Saturday, 18 June 2022

Pre-Order My New Book!

The Front Cover

I have just written my first book, ‘East Dartmoor’s Lesser-Known Tors and Rocks‘. Do you want to learn more about East Dartmoor? If so, this book is for you! It is now available to pre-order.

£24.00

Have you ever wandered around the eastern part of Dartmoor and stumbled upon outcrops that appear to be nameless? Well, fear not, as this book will act as an invaluable guide. It will teach you about the history of the rocks and showcase a tremendous collection of references to a number of obscure publications – quotes that are yet to appear in print.

East Dartmoor’s Lesser-Known Tors and Rocks by Max Piper is due to be published by The Dartmoor Company in October 2022 as a paperback book comprising over 330 pages. It also includes over 230 photographs.

You can pre-order your copy now from Paul Rendell. Please specify if you would like a signed copy from the author himself.

BUY NOW

Sunday, 27 March 2022

Dartmoor South to North (32.05 miles)

Redlake


This walk (OK, let's call it a hike) had been in the planning for a couple of months, ever since I started that fundraiser in January. I was not expecting to reach my target of £1000 in 3 days, so when it happened, I had to contemplate actually doing the walk. I waited for a day that I could both do (obviously), but that also had amazing weather. That day was to be 26th March.

Friday, 21 January 2022

Visions for 2022

Leeden Tor just after sunset
Leeden Tor just after sunset

Last March I wrote a blog post detailing my thoughts and intentions for 2021, which was certainly a year like no other, I think we can all agree. In that post I outlined several things that I wanted to achieve in that year and this will in part be a summary of how that went, as well as my visions for 2022.

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Dartmoor: An Exploration of Gidleigh Woods (9.47 miles)

Extremities of North Park Tor (Lower Gidleigh Tor)

This exploration of Gidleigh Woods was long, long overdue by almost a year. With lockdowns and then being booked up, finding a suitable day for myself, Paul Buck, Tim Jenkinson and Paul Rendell to meet up on was tedious to say the least, but we fixed a date in October and hoped for the best weather-wise - and it delivered!

Monday, 30 August 2021

Dartmoor: Fur Tor from Willsworthy Range (16.15 miles)

Fur Tor (Okehampton Range)

The following account is taken from my post on the DARTMOOR 365 Facebook group on 28/08/21:

Yesterday's walk was once again into the deep, remote and stunning heart of the North Moor, but this time I started at Willsworthy Range Car Park. The route was little more than 16 miles in length, had multiple river crossings and negotiated some truly terrible ground but all of that was to be expected - hence why it was undertaken in ideal visibility and after a dry spell.

Thursday, 19 August 2021

Dartmoor: 500m Tops West of Fernworthy Forest (9.75 miles)

Lade Hill Tor

This walk, which I did at the very beginning of August, almost killed me; read the full thing to find out why! (It's not clickbait!)

Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Dartmoor: Buckfast to Pupers Hill Circular (14.63 miles)

Avon Dam

This circular walk began in Buckfast and the aim of the walk was to simply get out for a decent wander into a quiet part of the National Park. No new squares were bagged, but I did pick up all of the Dean Prior/South Brent Parish Boundstones as well as some new benchmarks and a standing stone! The following account is a summary, and some bits were left out.

Wednesday, 2 June 2021

Dartmoor: Belstone to High Down - Perambulation Fifth Leg (13.01 miles)

Wispy Clouds above Fordsland Ledge

This was, to put it right there, a walk of much interest, and there was so much to see so I have, for once, chosen to go with what I wrote on the Dartmoor 365 Facebook group (hence the square references) as a summary.

I will, however, include more photos to document the day's outing!

Friday, 14 May 2021

Bodmin Moor: The Beacon, Leskernick Hill, Buttern Hill and Bray Down (8.88 miles)

Bryony on Leskernick Hill

This post is another that is long overdue... in fact Sheron Vowden and I did the route in September 2019, so I'm about a year and a half late, but never fear, I'm slowly catching up!

It was a hot day. Sheron had driven us down to the foot of Trewint Tor where we parked considerately at the roadside. We were undecided about whether or not we would leave Trewint Tor till last, but just in case we had little energy by the end we thought it safer to bag it first.

Friday, 30 April 2021

Dartmoor: Whiddon Down to Chagford

Throwleigh Church

Despite being little more than 7 and a half miles in length, this walk had a lot to see and I admit to feeling a little tired by the end, not because of the mileage, that was fine, but the overwhelming number of artefacts en route. This was another walk focused at picking up some outstanding 365 squares, and to also visit a new (replacement) cross by Leigh Bridge. Of course, along with all of the benchmarks I either found or did not, I will not be able to include every sight so if I jump about a bit you know why.

Monday, 15 March 2021

Bodmin Moor: De Lank Quarries and St. Breward (8.45 miles)

St. Bruerdus's Church, St. Breward

Although this walk was of modest length, at barely 8 and a half miles, I tell you it was one of the most jam-packed walks I have done on Bodmin Moor, with tonnes of cultural interest all around. It was not just about tor bagging but the village of St. Breward and its beautiful historical artefacts. I will try to condense it as much as possible. Indeed, as I write this, I am a year and a day late, but this route had to be documented.

Sunday, 14 March 2021

Visions for 2021

Fox Tor (Fox Tor Mires)

This will be a different post to usual. Instead of blogging about a walk, I will focus on something that I have been thinking about for sometime: what are my plans (or visions if you like) for 2021? We are already in March, so three months in, but there are still three quarters of the year remaining for me to contemplate the future. Of course, as I write this, we are still in lockdown, but things seem to be moving in the right direction, with the rollout of the vaccination in the UK being among one of the best in the world, and now that I'm back at school the current situation, whilst still not stable in any way, is improving, and that can only mean one thing for a tor bagger such as myself: what will I do when I next get back to Dartmoor?

