Saturday, 30 November 2019

Dartmoor: Lynch Tor and Standon Hill

Lynch Tor

This has got to be the most unvisited part of the moor for me, and for a justifiable reason: it's miles from me and takes about an hour to get there when traffic is flowing smoothly. The actual plan had been to do Great Links Tor but I changed my mind.

I find this part of the moor to be quite inaccessible, not only because of the live firing but also because of the lack of places to park. Sure, you have Lane End, but if your walk takes you over to Standon Hill then you have the River Tavy to negotiate, and Baggator Gate, where we parked, can hardly fit more then three cars as to not block the tracks that farmers/military need to use.

The first part of this walk took us downhill on a concrete track where we came to a junction: the footpath continued left, but the track continued ahead where we wanted to go. I wasn't sure if public access was allowed so we asked some military guys who were in the right place at the right time. They confirmed it was OK to proceed which made sense as there were no warning signs and the whole area felt kind of open.

Rock

Standon Farm

At Standon Farm, we passed through a metal gate to begin our ascent up the hill of the same name, through bracken, but we veered off right to visit an outcrop dubbed 'Standon Ledge' by Peter Freeman. This name suits it perfectly, and the substantial clitter below suggests it was once a much grander sight.

Oh, and the grid reference: SX 55432 82374.

Standon Ledge

Standon Ledge

Standon Ledge

Standon Ledge

Standon Ledge

The views of Tavy Cleave are stunning but we had to leave it to beeline to our next tor: Standon Hill itself. En route we passed several peat hags and pools which surprised me given our elevation was little over 450m; you usually see this sort of stuff above the 500m contour.

Tavy Cleave

Peat Hag

Peat Hag

Standon Hill as a tor was better than I was expecting it to be. Indeed it has perhaps the largest clitter below it on Dartmoor and the remnant near the summit of the hill is tiny in comparison, but sit down and take in the views, ignore the military rubbish and I'm sure you'll like it.

Standon Hill

Standon Hill

Standon Hill

Standon Hill

Standon Hill
Standon Hill

Lynch Tor, the main bag of the day could be seen ahead, but choosing a route to get there would be interesting. We did not want to beeline as that meant a decent descent before ascending even more, so we initially headed to the left of the tor on a track to Baggator Brook Ford, at SX 56135 81232.

Baggator Brook Ford

Baggator Brook Ford

Peat Hag

It was a bit of a slog up to Lynch Tor's northern outcrops as we had to keep hopping over tufts and bog on the side of the hill, but once we reached the tor we knew it had been the right choice. This tor was also a lot better than I was anticipating, with some nice outcrops and rock basin at SX 56473 80648.

Approaching the tor... pretty poor from here

Lynch Tor

Lynch Tor

Lynch Tor rock basin

Limsboro' Cairn, the summit of the hill could be described as being part of Lynch Tor, but for bagging purposes, it is kept separate as it has its own name. I was pretty disappointed with this outcrop as it is just a bit of a mess.

Limsboro' Cairn

Limsboro' Cairn

Limsboro' Cairn

Limsboro' Cairn

I went in search of a 629 capping stone to the south-east of the summit although I headed east to a small outlying outcrop, which has a rock basin at SX 56642 80575.

Outcrop with rock basin

Rock basin and ponies

Just to the west of the summit, I spotted a plaque on a rock at SX 56523 80543, which is dedicated to Steve Baird.

Steve Baird Memorial

Steve Baird Memorial

Steve Baird Memorial

Steve Baird Memorial

The westward descent wasn't too much trouble but the large pool of water at the moor gate did make things difficult. We went off the track to investigate a possible outcrop at SX 55115 80562 which turned out to be a diminutive scattering of granite, not worth being called anything.

Scattered granite

Scattered granite

Scattered granite

Scattered granite

We chose to give Bagga Tor a miss as it would be rude to go there and not Brousentor, so it was only fair we ignore both.

Bagga Tor

Bagga Tor Gate

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