Monday, 17 June 2019

Dartmoor: Bagging Aish Tor

Aish Tor

Strolls on Dartmoor don't get any simpler than this. We parked below Aish Tor at SX 70722 71485, took the track ascending to Dr. Blackall's Drive, and continued up the hill where the outcrops are obvious ahead.

Ascending Aish Tor

It would seem to me that this tor is lesser known, despite its appearance on OS maps. I think this is because they are a bit misleading, placing the tor name right on the summit of the hill at 283m where there is just a cairn - and no tor.

Aish Tor lowest outcrop

But below the small cairn, not far away and to the east is an emergent ridge of non-granite rock, at SX 70438 71492. Eric Hemery proves this is the tor; "First and last of the eastern cleave-side tors is Aish Tor (912 feet), a small pile on Newbridge Common near Brake Corner - where the drive divides to form a loop surrounding the tor on three sides - and something of an anti-climax..." This is the only exposed bedrock within the loop.

Aish Tor lower, accentuated by Foxglove

Aish Tor lower, accentuated by Foxglove

Foxglove

Further up the hill, we found the tor is more impressive, and you can walk along the edge of the rock ridge, which, although small, is definitely significant enough to warrant a name.

Mum atop Aish Tor

Aish Tor

Aish Tor

Aish Tor

We were almost at the top of the hill, so we thought we ought to pay a visit to the cairn at SX 70278 71498. It offers a great vantage point where one can enjoy wide-ranging views of the Dart Valley, up to both Bench Tors with Eagle Rock somewhere in between, Mel Tor, Sharp Tor (Yartor Down), Honeybag Tor, Chinkwell Tor, Sharp Tor (Chinkwell), Buckland Beacon, Ausewell Rocks, Snowdon and Rippon Tor to name but a few.

Cairn above Aish Tor

Cairn above Aish Tor

Cairn above Aish Tor

Cairn above Aish Tor

And after that, we basically beelined back to Dr. Blackall's Drive to continue our descent back to the car park. My thanks goes to Bob Fitzpatrick for alerting me to the location of the tor, as I had originally gone with the cairn, despite being adamant that there would be an outcrop somewhere!

Aish Tor beyond the ferns

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