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Horsham Steps

Horseman's Steps

There is a mass of rounded moss-covered boulders that seem to block the River Bovey below Horsham but the water still seeps its way through and under. In Gems in a Granite Setting, William Crossing describes the feature as 'Horsham Steps', boulders that "entirely hide the stream".

Natural England, when writing about East Dartmoor which is a National Nature Reserve, remarks that "At Neadon Cleave, the most northerly point of the Reserve, you'll see a spectacular section of river. Here the Bovey is almost choked by huge boulders. In dry periods, the river flows almost hidden underneath but in flood the water crashes and tumbles over the top of the boulders. Making use of the boulders as large stepping stones, the public footpath crosses the river at this point - take care here, it's not for the faint-hearted."

That evocative description is certainly applicable to this stretch of the river, and as the visitor approaches there is a sense of excitement at the sound of the river forcing its path through the beginning of Lustleigh Cleave, and it is an indicator perhaps of the many beautiful stretches further downstream. Although OS Maps show this as a crossing point, you should be warned that even when the river levels are low the boulders are slippery in places and extra caution needs to be taken.

Horsham Steps
The map above is not a navigation tool and we recommend that the grid reference shown below is used in conjunction with an Ordnance Survey map and that training in its use with a compass is advised.
Grid Ref:
SX 759 816
Tor Classification:
Rock Type:
William Crossing
Reference / Further Reading:
William Crossing: Gems in a Granite Setting
Tim Jenkinson: East Dartmoor The Hidden Landscape: Rocks and Tors (published privately)
Natural England: East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve PDF

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