Sunday, 2 September 2018

Dartmoor: Chagford to Postbridge hike (10 miles) Part 2

Assycombe Stone Row

Continuing my walk from the the 'Longstone', I entered Fernworthy Forest, taking forestry tracks and the road, before bearing right just after the bridge over South Teign, heading south, in search of the Assycombe Stone Row.

Paul Buck had alerted me about this stone row as I explained to him my proposed route. Now I had known about it before but wasn't intending on a visit, more focused on the tor bagging aspect of the area. Being so close to the next tor, however, it seemed rude and was just a short yomp up the hill.

It is a strange feeling to be walking in a forest that was once exposed, high up on the moor; now it feels quite civilised. I was surprised as to how quiet it was. A strange atmosphere.

Fernworthy Forest

Assycombe Stone Row

The lack of internet connection for my GPS meant that I had to rely on a photo I had taken earlier to enable me to find 'The Dunnastone', a large, rounded granite boulder that is split into three pieces by a wall within a gully beside the Assycombe Brook.

It lies further up in the forest from the brook but what amazed me was the complete silence in the forest. In my opinion, it is more surreal in a manmade creation such as a forest because the trees extend on for miles and there I am, sat next to an almost forgotten outcrop feeling as if I'm being watched all alone.

I hope it's not just me who does this crazy tor bagging!

The Dunnastone

The Dunnastone

The Dunnastone

It is hard going in this forest, with fallen branches, holes, roots and debris to contend with. It's ten times worse on a steep slope. Finally, I made it to the other track to the gate onto the moor near White Ridge.

It didn't get better; I had to climb the gate because the latch was jammed. No big deal!

Locked Gate

Fernworthy Treeline

White Ridge... what a place. This bleak hill has little in the way of navigational features and, as I found out, little in the way of well-trodden paths. I felt like I was going around in circles trudging through clumpy grass, finding the odd track leading to nowhere.

White Ridge Tor (higher outcrop) could be seen from afar pretty well as long as you know what you're looking for. It is a great place for lunch as well, admiring the views down to Bellever from this modest outcrop first mentioned by Mike Kitchener on Wikimapia.

Rare path up White Ridge

White Ridge Tor upper

White Ridge Tor upper

Then, the huge, exposed granite bedrock, lower down, still part of the same tor.

White Ridge Tor lower

White Ridge Tor lower

White Ridge Tor lower

I was grateful for the decent track to the summit of Stannon Tor.

Stannon Tor

Stannon Tor

    Stannon Tor

Stannon Tor

Avoiding all the clitter to the best of my ability it became clear that I had made life difficult for myself, traipsing through elephant grass without realising a track to the south, by a wall, would've made it easier.

Back onto the Postbridge to Grey Wethers' track, over a stile, I came to Hartland Tor. It is disappointing from the north, but charming from the south. A very common issue for spur and valley side tors; they must be admired from below.

Hartland Tor

Hartland Tor

Hartland Tor

Hartland Tor

Negotiating some cattle, I was heading back into Postbridge on a path that I have walked many times before back into the visitor centre car park, over the clapper bridge. 

It was a great hike and I really enjoyed it. And for the most part, little went wrong!

Cattle below Hartland Tor, looking to Broadun

Cattle

Postbridge

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