The Two Castles Trail is a 24 mile waymarked walking route between Okehampton and Launceston Castles. Starting on the western side of Devon and finishing just inside Cornwall, the walk meanders through rolling countryside full of history.
The Two Castles Trail takes you through beautiful and peaceful countryside - from the edge of Dartmoor, past historic battlegrounds to the ancient capital of Cornwall - linking the Castles of Okehampton in the east and Launceston in the west.
The route can be divided into four stages, each of which take a day to walk. Stages can be followed in both directions, and they have good bus links to Okehampton and Launceston.
The route includes a number of climbs, and crosses a variety of terrain including stretches of road, woodland tracks, field paths and open crossings of moor and downs. In the summer the route is likely to be dry, however during the winter, woodland tracks, fields and parts of the moors can be particularly muddy.
The route description and waymarking make the route easy to follow, though care should be taken across the Sourton section of moorland where waymarking is not possible. While additional maps should not be necessary, the Explorer OL28 (Dartmoor) and Explore 112 (Launceston) Ordnance Survey maps will show further walking opportunities near to the route, and the villages which are within walking distance of the route.
The waymarks contain the text 'Two Castles Trail' in burgundy on a white background, along with two historic walkers carrying their provisions in a kit bag tied to a stick (bindle sticks), with the route directions indicated by black arrows. Most of the trail between Okehampton and Bridestowe is shown by waymarks for the West Devon Way which follows the same route (green symbol for Brent Tor and church, with green 'West Devon Way'.
The route coincides with the West Devon Way at the eastern end; and links with the Tamar Valley Discovery Trail at Launceston. The three routes can be linked as a grand 100 mile circuit around western Devonl.
To find out more about walking on Dartmoor. Go to Visit Dartmoor HERE
Parking & Transport
- Off site parking - There are car parks (paying) in Okehampton and Launceston. Since car parking is limited along the route, the use of public transport is recommended, although frequency of buses vary according to the day of the week and location. For up to date bus services and times, call Traveline on 0871 200 22 33 or visit www.traveline.org.uk
- Accommodation nearby - There are hotels, Bed and Breakfast and camp sites dotted alongside the route if you wish to spend the night in the area. Check accomodation pages of this website or contact the Okehampton or Launceston Tourist Information Centres for more information.
- Experience level - intermediate - Most stages of the walk involve some climbs, descents, and require the walker to interpret the directions, waymarking and map to ensure they are following the correct route. Walkers need to be aware that there will be a number of junctions with other paths and tracks, and that checking route descriptions and waymarking is important throughout.
- Fitness level required - medium - There are a number of climbs and descentsalong the Two Castles Trail, some of which are steep, and can be long. Despite two of the stages being 5 miles long, a good level of fitness is useful to enjoy the walks.
- Open All Year
- Route maps available - The booklet for the whole Two Castles Trail route can be downloaded from this website, or collected from the Okehampton or Launceston Tourist Information Centres. Alternatively, the individual stage descriptions can be downloaded from this website
- Shop - There are shops in Okehampton, Bridestowe, Lewdown, Lifton, and Launceston. Please note that some village shops may have limited opening times.
- Toilets - Public toilets are available in Okehampton and Launceston.
- Difficult Route
- Linear Route
- Moderate Route
- Meldon Reservoir walks - detour accessible from Stage 1 Westbound and Stage 4 Eastbound Easy to Moderate Walk
- Meldon Viaduct and Dartmoor Railway - accessible from Stage 1 Westbound Easy to Moderate Walk
- Meldon Viaduct and Dartmoor Railway - accessible from Stage 4 Eastbound Easy to Moderate Walk
- The Granite Way between Lake and Sourton - accessible from Stage 4 Eastbound Easy to Moderate Walk
- The Granite Way between Sourton and Lake - alternative route - accessible from Stage 1 Westbound Easy to Moderate Walk
- Two Castles Trail - Stage 1 Eastbound - Launceston to Lifton Easy to Moderate Walk
- Two Castles Trail - Stage 1 Westbound - Okehampton to Bridestowe - 7 miles Moderate Walk
- Two Castles Trail - Stage 2 Eastbound - Lifton to Lewdown - 5 miles Easy to Moderate Walk
- Two Castles Trail - Stage 2 Westbound - Bridestowe to Lewdown Moderate Walk
- Two Castles Trail - Stage 3 Eastbound - Lewdown to Bridestowe - 7 miles Moderate Walk
- Two Castles Trail - Stage 3 Westbound - Lewdown to Lifton Easy to Moderate Walk
- Two Castles Trail - Stage 4 Eastbound - Bridestowe to Okehampton - 7 miles Moderate Walk
- Two Castles Trail - Stage 4 Westbound - Lifton to Launceston - 5 miles Easy to Moderate Walk
Map & Directions
Public Transport Directions
Train access (summer Sundays only) to Okehampton from Exeter. Buses run from a variety of locations to Okehampton including from Plymouth and Tavistock. Launceston can be reached by bus from Plymouth, Bude and Barnstaple. There are a number of bus stops along the route, and closes to the ends of each stage, which have regular bus connections to Okehampton and Launceston. For up to date bus services and times call Traveline on 0871 200 22 33 or visit www.traveline.org.uk