The area around this ancient bridge on the river Barle is one of great natural beauty making it a magnet for tourists. The Barle here marks the boundary between Dulverton and Hawkridge. The banks are well wooded on both sides notably Ashway Hat and South Barton woods south of the crossing and Knaplock Wood and the Tarr Steps Woodland nature reserve to the north. The valley of the Little River forms a reasonably gentle descent to the river between the steep slops of Ashway Side and Varle Hill on the south and the cultivated lower slopes of Winsford Hill to the north. On the west side of the river Hawkridge Common and Parsonage Down drop steeply to the river forcing the road on this side to follow the river bank to Hawkridge village.
Richard Jefferies visited Exmoor in 1883 and with his friend, the painter John William North, visited Tarr Steps, eating clotted cream and whortleberry jam at a nearby cottage, probably Tarr Steps Farm.