Monday, 15 May 2017

Dartmoor: Gibby Combe Tor

Above Holy Brook, beside Gibby Combe Tor
Above Holy Brook, near Gibby Combe Tor
Fresh from a successful walk in Holne Chase, Rich and I said farewell to Tim Jenkinson, then headed to Holne to seek out Gibby Combe Tor. This was a significant tor in that it was my last publicly accessible one to bag on the Social Hiking list. The remainder would require either permission or stealth!

Dartmoor: Holne Chase (with kind permission)

Forbidden River Dart
Forbidden River Dart
Having had a friendly encounter with the owner of Was Tor a few weeks back I was in a positive mind that approaching landowners to ask for access permission might not result in a flat "No!" every time. When the majority of tors and rocks that remain on my list are buried deep within private land and not a simple case of a five minute trespass, there was no harm in asking. Better to wander freely rather than step stealthily in the shadows.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Dartmoor: South - Part Three

Wacka Tor
Wacka Tor
Sleep had been fitful, partly because of the ewe calling to her injured infant. When I got up I made a quick check on the patient and mild conditions meant the night had not claimed it. I sent off an SMS to Dartmoor Livestock Protection to tell them we were moving on and the lamb was still alive. Not much else we could do now. They replied to say the farmer would be out this morning.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Dartmoor: South - Part Two

Tristis Rock
Tristis Rock

Having got up to see the sunrise, Matthew was soon rustling about in his tent. I wasn't sure if this was a deliberate attempt to get me to stir from my slumber but it worked. Our site had been a comfortable place and I had slept well for a change. Just as well because today was to be a lengthy, rambling affair to bag the tors and rocks of the far south.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Dartmoor: South - Part One

North Dartmoor left behind
North Dartmoor left behind

Sat in the Forest Inn, Hexworthy, on a Tuesday afternoon, cradling a pint of Dartmoor IPA, the temptation would be to stay on for another couple. But the fact was Matthew and I had a route planned that involved sixty kilometres and two, maybe three, nights wild camping so we had to get as far into the south moor as we could to make the next days as comfortable as possible.

Friday, 28 April 2017

Dartmoor: A trip out to Cranmere Pool

Sun rising over the lower slopes of Cosdon Hill
Sun rising over the lower slopes of Cosdon Hill
When my neighbour, Neil, told me he would be knocking at six in the morning, for our excursion to Cranmere Pool, I wasn't particularly enthused about the prospect. Getting up at just gone five when you're on holiday is something I would normally associate with jet lag! But that was the decision and it proved to be the right one.

Dartmoor: Torrycombe Tor, Crownhill Tor

Moss on Whitehill Tor lower outcrop
Moss on Torrycombe (Whitehill) Tor lower
I'll admit that Crownhill Tor was something of an irritant; not even within the national park and surrounded by the awful china clay works that scar the landscape. I expected little of the walk to bag this one, possibly there, back, job done. I'm pleased to report I was wrong!

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Dartmoor: Some tors and rocks around Lancombe Hill

Hen Tor from Eastern Tor
Hen Tor from Eastern Tor
Above the River Plym, on Penn Moor, there were a couple of outcrops I needed to visit on my quest to bag the tors and rocks of Dartmoor. One I had forgotten to photograph on my first visit and the other missed altogether. With such a nice day ahead, I thought it was a good idea to incorporate them into a circular over Lancombe Hill as far as Yealm Rocks and also seek out a third outcrop missed near Ducks Pool.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Dartmoor: Foxes' Yard, a Round of Beef and rethinking Water Rock

Is this the pile known as Foxes Yard? - SX 76380 81529
Is this the pile known as Foxes' Yard - SX 76380 81529
"Other piles have also fanciful names attached to them, one being known as Harton's Chest, and another as The Foxes' Yard. A rock near the river, and not far from Foxworthy Mill, bears a name which should render it a fit companion to the Parson's Loaf. It is the Round of Beef, the very sound of which is calculated to arouse anticipations of the most pleasing kind in the mind of the visitor who has been wandering all day on the moor." - William Crossing from 'Gems in a Granite Setting'.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Dartmoor: Was Tor

Was Tor
Was Tor
I arrived an hour before opening time for Lydford Gorge, parking at the White Lady Waterfalls car park, with the intention of trying to find the owner of Was Tor before I turned my attention to the gorge. Please note this small outcrop lies on private land with horses and permission should always be sought.