter St Davids Station then wander on down to fabulous estuary views at Turf Locks.

Continue to Starcross Station or turn around and walk back the way you came.

  • Station: Exeter St Davids
  • Type of walk: Canalside
  • Distance: 11 km
  • Added extras: Two pubs and a walk through history
  • OS Maps route link
  • Return: Continue to Starcross Station or walk back to Exeter St Davids

2. High Willhays from Okehampton Station

Climb High Willhays from Okehampton Station, and not only will you be enjoying views from Devon’s highest point, you’ll be supporting the newly reopened Dartmoor Line. This walk requires a map, a compass, and some navigation experience. You also need to check Army firing times it takes you inside the Okehampton Range.

  • Station: Okehampton
  • Type of walk: Moorland
  • Distance: 6.6 km (fairly steep hills)
  • Added extras: Listen out for the stunning song of the skylarks
  • OS Maps route link
  • Return: Walk back to Okehampton Station

3. The Tarka Trail from Barnstaple Station

Inaccessibility is an intrinsic part of North Devon’s charm, which means that railway stations aren’t so easy to come by. Barnstaple Station however is very happily positioned at the top of the Taw Estuary, on the rather wonderful Tarka Trail.

  • Station: Barnstaple
  • Type of walk: Disused railway line
  • Distance: 4.5 km
  • Added extras: Estuary views and bike hire
  • OS Maps route link
  • Return: Walk or cycle back to Barnstaple Station

How do I find train routes in Devon?

You’ll love the three walks above but finding your own walk from a train station is even more exciting than trying somebody else’s. You’ll need the following:

Have fun exploring!

 

From moor to sea – the life of an outdoor writer in Devon

Adventures by train – swimming in the River Dart

 

 

Leave a Reply