Devon Days Out Series: Tarr Steps and Pinkery Pond

Our new Devon Days Our series is here to provide some inspiration for day trips and delicious food across North Devon. In this blog we take a closer look at Tarr Steps in Dulverton, and Pinkery Pond near Challacombe.

Tarr Steps

  • Dog Friendly
  • Family Friendly
  • Easy Walking
  • Car Park
  • Public Toilets

Tarr Steps is a 17 span clapper bridge and is constructed entirely from large stone slabs and boulders, the longest of its kind in Britain. The name ‘Tarr’ is thought to be derived from the Celtic word ‘tochar’, meaning ’causeway’. The Steps date back to around 1000 BC. There is an old story, according to which the devil created the Tarr Steps as part of a bet with a giant that lived in the area. The hike is one of the most popular in Exmoor National Park. The area around Tarr Steps is part of the Tarr Steps Woodland National Nature Reserve, covering 33 hectares of the River Barle valley. The woodland mainly consists of sessile oak, beech, ash, sycamore, hazel, blackberry, bluebells, and honeysuckle. The reserve is internationally significant for its flourishing mosses, liverworts, and lichens. Keep an eye out for wildlife, including red deer, dormice, and the rare Barbastelle Bat.


Get a delicious dinner at the Tarr Farm Inn. This grey-stone inn is tucked into a remote valley, directly above a gushing river and medieval bridge. It has a homely restaurant, where you will discover accomplished cooking with everything you might need in order to warm up and relax after a walk in the Exmoor National Park.

Pinkery Pond

  • Dog Friendly
  • Family Friendly
  • Parking
  • Easy Walking

Pinkery Pond is an artificial lake, which was created c1830 by damming the headwaters of the River Barle with a massive stone and earth dam.  It is located high up on Exmoor on the south side of The Chains in the far west of Somerset, half a mile from the Devon border. The path takes you past the Pinkery Centre, across moorland and onto a rocky outcrop alongside River Barle where there is the perfect picnic spot beside a waterfall complete with little cave. Ascending the next gentle hill you come across Pinkery Pond – the Westcountry’s highest, most lonely lake. With tadpoles, frogs and dragonflies in equal abundance the pond is a great place for the kids to spend some time with nature. The pond is a great spot for wild swimming, amongst the lillies in the beautiful deep red peat-infused water.

You can start your journey to Pinkery Pond from the parking area on the B3358, which is just south of the pond. Here are the details:

  • Location: The parking area is on the north side of the B3358, approximately 4 kilometers west of Simonsbath.
  • Coordinates: Grid reference SS729401.
  • Access: After parking, take the signed bridleway on the north side of the road, which is marked for the Chains


Try the Black Venus at Challacombe for a fantastic meal in an atmospheric country pub. You can even pick up a piece of reasonably priced local artwork! This classic English character pub is cosy, busy and warm and is situated in a gentle dip amongst the rolling hills and the food is out of this world.

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