Monday, 30 July 2018

The Tors and Rocks in the Roughtor Plantation

Middle Rough Tor
Middle Rough Tor

The Dartmoor Cam website (run by Keith Ryan) has introduced 8 new tors into the world of Dartmoor tor bagging within the Roughtor Plantation, near Burrator Reservoir, north of Sheeps Tor. And by providing clear photographs and descriptions, I was keen to check out the location for myself, as was Paul Buck, my companion for the day. The link to the new tors can be found HERE

It revealed to be a hot day, as we parked in the quarry car park, where we started the walk. The lesser known tor, Claig Tor, was also located here, and I made sure that I investigated the summit at the end.

Claig Tor quarried
Claig Tor quarried

Claig Tor quarried
Claig Tor quarried

Claig Tor lower
Claig Tor lower, or Yennadon Crags

Burrator Reservoir
Burrator Reservoir

We walked over the dam where Paul would lead me to Burra Tor, the best of the day. Truly huge, with granite spilling down the hill.

Burra Tor
Burra Tor

Burra Tor
Burra Tor

Burra Tor
Burra Tor

Burra Tor
Burra Tor

I was impressed. We took the road on the south side, to the Sheepstor Dam. The reservoir was low, and getting lower after this year's heatwave. The road walk up to Norsworthy Bridge went on forever, but we eventually veered off to the right, ignoring the tors up to Down Tor and dropped down to the Narrator Brook.

It was decided to miss a visit to Click Tor, for the overgrown vegetation would make for hard progress through this area. That wasn't the goal of the day anyway. On the moorland below Narrator (Narrow Tor), beared right into the eastern part of Roughtor Plantation, where ''East Rough Tor'' was placed.

East Rough Tor
East Rough Tor

East Rough Tor
East Rough Tor

Then, shortly after, the original ''Rough Tor'' - the summit in the plantation. I really disliked this one, a small outcrop squatting on the hill struggling for prominence. There is a ruined rock basin atop the rocks but nothing of merit.

UPDATE (visited Jan 2019): the rock basin is excellent and one of the finest woodland ones. It can be found atop the rock shown immediately below.

Rough Tor (Burrator)
Rough Tor (Burrator)

Rough Tor (Burrator)
Rough Tor (Burrator)

Further westward, Middle Rough Tor. This amazing outcrop is much better than its higher neighbour and was first noted by Paul Buck, but later named by Dartmoor Cam. Middle Rough Tor could almost be described as the ''Jewel of the Plantation'' for it has great character and shape, a perfect place for photography.

Middle Rough Tor
Middle Rough Tor

Middle Rough Tor
Middle Rough Tor

We dropped down in height, to round Rough Tor Rock, apparently 12 feet tall, accentuated by Pink Foxglove.

Rough Tor Rock
Rough Tor Rock

Rough Tor Rock side view
Rough Tor Rock

Very close by and on a steep, sometimes uneven slope, lay Great Great Rough Tor.

Paul Buck inspecting Great Great Rough Tor
Paul Buck inspecting Great Great Rough Tor

Great Great Rough Tor
Great Great Rough Tor

In quick succession, we came to Lower Rough Tor, a rather pale boulder.

Paul Buck ascending Lower Rough Tor
Lower Rough Tor

Lower Rough Tor
Lower Rough Tor

Whilst the last two outcrops were more of a boulder field, the next tor was my personal favourite of the plantation. ''Great Rough Tor'' is a large tor of imposing outcrops and interesting granite shapes that are surely better than its ''Great Great'' neighbour? A worthy tor.

Great Rough Tor and Paul Buck climbing
Great Rough Tor and Paul Buck climbing

Great Rough Tor
Great Rough Tor

Great Rough Tor
Great Rough Tor

Great Rough Tor
Great Rough Tor

Great Rough Tor amazing rock stack
Great Rough Tor

Next up, West Rough Tor.

West Rough Tor
West Rough Tor

West Rough Tor
West Rough Tor

Then, Lower West Rough Tor.

Lower West Rough Tor
Lower West Rough Tor

Lower West Rough Tor
Lower West Rough Tor

Well that was a very rough walk! (I'm so sorry for that poor pun.) Now it was time to get back to the car, below the base of Narrator, with a hard to beat view of Leather Tor and Lower Leather Tor. Spectacular.

Dramatic Leather Tor
Dramatic Leather Tor

Below Maiden Tor
Below Maiden Tor

Burrator Reservoir
Burrator Reservoir

Back at the quarry car park, I had a look at Claig Tor. I know it has lower levels, for another day. I wanted to go see the summit where there are stunning views of Sheeps Tor and two conveniently placed benches!

Sheeps Tor from Claig Tor
Sheeps Tor

Claig Tor bench, one of two
Claig Tor bench, one of two

Claig Tor
Claig Tor

Claig Tor
Claig Tor

Claig Tor
Claig Tor

All now was for the journey back where Paul kindly gave me a lift back to Bovey Tracey. A hot day but great company once again and some good tors on the route.