Wednesday, 10 October 2018

The tors on Shaugh Moor

Hawks' Tor
Hawks' Tor

One weekend in late September 2018 I wanted to explore a different side of the moor. Consulting my map, I came up with a short route from Wotter, on the south-western edge of Dartmoor. I've passed through it a couple times, but never explored some of the tors up on high.

We parked up at the Moorland Hotel and crossed the road, following the hedge line to Wotter, before ascending Collard Tor. This one was a bugger to get to, even following a small path twisting its way up through the gorse, ferns and bracken. The family stuck to it, as I advised them too, but this would not satisfy the tor bagger, who had to leap from rock to rock, over deep holes to bag it properly.

Collard Tor
Collard Tor

Collard Tor (lower)
Collard Tor (lower)

Satisfied that I had visited the lower outcrops, I admired the views towards Plymouth before contemplating a way through the bracken to the summit outcrop. It wasn't an easy affair, with many unexpected holes in the ground and sharp-edged rocks to deal with. I rejoined the family, waiting patiently at the top.

Collard Tor
Collard Tor

Collard Tor
Collard Tor

It was then along an easy, level path to Hawks' Tor where I veered off and left the family again so I could go and grab Luxton Tor. Firstly, though,. I came to the trig point at the summit of Saddlesborough Hill, a fine vista is afforded from here. 

Luxton Tor is a modest pile of large granite boulders, arranged similarly to Fur Tor (Walkhampton). There are many nice angles for this tor, and I circumnavigated several times.

Saddlesborough (trig point)
Me at Saddlesborough

Luxton Tor
Luxton Tor

Luxton Tor
Luxton Tor

Luxton Tor
Luxton Tor

I returned southward, to Hawks' Tor, where I noticed both a beetle and a mushroom. Nice to see some wildlife in an otherwise ugly part of the moor, because of the clay works.

Beetle near Saddlesborough
Beetle

Mushroom near Saddlesborough
Mushroom

Hawks' Tor is magnificent. Sure, if it were not for the man-made shelter atop the main outcrop it would not appeal as much but the rock basins have their charm, so do the views. The two outcrops are not huge, imposing in character but have a pleasing look to them.

Hawks' Tor
Hawks' Tor

Hawks' Tor
Hawks' Tor

Hawks' Tor split rock
Hawks' Tor split rock

Hawks' Tor
Hawks' Tor

Hawks' Tor
Hawks' Tor

After this, we passed a boundary stone en route to the car. However, this was not the end yet: we parked up at Torrycombe Tor to have a quick nosy up the top. I know there is much more lower down but this first bag was to have a quick rummage as it's on the way home.

H Stone near Hawks' Tor
'H' Stone near Hawks' Tor

Torrycombe Tor (upper)
Torrycombe Tor (upper)

Torrycombe Tor (upper)
Torrycombe Tor (upper)

Torrycombe Tor (upper)
Torrycombe Tor (upper)

Torrycombe Tor (upper)
Torrycombe Tor (upper)

Torrycombe Tor is marked as Whitehill Tor on the OS map, but I much prefer the former name. The highest part of the tor is wedged between trees and moss whereas the summit outcrop has a clear view of the Headon China Clay Works, unfortunately.