Come and explore this wonderful part of Dartmoor
We are a working farm, so do not have any facilities for passing visitors, but by prior arrangement welcome groups visits from schools, clubs or interest groups - please get in touch if you'd like to have a guided tour of the farm.
However as well as the public rights of way crossing the farm we have created a couple of permitted paths (shown on Ordnance Survey maps) to enable people to explore further.
As well as the public rights of way, most of the land at Challacombe is ‘open access' land, meaning you are welcome to explore further. The exceptions are the enclosed fields of grass next to the barns and to the south and east of the road, where the only access is a permissive footpath from the road up towards the summit of Hamble Down. Details of these are shown on the Ordnance Survey 1: 25,000 scale Explorer map and on the interpretation boards you’ll find where the paths come on to the farm.
One of our favourite walks is the 3 mile(ish) loop from Bennet’s Cross (or the Warren House Inn) down to Challacombe Farm via Sousson’s Forest and returning via Headland Warren Farm. A variation of this is to make a shorter loop by cutting across the ridge of Challacombe Down from the stone row midway between Headland Warren and Bennet’s Cross.
For a more strenuous walk you can do a great loop from Grimspound, then head south along the ridge of Hamble Down (amazing views across Dartmoor and south Devon). At Broad Barrow or Two Barrows drop down westwards to the farm, before picking up the bridleway north past Headland Warren Farm and back to the road below Grimspound.
Cycling and horseriding
In addition to the main bridleway going through the farm between Headland Warren Farm and Soussons Farm, cyclists and horseriders are welcome to ride on any of the tracks on the farm. This includes the public footpath from Challacombe Farm through Soussons Forest to Golden Dagger Mine, which we and the Forestry Commission have given permission for riders to use.
This path is a much easier and quicker way of getting to and from the farm to the Warren House Inn and Bennetts Cross.
To avoid damaging the archaeology, riders are asked not to go off these tracks. Horse riders should also take care if they ride up the main farm entrance drive, as the concrete surface is quite smooth and so can be slippery for shod horses.
Educational and Group visits
We regularly host educational visits ranging from primary through to University groups, and also welcome clubs, and special interest groups. We have a fairly flat field, with nearby water tap and loo that is occasionally used by youth groups (e.g. Scouts, ATC) who want to semi-wild camp for a weekend.
If your group would like to hold an event here, please contact us - phone 01822 880236 or email, and we'll try and help.
Well behaved and wormed dogs are welcome at Challacombe.
We have lots of sheep on the farm, and they do not enjoy being chased. Even if they're not bitten by dogs, they can still be injured by running into fences, or can end up drowning after being chased into streams or bogs. Lambs are particularly vulnerable, as they can easily be separated from their mothers.
So, if you are unsure whether your dog is totally safe with sheep, please keep it on a lead.
In the spring and early summer, we have many birds that nest on the ground. These are easily disturbed by dogs, causing the adults to fly off, and the eggs and young will soon die without their protection. For this reason, dog owners are asked to keep their dogs on a lead between the 1st of March and the 31st of July on the open moor, particularly when going through areas of long grass, bracken and heather where birds are most likely to be nesting – it is less of a problem on areas of short grass where there is little cover for birds to nest in, or within a few metres of a path.
Providing your dog is wormed, we are not overly concerned if you dog craps on the farm, as it will wash away in a few weeks. If it does it on the path, please kick or flick it off, as nobody likes getting it on their shoes. Whatever you do, don't put it in a plastic bag and then leave the bag hanging up somewhere, as then neither the bag or the poo will degrade, and people who do this give dog owners a bad name. Keeping your dog regularly wormed is important for your dog’s health and unwormed dogs cause infections to livestock and people.
The cattle at Challacombe are used to people and dogs, and as far as we're aware they've never harmed anyone. However occasionally cows, particularly if they have young, will chase dogs, and if this happens, it is safer to let your dog off the lead, as the cow will go after it, and your dog will be able to get out of its way much easier than you can.