Emsworthy Mire Bluebell Walk

May 7, 2024 | Easy, Featured Articles, Moderate, Walks


Starts/Finishes: Saddle Tor South Car Park, Off the B3387

What3words: used.until.nightcap

Time: 1 – 2.5 hours

Distance: 1 – 3 miles

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Terrain: Moorland footpaths and boardwalks. Can be boggy so suitable footwear required

Parking: Free

Public Transport Access: 193 Bus from Bovey Tracey to Haytor. Bovey Tracey accessible via 38 bus from north or 178 from east

Emsworthy Mire Bluebell Walk

May 7, 2024 | Easy, Featured Articles, Moderate, Walks

Sitting in the shadow of Dartmoor’s popular Haytor is this lesser known 19th century moorland farm ruin – now a Devon Wildlife Trust managed nature reserve showcasing a mixture of boggy mires, attractive woodland and classic Dartmoor moorland. 

Step through ancient dry-stone walls to discover nearly 100 hectares which are open for exploration. Accessible by car and by bus, just 1km to the southwest of Haytor Rocks, the reserve offers opportunity for leisurely walking and a glimpse into Dartmoor’s historic past.

Better still, a visit in early summer brings colour in abundance, as this picturesque gentle sloping valley becomes awash with the vivid blue hues of thousands of bluebells. It’s truly a sight to behold.

From the car park, head northwest along the fence line until you reach a signpost marking the entrance. A useful map and further information on the site is available here. A waymarked route offers a full tour of the reserve, which you can shorten easily if preferred.

The old, rusty corrugated metal roof projects a bright beacon to orient yourself as you traverse the moorland terrain, and with the blues of the bluebells contrasting against, makes for a great photo opportunity. 

At the northern fork of the lower mire loop is a peaceful pond location, and from here you can continue further up the Becka Brook and into woodland to extend your walk. Listen for cuckoos and spot the dark head and orange chest of redstarts who call the reserve home.

This marshy, wet woodland habitat is home to some rare wildlife, including the sticky insect-catching sundew, marsh fritillary butterflies and the blanket bogs which act as a vitally important carbon store.

Dogs are welcome on a lead, being mindful of grazing livestock, and please keep to the waymarked paths so that the stunning range of wildlife here can be preserved for years to come.

See more like this

The Stover Trail

Take to two wheels and follow the disused 18th century Stover Canal between Newton Abbot and Bovey Tracey

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