Monday, 4 January 2021

Dartmoor: The Tors out of Shipley Bridge

River Avon at Shipley Gorge

Note: Walk undertaken in December 2018, blog post slightly rewritten in January 2021.

I have been wanting to revisit this area for some time, as it has always been a popular family stroll, up to the dam and back. But this time, I was going to bag all the tors and rocks north of Shipley Bridge.

Friday, 1 January 2021

Dartmoor: Snowy Stroll to Feather Tor

Windy Post

With these new tier 3 restrictions put into place, it becomes hard to understand what is and isn't deemed 'acceptable' by the vast majority of people because whilst the government have set out rules, they are to be interpreted differently by different people and 'local' is a very difficult word to define. To me, much of Dartmoor is local because I visit there so often, but in truth some parts of the moor are an hour or so away from home, which cannot be defined as 'local'. The first day of the new restrictions people had travelled to Dartmoor from their homes so I felt why not do the same in a considerate manner after picking up some bits and bobs in Plympton for work first? If it appeared too unsafe, we would go somewhere else.

Sunday, 20 December 2020

Dartmoor: Around East Okement

Oke Tor

The weather was looking undecided for this walk, undertaken the day before I write this, and one minute it was saying sunny spells and the next intermittent rain. Well, come the morning at home, it was peeing it down and we wondered if it was sensible to head up onto Dartmoor, since high winds of around 40 mph with gusts up to 50 mph were forecast.

Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Dartmoor: A Stroll on Hookney Down

Hookney Tor

There are occasions where I hate planning walks because I don't know where to go. Dartmoor is so huge it can become overwhelming at times. I had planned Higher White Tor from Postbridge and then, last-minute, decided to plan a route from Hart Tor on the North Moor - but I soon realised that this would entail the crossing of multiple fords which I wanted to avoid. Somehow, driving towards Postbridge anyway, I chose Hookney Down on the basis that it is an easy walking area full of interesting items.

Sunday, 6 December 2020

Dartmoor: Dinger Tor and High Willhays

High Willhays

Heavy snow was forecast for Thursday night and all day Friday, but these are weekdays when I am at school so I had to hold out hope that there would be some remaining on Saturday. The forecast for Saturday was undecided; it kept changing from heavy rain to sleet, snow and even sunshine. The only point of call was to just get up to my desired location and hope for the best, which is exactly what happened.

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Dartmoor: Back to Wistman's Wood

Gorse Flowers

The aim of this walk, which was undertaken in September 2019, was to bag a new tor that was noted as a cave by Rob Naylor on 'Dartefacts' as 'Whortleberry Cave'. I thought I would also revisit Wistman's Wood and some of the tors on the Longaford Ridge, though we may not have picked the best day.

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Dartmoor: Coombe Tor and Bee Tor (with kind permission)

Coombe Tor (Chagford)

I had been eyeing up these two tors for quite some time now. The great majority of those tors I have left to bag reside on private land, and some are quite deep within so the best course of action for me was to seek the kind permission of the landowners. I am not very accustomed with this, either viewing an outcrop from public land or by making a small, harmless trespass in the form of passing through a gate, for example. I would treat these tors differently; knowing that access to both tors was granted to my good friend, Paul Buck, I was optimistic.

I sent letters out to both landowners and had a quick response from Coombe Tor but not from Bee Tor so, confirming a suitable date for Coombe, I made a voyage to also see if there was any chance of me visiting Bee Tor as well since for all I know I could've sent the letter to the wrong place!

Friday, 2 October 2020

Dartmoor: Warren House Inn to Belstone - Perambulation Fourth Leg (13.06 miles)

The Thirlstone at Watern Tor

This was the fourth leg of the Perambulation and a walk we were all looking forward to more than the others since it takes in some great areas and the most beautiful tor on the moor - and no, I'm not biased.

Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Dartmoor: Saddle Bridge to the Warren House Inn - Perambulation Third Leg (9.04 miles)

Gorse Flowers on Riddon Ridge

Unlike the previous two walks, this was going to be a stroll, a lowland walk almost, following a section of the East Dart and then the entire Walla Brook upstream. It was quite undramatic but still had lots to see, and whereas last time our new member was Chris Tawn this time we were joined by Bev Dickinson - member No.6!

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Dartmoor: Princetown to Saddle Bridge - Perambulation Second Leg (15.04 miles)

The Eylesbarrow Cobra

Let me just put it out there this was a tough 15-mile walk, not because of the distance as such but because of how long it took us to walk it: almost 9 hours!

Friday, 21 August 2020

Dartmoor: High Down to Princetown - Perambulation First Leg (13.16 miles)

Great Mis Tor

If I'm honest I was slightly dreading this walk not only because of the terrain and the river crossings but also because of the weather: it's not an area of the moor that I had really explored but I knew that a fair bit would be off the beaten track, and the weather forecast was looking sketchy, but only did it really come true near the end which I am most grateful for.

Monday, 10 August 2020

Dartmoor: Hexworthy to Shipley Bridge (11.4 miles)

Paul on Fishlake Rocks

Oh boy, this was going to be a hot one - very hot, in fact, and by the end once we, that being me, Tim Jenkinson and Paul Buck, had departed our own ways, it became unbearable. But, before I jump to conclusions, let's go back to the beginning of the walk where, after some 5/6 months away from these two chaps, we finally reunited at the Forest Inn at Hexworthy.

Friday, 3 July 2020

Dartmoor: Around Lustleigh (Part 2)

Hisley Bridge

Continuing our walk from part 1, we soon arrived at the gate where Copperwood Rocks can be viewed from. These rocks while only covering a small area are huge.