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.
The Becca Brook below Holwell Tor with the recently installed new clapper bridge
Greator Rocks between Holwell Lawn and Houndtor Down
Looking back to Haytor with its quarries and Holwell Tor in the foreground
Up to Hound Tor – the Rowan or Mountain Ash trees were covered in their blood red berries
The south west corner of Hound Tor
Back across the Becca Brook and up the slope to Black Hill with Haytor again in the background
The Cairn on the summit of Black Hill with the Bovey Valley in the background.
Part of the ancient tramway on Haytor Down
The famous quarry to the northeast of Haytor itself
Back 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.
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).
This is Holwell Lawn – drive past Haytor and then taken the road to Hound Tor – you can’t miss them
Haytor in the background – bluebells in the foreground
Close by is another enormous patch of bluebells beside Greator Rocks with Hound Tor in the background (viewed from the road just past Haytor)
The bluebells in Whiddon Deer Park near Castle Drogo (photo by my colleague Tom Wood)
Bluebells in a glade high up in Whiddon Deer Park