Friday 12 April 2019

Dartmoor: Royal Tor and Strane Tor

Royal Tor

I wasn't very well on this walk, nor was I very well before it - so why did I go? Well, it was the day of the week where mum and I usually do a walk, and she said that it'd be good for me to get out into the fresh air. Alright then, I thought.

Parked up in Princetown, our aim was to bag two new tors: Royal and Strane, so we made for Bachelor's Hall along the good track over Devonport Leat.

Devonport Leat

We turned right at the leat bridge where I really started to feel dizzy and fatigued, thus we decided to stop for a drink, and get moving again. At the gate at Bullpark, I almost fainted, and I had the option to turn around, but guess what I said, no! I again sat down on a rock for respite.

The track gently ascended the northern slope of Royal Hill, where we took a look at the Crock of Gold Cist, a fine example of a burial chamber.

Crock of Gold Cist

Rejoining the bridleway, we easily forded Cholake and began ascending southward to Royal Tor, which was not visible from this side. Up and over the brow it appeared, and my illness disappeared after I took two paracetamol.

Royal Tor

Royal Tor

Royal Tor

Royal Tor was a beautiful tor to have lunch on and whilst small has its own charm attached to it, not least the stunning panorama layed out in front of it. To the south of the main tor can be found a modest logan stone.

Mum on the logan stone

I was really starting to feel better now as we beelined southward to the cairn atop Strane Hill at SX 6181 7194, known more specifically as 'Brockenborough' according to Eric Hemery.

The views continued to impress and were far-reaching.



South-west of this lay Strane Tor. Not 'west' you say? No, because Strane Tor is not located there like many people think. The whole story is documented on Tors of Dartmoor to save me the hassle of trying to explain it.

Strane Tor

Strane Tor

Strane Tor

Both small piles are north of the ford of the same name but it is the eastern of the two which has the 'gasping fish or frog'.

Strane Tor

I had hoped the ford would've been fordable, but it wasn't, so we had to take a detour downstream to find the large boulders I remember from my Ten Tors days. They were still there, and so was the bog.

Back en route, we took the track to Whiteworks which became the minor road past some houses. We bumped into a nice lady who was outside enjoying the beautiful spring weather with her two dachshunds (there was another dog but I can't for the life of me remember the breed). What we weren't expecting to learn was that she and her husband used to live in our house!

Conversation over, our pace quickened as I was still feeling fresh. Up the road we headed, taking a left then a right to follow the Eylesbarrow track to South Hessary Tor, passing several PCWW Markers along the way.

PCWW Marker

Now although I've bagged South Hessary Tor twice, I'd never climbed to the very top so it was time to remedy that. I got to see the new cobra head from above after the other one was stolen (its remains are still on the summit).

South Hessary Tor rock basin

South Hessary Tor. Notice the spray paint: that was removed a few weeks' later by the DNPA.

South Hessary Tor

New and old cobra heads, South Hessary Tor

I wanted to stay here all day but we still had to get back before my tablets wore off! So, we hastily made it back to the car park where we dumped all of our stuff to have a snack in the FTC. You're committing a crime if you visit Princetown without a trip there!

FTC Triple Decker and Side Chips. Feed a cold, starve a fever they say!

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