Saturday, 1 September 2018

Dartmoor: Chagford to Postbridge hike (10 miles) Part 1

Kestor Rock
Kestor Rock

Starting at Chagford, again, a much-loved place on the moor; I was planning on a 9-mile walk today, taking in lots of new bags on the way to Postbridge. The walk actually turned into a 10 and a half mile walk, and the weather was great!

I headed down Mill Street, heading for Gidleigh Mill, passing the interesting Holystreet Manor Cliff Face. This granite outcrop is best viewed from the road, and there is evidence of it extending back into the trees from below.

Holystreet Manor Cliff Face
Holystreet Manor Cliff Face

I wanted to get a better pic of the forbidden Puggiestone, but if anything, my pics on this trip were worse! It looks like a good outcrop, amid a lovely grassy garden.

Puggiestone
Puggiestone

Then, the spawling rocks of Leigh Bridge Rocks. I didn't explore the tor this time, unlike the LAST. I was more focused on getting as close to Kestor Rock as I could at the right time to ensure all of the walk could be completed.

Leigh Bridge Rocks
Leigh Bridge Rocks

I crossed the bridge and turned left up a very steep track. It is one of those tracks that ascends and then decides to descend steeply to ascend again! However, it was a direct route and traffic free. It was getting hot now and I had already drunk my first bottle of water; 1 of 8.

I finally came out onto the moorland, after a windy walk through Teigncombe. I cracked on; first up, Little Kes Tor, named by Tim Jenkinson.

Little Kes Tor
Little Kes Tor

Little Kes Tor
Little Kes Tor

Little Kes Tor
Little Kes Tor

Little Kes Tor top
Little Kes Tor

Kestor Rock was obvious some 40+ metres southward. I adore this huge granite outcrop; its geology, views, rock basins and memories make this a tor I always want to revisit again and again.

Kestor Rock (Kes Tor)
Kes Tor

Kestor Rock (Kes Tor)
Kes Tor

Kestor Rock (Kes Tor)
Kes Tor

Kestor Rock
Kes Tor

Kestor Rock (Kes Tor)
Kes Tor

Kestor Rock (Kes Tor)
Kes Tor

Now I was going into new territory; Middle Tor looked close, and on every previous visit either the weather or lack of it being a Ten Tors checkpoint meant I had never visited before. 

It is a fine tor and although lacking height, the outcrop certainly includes most of the aspects like its neighbour, Kes Tor. A very good tor indeed. The sheep were shading from the heat as they do.

Middle Tor
Middle Tor

Middle Tor
Middle Tor

Middle Tor rock basin
Middle Tor

Middle Tor
Middle Tor

If I'm going to be honest I didn't expect much of my next bag; Frenchbeer Rock. From a distance, this small tor is overshadowed by the other mighty rock piles in the area but upon close inspection, I was surprised by its sizeable granite outcrop and rock basin. A smaller version than its neighbours but a great little tor.

Frenchbeer Rock
Frenchbeer Rock

Frenchbeer Rock
Frenchbeer Rock

Frenchbeer Rock
Frenchbeer Rock

Frenchbeer Rock
Frenchbeer Rock

Frenchbeer Rock
Frenchbeer Rock

I returned to Middle Tor and took various tracks to reach the "Longstone", which is a boundary mark in the 1240 Perambulation, not that I plan on tackling it just yet! It is a fine standing stone, with 3 inscriptions.

The Long Stone
The Longstone

The Long Stone
Gidleigh Parish - Longstone

The Long Stone
The Longstone

The Long Stone
The Longstone

Wall and Thornworthy Tor
Wall and Thornworthy Tor

I descended further to reach the gate at the northern edge of Fernworthy Forest, taking various forestry tracks of little interest but the smell of pine was evident.

The next part of this walk is continued in PART 2 where I explore the bleakness of White Ridge, before heading back into Postbridge to be picked up.

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