A walk from Haytor

Whilst I like reading and writing about Dartmoor you can’t beat the experience of getting out into Dartmoor. Yesterday the annual 10 Tors cycle began again. We were out on the moor training the new prospective students how to read maps, navigate and walk on Dartmoor. We had six groups of students walking various routes from Haytor to Hound Tor and back.

This is the route I took – it is about 8km long and is a good introductory walk on Dartmoor – it does go up and down and requires walking boots, a compass, map and a coat but nevertheless is an achievable walk which visits a number of interesting places. It starts at the lower Haytor Car Park.

becca-brookThe Becca Brook below Holwell Tor with the recently installed new clapper bridge

greator-rocksGreator Rocks between Holwell Lawn and Houndtor Down

haytor-and-quarriesLooking back to Haytor with its quarries and Holwell Tor in the foreground

hound-torUp to Hound Tor – the Rowan or Mountain Ash trees were covered in their blood red berries

hound-tor-2The south west corner of Hound Tor

black-hillBack across the Becca Brook and up the slope to Black Hill with Haytor again in the background

black-hill-cairnThe Cairn on the summit of Black Hill with the Bovey Valley in the background.

tramwayPart of the ancient tramway on Haytor Down

haytor-quarryThe famous quarry to the northeast of Haytor itself

home-farm-cafeBack down to the car park for a cup of tea and a piece of flapjack with my old friends from Home Farm Cafe.

A very blustery day up on the moor yesterday but we missed out on the rain! I can recommend this walk if you want to recharge your batteries and burn a few calories. The area is rich in archaeology and moor itself is well managed by the Commoners and is  great for wildlife.


Dartmoor’s bluebell lawns

Bluebells don’t just grow under trees in woodlands – on Dartmoor there are several places where they grow in the open on the moor. They are spectacular – here are a few photos – one place owned by the National Trust, two owned by others (not sure who though).

HolwellThis is Holwell Lawn – drive past Haytor and then taken the road to Hound Tor – you can’t miss them

Holwell 2Haytor in the background – bluebells in the foreground

Greator RocksClose by is another enormous patch of bluebells  beside Greator Rocks with Hound Tor in the background (viewed from the road just past Haytor)

Whiddon DP bluebells 1The bluebells in Whiddon Deer Park near Castle Drogo (photo by my colleague Tom Wood)

Whiddon DP bluebells 2Bluebells in a glade high up in Whiddon Deer Park