Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Dartmoor: two New Year walks

Goat Rock
Goat Rock
I met up with friends in Princetown for a couple of days walking over the new year holiday. Two short walks, nothing strenuous, as this was more about socialising than the walks themselves.

New Years Eve


Cath, Matthew, Jim and I began from a car park north-west of Harrowbeer, on Roborough Down. It required little exertion to make our way to Berra Tor. A fine non-granite outcrop, perched above woodland, I had previously visited this in the full bloom of late spring, and foliage hid it somewhat. But now, in winter, it was laid bare and I took advantage of this to walk its circumference.

Berra Tor
Berra Tor

Berra Tor
Berra Tor

Berra Tor
Berra Tor

Berra Tor
Berra Tor

From Berra, to the path that would lead down to the River Tavy, we spotted another outcrop, one that is unnamed, but fairly significant.

Unnamed outcrop at SX 4760 6953
Unnamed outcrop at SX 4760 6953

Unnamed outcrop at SX 4760 6953
Unnamed outcrop at SX 4760 6953

Unnamed outcrop at SX 4760 6953
Unnamed outcrop at SX 4760 6953

Dropping down to the river, I mistakenly went left at a junction near Tavy Cottage, instead of right. It was good fortune, however, as we were able to enjoy more of the Tavy and happen upon some disused shafts of the Virtuous Lady Mine. Primarily, copper, the works also had a history of excavating for arsenic, tin and titanium.

River Tavy
River Tavy

A shaft of Virtuous Lady Copper Mine
A shaft of the Virtuous Lady Copper Mine

We made our way back up to the junction at Tavy Cottage, and followed the correct path down to Double Waters, where the Walkham meets the Tavy. It's also the location for the wonderful Goat Rock.

Goat Rock
Goat Rock
Goat Rock
Goat Rock
Taking a break at Double Waters
Taking a break at Double Waters

This was an ideal place for a break for hot drinks. I also got a chance to clamber over the outcrop, but it was a little slippery. 

Heading back for the car. We stopped, en route, to admire Buck Tor, although the others weren't particularly impressed by "my" outcrop!

Buck Tor
Buck Tor

Buck Tor
Buck Tor

We were back at the car mid afternoon. Time to kill before booking into the Plume of Feathers Bunkhouse, I suggested we make a slight diversion to visit the Royal Oak Inn, at Meavy. Good decision, lovely pub, much more comfortable than the Plume!

Today's Route:
 


New Years Day


Heads were heavy, weather was wet and misty, there was no real enthusiasm to leave the bunkhouse kitchen this morning. Approaching midday, we made it out for a short walk along the old Princetown railway track. It soon turned into a longer walk than originally planned.

Stopping, briefly, to view the Foggintor Quarry, we went on up to Swell Tor. Here we could pick out an extended route to take.

Swell Tor
Swell Tor

Down to the disused railway, we visited Yes Tor and Fur Tor (Walkhampton), which sit opposite each other, either side of the track.

Yes Tor (Walkhampton)
Yes Tor (Walkhampton)

Fur Tor (Walkhampton)
Fur Tor (Walkhampton)

We then headed up to Leedon Tor, where Jim engaged in his favourite past time of pony whispering.

Ponies at Leeden Tor
Leeden Tor

Ponies at Leeden Tor
Ponies at Leeden Tor

Ponies at Leeden Tor
Ponies at Leeden Tor

Rather than take the road back, we crossed Walkhampton Common to Black Tor. It was then down to cross the Meavy on a rickety old rusty bit of iron that has been there for as long I've been walking on Dartmoor.

Black Tor (Walkhampton)
Black Tor (Walkhampton)


Black Tor (Walkhampton)
Black Tor (Walkhampton)

We followed the line of a nice stone row with a cairn at its top end. We then veered left slightly to reach Hart Tor (Walkhampton).

Stone Row below Hart Tor (Walkhampton)
Stone row below Hart Tor (Walkhampton)


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Stone Row below Hart Tor (Walkhampton)


Cairn near the stone row below Hart Tor (Walkhampton)
Cairn near the stone row


Hart Tor (Walkhampton)
Hart Tor (Walkhampton)

As the photo below shows, the path over the hill to Princetown is well worn and easy to follow, bringing you to the road, as it enters Princetown. Walk finished, we all welcomed a cuppa in the Fox Tor Cafe.

Hart Tor (Walkhampton)
Hart Tor (Walkhampton)

The route: