Monday, 4 March 2019

Dartmoor: The Tors and Rocks in Teign Gorge (Part 2)

Hunter's Tor view of Kes Tor

Continuing our walk from my LAST post, we took the track heading west from Wooston Hillfort, which began descending at a slow rate. This worked in our advantage as we got a glimpse of the Broadmoor and Prestonbury hillsides, which we previously viewed from below. Still, from here, they are intimidating.

Broadmoor Common (east)

Eventually reaching the riverside track again, we were back to Fingle Bridge, but this time we chose to stop, have a drink and quick bite (well, not me really) and view a memorial in memory of Bob Davison.

Fingle Bridge Inn

Fingle Bridge Inn

Yellow Wagtail

Bob Davison Memorial

Following the Fisherman's Path (I think) we came to a small clearing where we could see a couple of unnamed crags on the steep hillside, in Hannicombe Wood at SX 7406 8971. Whilst they would appear more impressive from below the opposing hillside provides a larger perspective for photography, as well as using people strolling below for scale.

Hannicombe Wood Crags

Hannicombe Wood Crags

Hannicombe Wood Crags

This path is not for the faint-hearted as now it ascends then descends the base of Sharp Tor (the tor we summited earlier when the inversion was taking place). Whilst a staircase and handrailings make it easier it is slippery in places and steep.

This area does, however, possess interesting geology where granite and metamorphic rock interact, Sharp Tor and its outliers being formed of the latter, whereas the tors from now on are all granite.

Sharp Tor outliers

Hard going along the Fisherman's Path

Granite rocks by the Teign, but they are not bedrock

Base of Sharp Tor

The next tor was a logan stone, known as 'Logging Rock' at SX 723 897 and shown by this appellation on old Tithe Maps.

Logging Rock

Logging Rock

Logging Rock and Tim

Logging Rock

Between this feature and the base of Hunter's Tor can be found a weir, and after this passing through a muddy gate, you come out into a large field.

Weir below Hunter's Tor

Hunter's Tor Foot

Hunter's Tor Foot

Once we entered the field, we followed the Two Moors Way until the point where the woodland on the right and the river on the left are closest. Here, we veered off right towards an obvious tor set in a small copse, previously discovered by Tim Jenkinson as Dog Marsh South Tor at SX 716 895.

The tor's appearance is awesome: trees grow out of its cracks in all directions, and its pale colour beautifully contrasts the green moss.

Access is via an unlocked gate on the south side. There are no signs stating its access.

Dog Marsh South Tor

Dog Marsh South Tor

Dog Marsh South Tor

Dog Marsh South Tor

Tree on a rock!!

From the same copse, we went to the north side, beside a gate, to view the strange Dog Marsh North Tor, seemingly formed by granite boulders propped up on one another by a hedge at SX 716 897.

Dog Marsh North Tor

Dog Marsh North Tor

Dog Marsh North Tor

We made a small diversion across a wooden footbridge to the south, so Paul could see Tim's Whiddon Park House Tor. I first bagged this tor HERE.

Whiddon Park House Tor

Whiddon Park House Tor

Whiddon Park House Tor

We retraced back to the wooden footbridge to follow the Two Moors Way back to the place where the woodland and river are at their closest. But this time, we veered off left, ascending the field to a gate at the bottom of Coombe Tor at SX 718 896.

I felt uneasy at this tor, especially as it is just metres above the house of the same name. I admit I know it's private just from its location, but yet again signage was not in evidence and it really should be clear.

Coombe Tor

Coombe Tor

Coombe Tor

Coombe Tor

Coombe Tor

Coombe Tor

Coombe Tor

Back to the muddy gate, we had a choice to make: ascend Hunter's Tor the steep but short way, or take the 'long' way around. It was a regrettable decision by myself to suggest we take the latter, but we did, and it was such a boring route!

Castle Drogo

The ridge of Hunter's Tor is amazing, but before we scaled it (no, it's not a mountain) we patiently waited for some fellow tor baggers to exit as it's just too narrow for two-way traffic.

Paul Buck on the ridge

Hunter's Tor

Hunter's Tor

Then, we took a break as we were all tiring after walking 10 miles over undulating terrain, looking for tors. It's a great example where tor bagging is shown to be much harder in a woodland landscape, and it's a true fact.

Hunter's Tor

Hunter's Tor

Teign Gorge

The final push was along Hunter's Path back to the Castle car park. It wasn't the best of walks, but that's just because it's not my favourite area :-)

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