Dartmoor: Coombe Down, Nattadon Common and Meldon Hill
I quite like this tor. It's not a towering giant, but it has something. Parts of it are incorporated into the fine wall, and it has some lovely views. I spent a bit of time clambering about, enjoying the sunshine as well as the outcrop.
|Wall through Coombe Down|
|Wall built through Coombe Down|
|Track down to West Coombe Farm|
|Old barn enroute to West Coombe Farm|
Named after a legendary ancient route, essentially a combination of existing lanes and tracks, dating back to medieval times, it was taken by sailors, between the two Devon ports of Dartmouth and Bideford. Its entire route is open to debate, as is its actual existence. That said, the section through Dartmoor National Park, between South Zeal and Widecombe, is the only part that is considered to be the actual route.
|Mariners Way sign|
Passing through the farm at Moor Gate, across the B3212, and a succession of fields, I arrived at Lettaford.
I was disappointed to find an enclosed field next to a private house with a driveway and garden. I could see a clear route up the driveway to a private field and the tor, but I couldn't see anyone to obtain permission. Were I confronted, I would have found it hard to feign trespass as a navigational error or ignorance on my part, so I gave it a miss.
I came out to the B3212 at Lettaford Cross and kept to the wide grassy verge as the road was pretty busy now. A couple of hundred metres and I spied an ancient cross planted high up on a hedge at a junction. This short waymarker was Beetor Cross.
I made my way to the aforementioned junction, turning left, passed Beetor Farm. I kept an eye out for the owner, hoping to strike up a conversation and gauge the chances of a visit to Bee Tor. But I only caught fleeting glimpses of a farm worker on a quad bike herding cattle in a field to my right and he seemed far too busy to disturb.
|Road to Chagford near Beetor Farm|
|River Bovey from Beetor Bridge|
|Meldon Hill from the road|
I dragged myself up through some woodland, over a rocky path sodden by a tumbling stream, before stepping out into the sunshine again. The paths I chose zigzagged through dormant bracken, adjusting my route to end up at the outcrop I had spotted earlier. And what a view!
|Meldon Hill from Nattadon Tor|
|Meldon Hill from Nattadon Common|
|Swaling on Meldon Hill|
|Meldon Hill outcrop|
|North Moor from Meldon Hill|
|Trig on Meldon Hill|
|Meldon Hill outcrop|
I dropped southwards off the hill, picking up a byway passed Yelland Farm to the hamlet of Jurston.
|Byway to Jurston|
|Ford at Lower Jurston across the stream from Green Combe|
|Lane to Lettaford|
|Back in Lettaford|
|Moorgate to Shapley Common|