Up The Dart

Just back from my latest StoryWalk – a Lammas week Up the River Dart in the good company of a Wild Fisherman, a Storyteller, a Geologist, a Mover,  A Czech Overtoner, and a beautiful Chinese walker, a playful French mademoiselle, and a Geisha and her family.


Starting out at Sugary Cove, photo Annie Ley Marie


Click the Mixcloud link to the right to hear my radio show about the Dart, and the tale of our adventures.


We set out from Dartmouth,after a swim at Sugary Cove.


Swimming at the mouth of the Dart, photo Steph Bradley


the mouth of the Dart, seen from Bayards Castle. Photo by Helen Raphael Sands


We crossed over to Kinsgwear by the lower ferry

the Dart estuary seen from Kingswear, Photo by Helen Raphael Sands


and walked to Greenway then took a boat.


The Dart from Greenway, photo Steph Bradley


We threw rose petals in to the water at Vire Island.


Brutus Bridge, photo Steph Bradley


with a mosaic artist, and acquired a new pilgrim there who helped us with our camp.


Vire Island, photo Steph Bradley


We boarded the steam train at Staverton and followed the river along to Buckfastleigh.


at Staverton waiting for the steam train, Photo Helen Raphael Sands


We walked between the river


(Buckfast Weir photo: Steph Bradley)

and the abbey at Buckfast.


Buckfast Abbey, photo Steph Bradley


We walked through Henbury woods


photo: Steph Bradley


and saw the first modern day archimedes screw in England, at the River Dart Country Park.


Archimedes Screw at River Dart Country Park, photo Helen Raphael Sands


We camped at Summerhill.


We walked through Holne Chase Ancient Woodlands


photo: Steph Bradley

and found bilberries, the traditional food to eat at Lammas.


photo: Steph Bradley


We walked along the river’s gorge and then had to climb its steep sides to get out.


Before a very steep climb. Photo: Helen Raphael Sands


We ate Rabbit Pie at the Forest Inn then learnt how to make a fishing rod.

We stayed at Huccaby Farm and heard the tale of Tobit at St Raphael’s chapel.


St Raphael's Chapel, Huccaby, photo Helen Raphael Sands


We saw Dartmeet and walked on across moorland to Beardown Farm , stopping for drinks at Prince Hall Hotel of the privileged view.


View from Prince Hall Hotel. Photo Helen Raphael Sands


Young lovers walk into the sunset at Two Bridges nearing Beardown Farm. Photo Helen Raphael Sands


We walked through Wystman’s woods to  the source of the West Dart and back again.


Wystmans Woods



stepping stones across the West Dart




The river got very thin. Photo Helen Raphael Sands.



at the source



returning from the source





Looking back on the sinuous West Dart as it winds it way across Dartmoor from its source. Photo Steph Bradley

There were shooting stars in the skies as we camped that night by the river and told our story.


“Like when God throws a star

and everyone looks up

to see that whip of sparks

and then it’s gone” *

Next year we’re doing it all over again! Come join us!


Next month we are walking to the source of the East Dart. Watch for updates!



Watch a video of the source here:  source video


The video, and photos of the stretch from Wystman’s Woods to source, unless otherwise stated, are courtesy of Matthew Needham.

* excerpt from “Memorial” by Alice Oswald.