River Beach at Bellever
Grassy river banks to lay down a picnic blanket, shade provided by the evergreen trees, and an overwhelming sense of tranquillity (until the little ones rock up) all only a few meters from the car park – Bellever Forest ticks all the boxes. In the heart of Dartmoor, the winding roads can take a little longer to navigate, but the wait of the forest and the river beach at Bellever is worth it.
How to get there
Postbridge, YELVERTON, Devon, PL20 6TU
At Postbridge, on the B3212 Yelverton to Mortonhampstead road, take the turning signposted for Bellever. After 1.5 km, you will enter the village. Turn left at the triangle of grass, and after 130m you will see the entrance to Bellever Forest on the right.
Just a 50m or so from the car park, the East Dart River bank is an easy place to set up camp for the day. Let the kids jump in and out of the water, play on the stepping stones or let the babies crawl around in the dappled light. Dogs are most welcome but it may be advisable to keep them on a lead on the river bank out of curtesy to others and their picnics!
Need to know
Loos & Baby changing?
Yes, open all year and free. In the main car park. Accessible toilets and baby changing facilities are available.
Cars and motorbikes pay £1 for up to two hours and £2 for over two hours.
There is a flat rate for minibuses of £4.
Anything else to do?
- Admire the Dartmoor ponies.
- Discover archaeological sites.
- Wander to Bellever or as far as Postbridge clapper bridge and boggle young brains with stats.
- Postbridge clapper bridge slabs are over 4 metres long, 2 metres wide and weigh over 8 tons each, making the bridge passable to a small cart. It was first recorded in 1380 and was built to facilitate the transportation of Dartmoor tin by pack horses to the stannary town of Tavistock.
- Here’s some more technical info so you can continue to amaze little brains with your abundant knowledge.
- A clapper bridge is formed by large flat slabs of stone, often granite or schist, supported on stone piers (across rivers), or resting on the banks of streams.
- According to the Dartmoor National Park, the word ‘clapper’ derives ultimately from an Anglo-Saxonword, cleaca, meaning ‘bridging the stepping stones’.
- Many exhilarating walks. Take slings, all terrain buggies or older kids for beautiful views wherever you decide to go.
- To keeps kids interested in the walk there is a lovely sensory trail formatted for phones here.
- Two walking trails (Bellever Trail 2 ½ miles and Postbridge Trail 3 miles) can be found here. Keep these instructions accessible – the markings for the trails are not always easy to follow.
- Or get those kids tired out with the Bellever Audio Walk (6 miles) with a map, transcript and audio can be found on Dartmoor’s website here.
- Before you go print off these Tick list spotting pdfs from the Forestry commission for engaging little nature lovers in the forest.
- In the village of Postbridge, there are Hotels, an Inn and the Post office stores for hot and cold snacks.