Tuesday, 25 December 2018

The Tors and Rocks near Scorhill

Kestor Rock

So for my 2018 birthday walk (I turned 16), I wanted to go somewhere different. I had planned Kitty Tor, deep into the high moor, but the weather was what the decisions came down to. Instead, I found a remote car park onto the moor at Scorhill, the base for our mini tor bagging session today.

First up, Scorhill Tor. This was the first tor where I would experiment with my new Canon Powershot,  a camera with a 40x zoom.

Scorhill Tor

Scorhill Tor

Scorhill Tor

Scorhill Tor

Then, The Tolmen Stone, taking a small detour to the Scorhill Stone Circle. Not a tor, but a large boulder perched on rocks on the river bed, with a huge hole through it, the result of river erosion. It is a significant stone, with fanciful tales like a cure for rheumatism if you crawl through the hole.

Large stone at Scorhill Stone Circle

Scorhill Stone Circle

The Tolmen Stone

The Tolmen Stone

The Tolmen Stone

The Tolmen Stone

River Teign by The Tolmen Stone

We crossed both the Walla Brook and North Teign River to follow the treeline towards Batworthy Corner, so not a different part of Dartmoor after all. It would be rude not to visit one of the best tors, called Kes Tor.

Walla Brook clapper bridge

Teign-e-Ver clapper bridge

Angry cow at Teign-e-Ver

Kes Tor, where we were heading next, is one of my favourite outcrops and looks great from any direction. I was pleased to be revisiting for the 5th time at the time of writing. Visible from miles around, the appearance of this tor is one that makes you say "I must go there!" - it is magnificent.

Kestor Rock

Rock Basins, Kestor Rock

Largest Rock Basin on Kes Tor

Many Rock Basins on Kes Tor

Kestor Rock

Kestor Rock

Kestor Rock

Quartz Vein on Kes Tor

Then, its lesser known neighbour; Little Kes Tor. Situated some way to the north of 'The Rock', its appearance is fine.

Little Kes Tor

Little Kes Tor

Little Kes Tor

Little Kes Tor

Joining the road from Teigncombe to Batworthy, I wanted to get a zoom shot of what I have dubbed "The Brimstone", sited on Brimstonedown (SX 6663 8733). It is a small tor, and that's just from afar. It's on Private Land, so I (we) had to make do.

The Brimstone

The Brimstone

The Brimstone

The Brimstone

Following the road and, at a bend turning left, we entered the dense plantation known as South Park. It was a steep descent down the bridge over North Teign River.

Just after crossing it, I spotted, on my left, an impressive collection of boulders (SX 6706 8755). I dubbed it Gidleigh Bottom Tor since it sits well below that tor in the valley.

Bridge over North Teign River

Gidleigh Bottom Tor

Gidleigh Bottom Tor

Gidleigh Bottom Tor

Gidleigh Bottom Tor

Clambering up the incredibly vertical sides of North Park, the abundance of misplaced boulders, probably by nature, supports my theory of the bottom tor being the resting place of Gidleigh Tor's remains and not bedrock as such.

Fallen tree branches, a slippery surface and rocks, rocks, rocks made ascending to North Park Tor, or Lower Gidleigh Tor hard going (SX 6726 8777). This is a fine tor and much larger than its higher neighbour.

North Park Tor

North Park Tor

North Park Tor massive rock face

North Park Tor upper

Gidleigh Tor sits beside a track and has a wonderful plethora of interesting rock basins, as well as good views to Kestor Rock. It was once known as Princep's/Prinsep's Folly by Crossing.

Gidleigh Tor

Three Rock Basins on Gidleigh Tor

Large Rock Basin on Gidleigh Tor

Chiilin' on Gidleigh Tor

Gidleigh Tor

Gidleigh Tor

We exited the plantation at the lane to gently ascend it for 20 minutes back to the car park near Berrydown.

Letterbox in Berrydown