The moor around Belstone

We were out on Saturday 10 Tors training. Our job to to checkpoint teams through Hound Tor (the other Hound Tor near Steeperton Tor) and then across the concrete ford near Belstone. The weather during the day was superb and we were treated to a variety of spectacular views.

From Oke Tor looking north to West Mill Tor and Rowtor

From Hound Tor down to Cosdon Hill

Down into Taw Marsh with Belstone Tor in the background

Across to High Willhays, Yes Tor, West Mill Tor and Rowtor with East Mill Tor in the middle distance

routeHere is the route we took – it around a 10 mile walk from Belstone – there are quite a few river crossings at various fords – if you plan to do this walk you will need good walking boots, gaiters, a map and a compass!

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.


Navigating around Haytor and Hound Tor – a good intro walk

As we move into autumn it suddenly becomes time again to start the 10 Tors training cycle all over again! We started the process yesterday with a group of year 9 students teaching them the basics of map reading and navigation. We based ourselves around Haytor and Hound Tor – so not big distances but lots of opportunity to learn how to take a bearing and go in the right direction!

Hound-Heytor1Here is a group at Hound Tor looking back to Haytor

Hound-Heytor3It may have been an overcast day but the moor was pretty busy  – here is a group of novice climbers at Hound Tor

Hound-Heytor2This is the Becka Brook between Haytor and Hound Tor – very low river levels so an easy river crossing!

Hound-Heytor7One of the quarries around Holwell Tor

Hound-Heytor6The remains of the old quarry tram way tracks

Hound-Heytor4Back to the car  park via Haytor

Hound-Heytor5Four of this year’s foals at the Haytor visitor centre car park.

A successful day with a group of enthusiastic students – bodes well for the coming months!

If you want a good introductory walk to Dartmoor I can recommend a gentle walk from Haytor to Holwell Tor, over the Becka Brook to Greator Rocks and then up to Hound Tor – its around 2.5 miles (each way) and as long as the visibility is good you can see exactly where you are aiming for and where you have come from. A great walk to practice map reading and gaining your moorland confidence.