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 (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 (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.

Dartmoor: Around Lustleigh (Part 1)

Sanduck Grove Tor

This walk had been in the planning for not too long now, but it was one that I would have to do in order to clear up some of my remaining tors - and despite bagging some of my first tors in Lustleigh, I was also, because there are so many, bagging some of my last here, too - and even after this walk I am not done yet!

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Dartmoor: Back to the Three Reservoirs (13 miles)

Kiln Down Tor

I was feeling a bit apprehensive about this walk, almost cancelling it at the last minute due to the weather forecast to be hot - very hot. But I was also desperate to visit these five new tors before the bracken concealed them for good until winter, so I stuck with the plan (somewhat) and got dropped off at Slade Cross at 8:20 am to begin the lung-busting ascent up Bell Lane, sometimes called Slade Hill.

Sunday, 3 May 2020

Dartmoor: Shaptor Wood - Part 4: The Tors in Bearacleave Wood

Bearacleave North Tor

Continuing on from Part 3 where we left John Cann's Rocks, we enter Bearacleave Wood where the footpath takes on a sharp right and begins ascending steeply. 

Dartmoor: Shaptor Wood - Part 3: John Cann's Rocks from Stonelands Waste

Higher Stonelands Tor

Continuing our walk from the magnificent Bowden Tor (it's only taken me some 14 months!), we are now on the road, heading down to Lower Bowden Farm.

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Dartmoor: Lustleigh to Holwell Rocks (Part 3)

Ponies with Hound Tor behind

Continuing on from Part 2, a bit of backtracking and I was back at the entrance to Neadon Cleave, owned by the Woodland Trust. The first tor I was seeking was the North Tor, at SX 75510 82017: a pretty large grouping of granite outcrops just below the footpath at the top of the Cleave. I like it; a great find by Tim Jenkinson.

Dartmoor: Lustleigh to Holwell Rocks (Part 2)

Lower Foxworthy Tor

Continuing on from Part 1, I head into new territory in Lustleigh Cleave where I would bag some more tors. The path from West Sharpitor was easy to follow and I soon came to the much-anticipated Harton Chest.

Friday, 6 March 2020

Dartmoor: Lustleigh to Holwell Rocks (Part 1)

Harton Rock

This was going to be a mega tor walk, hence the 'Part 1', taking in 19 new tors and rocks for me - surely the most new ones I've done in a single walk for a long, long time?! I had been meaning to do this walk ages ago, last year in fact, but the difficult terrain had put me off going alone. I saw this walk as an opportunity, given the time of year when the bracken is low, to attempt it alone and see how I get on, hiking more miles than I was anticipating; almost 11.

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Dartmoor: West of Moretonhampstead (10.53 miles)

Sloncombe Hill Tor

The aim of this walk was to photograph some lesser-known tors to record on the Tors of Dartmoor database, and who better to be with than Paul Buck and Tim Jenkinson?

Thursday, 6 February 2020

Dartmoor: The Tors and Rocks on Blackadon Down

Webburn Gap West

So, I've just finished early at school because it's the Tuesday where I do, so what do I do and where do I go... Dartmoor of course! Today's short adventure was always going to be a difficult one, and I did warn Mum of this, but she seemed perfectly happy to tag along. 

Sunday, 2 February 2020

Dartmoor: Back to Fernworthy Forest (11.77 miles)

Loughten Tor

This was another walk that was planned last-minute really. Before the weekend hit, Paul Buck and Jason Wiggins (otherwise known as 'Wandering Jay', his blog here and his YouTube channel here) had planned a walk around Fernworthy Forest, and when I asked Paul what he was doing on Saturday as I had no plans he said and then invited me along for the trip!

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Dartmoor: Broad Amicombe Hole, Great Kneeset and Little Kneeset (12.17 miles)

Great Kneeset Black & White

This walk had been in the planning for a long time, and the main reason why we (Paul Buck, Tim Jenkinson and I) hadn't done it before was due to the weather conditions; impassable rivers, for example. But a weekend in January 2020 was forecast full sun so we took the opportunity to venture out to High Down car park to continue this adventure.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Dartmoor: Erme Pits from Lud Gate (12.1 miles)

Erme Head

This walk was perhaps a bad idea given that the Met Office had forecasted rain and wind, but it had been in the planning for a couple of weeks and neither of us wanted to cancel - that is, me and Paul Rendell.