Saturday, 5 January 2019

Eastern Tor and Ringmoor Down

Legis Tor
Legis Tor

New Years Day Walk 2019:

This walk was not in the planning; we were originally going to walk up to Three Barrows from Shipley Bridge, but due to the amount of rain we've been getting over the past week, decided against it. Instead, it just so happens, this area is not too boggy and a lot of it is easy footpath walking.

Parking up at the Scout Hut just below Gutter Tor (well, we had to park on the verge because this miniature car park was already overflowing at 10 o'clock), we headed past the trees at the Hut to beeline to Whittenknowles Rocks, a massive spread of granite clitter but no bedrock. There is also a settlement here.

Whittenknowles Rocks
Whittenknowles Rocks

Whittenknowles Rocks
Whittenknowles Rocks

Whittenknowles Rocks
Whittenknowles Rocks

We could see Eastern Tor in the distance, not too far away, crossing a leat to reach the first of the several lowly granite outcrops. Despite this, I quite like this tor; views wise, the shallow Plym Valley stretches upstream with the Drizzlecombe antiquities can also be seen.

Eastern Tor
Eastern Tor

Eastern Tor
Eastern Tor

Eastern Tor
Eastern Tor

Eastern Tor
Eastern Tor

Eastern Tor
Eastern Tor

We dropped off the flat-topped hill to reach the splendid Ditsworthy Warren House, used as one of the film locations in Steven Spielberg's film "War Horse". As with my last visit, on a Ten Tors training walk, ponies were using this as their base camp.

Ditsworthy Warren House
Ditsworthy Warren House

Ponies at Ditsworthy Warren House
Ponies at Ditsworthy Warren House

Ponies at Ditsworthy Warren House
Ponies at Ditsworthy Warren House

We crossed a small stream and began gently ascending Ringmoor Down, aiming for Legis Tor, visible on the horizon. The weather was forecast to be very sunny; only now, did this happen and the Moor literally turned golden!

The gate was very muddy so we decided against that path, instead choosing another one further along, then through another, to reach the beautiful ruin of Legis Tor.

Millie near Legis Tor
Millie near Legis Tor

Legis Tor
Legis Tor

Legis Tor
Legis Tor

This pile of granite is quite extraordinary, especially when viewed from below to the south. I can imagine that, in Summer, it would be a difficult bag. Luckily, I chose Winter instead.

We had lunch and I admired the stunning views of the Plym Valley and Hen Tor. The geology is also very good: pink granite and tourmaline veins appear everywhere. Additionally, there is also a superb vermin trap, which I failed to find, amid all the clitter.

Legis Tor
Legis Tor

Legis Tor
Legis Tor

Legis Tor
Legis Tor

Millie at Legis Tor
Millie at Legis Tor

Coco at Legis Tor
Coco at Legis Tor

Veins on Legis Tor
Veins at Legis Tor

Legis Tor
Legis Tor

Legis Tor
Legis Tor

We took the track heading directly up to the summit of Ringmoor Down, passing through an open gateway, which would lead us to Gutter Tor. We couldn't help but admire the imposing Hen Tor, one side of this massive tor in shade. I was envious of this brooding formation.

The views from the top of the hill, at the Trig Point, are spectacular, with Sheeps Tor inevitably appearing mountainous, with Leather Tor and Sharpitor behind.

Ringmoor Down Trig Point
Ringmoor Down Trig Point

Ringmoor Down Trig Point
Ringmoor Down Trig Point

Sheeps Tor
Sheeps Tor

Over the much-anticipated stile, we headed to the impressive outcrops of Gutter Tor, standing sentinel over Gutter Mire. It consists of many piles of granite, the highest of which is topped by one massive rock basin.

Gutter Tor
Gutter Tor

Gutter Tor
Gutter Tor

Gutter Tor
Gutter Tor

Gutter Tor Large Rock Basin
Gutter Tor Large Rock Basin

Gutter Tor
Gutter Tor

Gutter Tor
Gutter Tor

An easy descent was all that was required to finish off a very pleasant walk; mileage wasn't the aim at all, and we had bucket loads of time to enjoy the atmosphere of this tract of the Moor to its best. A great start to 2019. The only thing I would advise is get to this car park AEAP (as early as possible).