Sunday 8 April 2018

Dartmoor: Rediscovering Hollowpark Rock, and other places of interest

Hollowpark Rock

So, after talking to Paul Buck about an outcrop I had spotted on an old OS Map, marked as 'Hollowpark Rock', it only felt right we meet up and find this forgotten tor. It wasn't just that though, as I wanted to show Paul 'Little Trenchford Tor' and he wanted to show me Rowdon Rock near Bridford. This walk takes in everything.

We met up at the Tottiford Reservoir car park and headed around the northern edge of Trenchford Reservoir, veering off to revisit my 'Trenchford Tor'.

Trenchford Tor

Trenchford Tor

I mentioned another outcrop in the area that Paul hadn't been to before, but en route, we noticed a large, emergent outcrop. We took it as an outlier of Trenchford, given its close proximity to it and Little Trenchford Tor, where we were heading next.

Exposed granite near Trenchford Tor

Little Trenchford Tor is obvious by the path and consists of a well-formed stack of granite amid dumped tree branches, but the moss is lovely.

Little Trenchford Tor

Little Trenchford Tor

We took a wide path through the plantation, onto the road for a short while, before veering off into Kennick Copse, to another one of my finds; Kennick Rocks. The various plants have accentuated the scattered rocks here, and I visited weeks later to discover its best scene; link HERE.

Outcrop near Kennick Rocks

Wild Primrose at Kennick Rocks

Kennick Rocks

Kennick Rocks

Unable to follow the Kennick Reservoir private shoreline, we were forced to take logging tracks all the way to Clampitt, where, at a gate by a small stream, Hollowpark Rock could be seen in all its glory. An omission that the Ordnance Survey should be ashamed of.

Hollowpark Rock across the field

Yes, it's a digital zoom!

Hollowpark Rock on a better camera - pic by Paul Buck

But that wouldn't do; we followed the track around a couple of bends where Paul spotted an outcrop on our right, at SX 8055 8463. We battled through the bracken to reach what we have dubbed 'Laployd Rock' since it is on the edge of the same named plantation. The view of Kennick Reservoir is sublime and I feel that in summer, this small tor would be an island thanks to the overgrown vegetation.

The area was recently felled to reveal the outcrop and on a revisit months later the outcrop was hidden until the last minute. The mossy top and views are well worth the effort, though.

Laployd Rock

Laployd Rock

Laployd Rock mossy top

Kennick Reservoir

We took a small track to Hollowpark Rock, looking like a mushroom. It sits right on the footpath at SX 8081 8475.

Hollowpark Rock is a bit overgrown on this side

Skirting the Laployd Plantation, we made for Rowdon Rock, which I have to say is absolutely magnificent. You could be forgiven you were situated in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest, given the tropical feel to the place; in reality, Bridford village is only a few hundred metres away with the Rookery Brook rushing below.

I could tell Paul liked this one! However, given the growth of the area, it is difficult to capture one portion of the tor, let alone the whole thing. I love the caves and nooks, crannies etc.

I did revisit the tor only a week later, but there are no pics of that trip, and it kinda failed given the difficult approach via car. Visit Rowdon on foot.

Rowdon Rock

Rowdon Rock and Paul exploring

Rowdon Rock

Rowdon Rock surroundings

The remainder of the walk was mostly on road, all the way back to Tottiford Reservoir. It was a great first meet up with Paul, and long may this friendship continue. Also, many thanks for kindly dropping me off in Bovey Tracey as well, so I wouldn't miss my bus back to Newton.

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