Saturday, 27 October 2018

Back to Bonehill Down

Sharp Tor (Chinkwell) Outliers
Sharp Tor (Chinkwell) Outliers

I never tire of visiting Bonehill Down; its tors and landscape are truly inspiring to the eye and it's a great place to get back into tor bagging, with 8 on this route in 3 miles. After I received a painful blister from my 14 mile walk on Monday, this stroll was most welcome. It also enabled me to explore what I would otherwise, to my shame, pass through.

Parking up at Bonehill Rocks, I ignored that tor and headed down the road to begin ascending Bell Tor. This tor is impressive from this angle, a large rock face with a wonderful view of Widecombe. It also has several rock basins, according to Hemery, but I only found 1. The interest for me, however, was drawn to the wedged boulder at the summit.

Bell Tor
Bell Tor

Bell Tor balanced boulder
Bell Tor balanced boulder

Bell Tor
Bell Tor

Bell Tor rock basin
Bell Tor rock basin

Bell Tor
Bell Tor

The benefit of not doing this route in Summer is that the walk to Sharp Tor (Chinkwell) is much easier, with less bracken to contend with. To the west-south-west of Chinkwell Tor this, my favourite tor here, has two main outcrops, the northerly outcrop being larger - its huge cliff face abruptly stopping above Thornhill Lane.

First mentioned by Willian Crossing, this outcrop is not marked on OS maps and cannot be seen from above so you'll likely have it to yourself, unless you are a tor bagger or just so happen to accidentally stumble upon it by chance.

Sharp Tor (Chinkwell) Outliers
Sharp Tor (Chinkwell) Outliers

Sharp Tor (Chinkwell)
Sharp Tor (Chinkwell)

Sharp Tor (Chinkwell)
Sharp Tor (Chinkwell)

Sharp Tor (Chinkwell)
Sharp Tor (Chinkwell)

Sharp Tor (Chinkwell)
Sharp Tor (Chinkwell)

I got a bit temporarily misplaced en route to Chinkwell Tor, the gorse preventing an easy route. Whilst most will bag the tor at the summit cairns, not many will stray from the footpath on its west and east sides to discover the more interesting outcrops. It was little effort, and I'm always quite happy to go that little bit further for satisfaction!

Chinkwell Tor
Chinkwell Tor

Chinkwell Tor
Chinkwell Tor

Chinkwell Tor
Chinkwell Tor

From here, I got a birds-eye view of the current swaling behind Rippon Tor and Saddle Tor.  From here, I took the ridge path onto the mighty Honeybag Tor. One of the best examples of a large granite tor, there is so much to see. The outlooks and outcrops just keep giving.

Honeybag Tor
Honeybag Tor

Honeybag Tor xenolith
Honeybag Tor xenolith

Honeybag Tor
Honeybag Tor

Honeybag Tor
Honeybag Tor

Now to go and find Steve Jenkins' 'Honeybag North Tor'; situated some way to the north of Honeybag's bulk, this collection of 3 outcrops are decent. The north-eastern outcrop has 2 rock basins, while another has a poised rock. The rocks are at SX 7283 7893 and SX 7287 7899.

Honeybag North Tor
Honeybag North Tor

Honeybag North Tor
Honeybag North Tor

Honeybag North Tor rock basin
Honeybag North Tor rock basin

I followed the wall separating the moor from the plantation, before turning left through a gate to make for Hedge Down Tor. I like this one, consisting of two main outcrops, nothing huge, but it has good views and a sedate atmosphere.

Hedge Down Tor
Hedge Down Tor

Hedge Down Tor
Hedge Down Tor

Hedge Down Tor
Hedge Down Tor

Negotiating some Ponies and crossing a mire I soon came to Saddle Clove Rock. Its inscription is visible having clearly been engraved deeply into the granite.

Saddle Clove Rock
Saddle Clove Rock

Saddle Clove Rock
Saddle Clove Rock

I then passed some Ponies and Bell Tor before taking a better look at Bonehill Rocks. It is actually quite an impressive tor, and whilst its popular, it's worth exploring. It is best seen on its south-west side.

Ponies below Chinkwell Tor
Ponies below Chinkwell Tor

Bonehill Rocks
Bonehill Rocks

Bonehill Rocks
Bonehill Rocks

Bonehill Rocks
Bonehill Rocks

Bonehill Rocks
Bonehill Rocks

Millie at Bonehill Rocks
Millie at Bonehill Rocks