40th anniversary of the Two Moors Way, Exmoor and Dartmoor
To mark its 40th anniversary, the Two Moors Way walking route is being relaunched this autumn alongside a whole host of trail improvements and new initiatives, including a brand new website and handy pocket guide
This year, the Two Moors Way turns 40. The fabulous long-distance coast-to-coast walking route runs for 103 miles through some of the southwest’s most glorious countryside. Originally inspired by a group of keen ramblers in 1976, the route winds through the heather-clad, tor-dotted landscape of Dartmoor National Park, before passing through the beautiful river valleys and ancient oak woodland of Exmoor National Park, finishing at the dramatic cliffs in Lynmouth on Exmoor’s coast.
The relaunch of the Two Moors Way, which was celebrated at an event in Simonsbath on 22nd September, involves a series of exciting new developments and initiatives, including various trail improvements such as updating way marking along the entire route, resurfacing footpaths and bridleways, a new all-access section between Wheal Eliza and Simonsbath and a new riverside path at Winstitchen that had been previously washed away.
The new Two Moors Way website features lots of handy tips to help walkers to get the most out of the trail, including a detailed section-by-section account of the route, where to stay and eat along the way, and an informative FAQ section, useful for first-timers and experienced Two-Moorers alike, whilst the lovely imagery and photo gallery offer glimpses of what walkers can expect to see along the route. A new pocket guide will be available at local visitor centres along the route.
Dan James, Sustainable Economy Manager at Exmoor National Park (pictured left above), said: “It has been a great opportunity to bring different partners together to give the route a welcome boost. It’s hard to know exactly how many people walk the route, but conservative estimates suggest thousands of people complete the full walk each year, with many more using it for day walks, all contributing to the economy of some of the area’s most rural communities.”
Richard Drysdale, Visitor Services Manager at Dartmoor National Park (pictured third from left, above) commented: “Walking is one of the most popular activities undertaken by visitors to the area and many enjoy the challenge of a multiday route. Forty years on the Two Moors Way still manages to provide one of the most diverse walks you could wish for and we hope the new resources available from this project will inspire even more people to give the route a go.”
Further improvement works planned include a major restoration of one of Exmoor’s most remote sections at Long Chains Combe, and further signage and surface improvements at Colebrooke, Hittisleigh and Cheriton Bishop.