This week I fancied something small and not particularly challenging. Looking at my ‘365’ map, I noticed that I was missing a couple of squares fairly close to home and planned on mopping those up. However when I woke up that morning…. the weather had other ideas…. it was going to be a wet walk! Now this is typical Dartmoor weather and happens a lot in the summer. The warm ground and the humid air is the perfect combination to create the famous Dartmoor Mist; it can appear in seconds and disappear just as quickly and once you’re in it, it’s incredibly easy to become disorientated and lost. I carry a GPS these days which makes life easier in these conditions however I also still carry a map and compass because you just can’t rely on the GPS 100% and it’s better to be safe than sorry.

I parked my car in a little car park just down the road (SX560708) from the one where I parked when I did Leather Tor. It was murky to say the least and I sat in the car for ten minutes or so waiting for a heavy shower to pass. I set off along a well-beaten track that lead down to the old Yelverton to Princetown railway track and followed it north towards Ingra Tor. I split off and followed a track up toward the Tor and with a little scrambling, was sat on the top in no time. I was rewarded with a view of nothing but mist and by this point the rain has started up again too. I have always quite liked walking in this weather on Dartmoor. To me, this kind of weather defines Dartmoor more than any other and in many ways I feel that traversing the Moor in the mist and rain is Dartmoor walking at its purest. You don’t get the same sense of remoteness or views that you are rewarded with in fine weather however I always feel more connected to her in this weather.

I didn’t stay long on the summit and almost immediately headed back down to the track-bed and followed it east until I saw the familiar rail bridge that still sits astride the track (SX 56280 72466). It’s a familiar landmark on this part of the Moor and also sits close to Yes Tor, not the mighty highest Tor on Dartmoor but the little pile of rocks that lay unnoticed and unvisited for the most part. Also close by is a little old stone bridge which was built to route a track across a gully; these days it’s being slowly reclaimed by the Moor.

Turning back on myself I headed up the short slope to Fur Tor, another Tor with a larger sibling existing elsewhere on the moor. By this point the mist had really come in and I could hardly make out the railway bridge which was less than 30m from me and although I knew roughly which direction I was heading next I thought it best I consult my GPS. As I always do, I had my route stored on the GPS so I just loaded it and the screen pointed me in the right direction…. onwards and upwards. The rain was heavy and mist making life difficult by now as I headed in the direction of Leeden Tor. I was aware of the main Princetown road somewhere off to my left and I marched across the mist shrouded ground…. the mist tends to draw things in and the road sounded very close although it was a good 350m away.

Leeden Tor actually comprises of three landmarks, a large rock stack to the north, smaller one about 150m SE (which is the recognised summit SX563716) and then Leedon Hill which lies 380m south. As I hit the top I didn’t stop and continued straight across to Leedon Hill using GPS to point me in the right direction. As I continued down the side of Leedon Hill and it felt like an age before the car park emerged out of the mist and before too long I was back to the car…. drenched but content.


Walk Summary

This walk is 4.7km / 2.9mi
No part of this route crosses into any military ranges
There are no bogs


Download my GPX file


Photos from this walk

1 Comment

  1. Bryan Gibson 9th May 2020 at 13:47

    Martin Sidgreaves

    Is the “little old stone bridge which was built to route a track across a gully; these days it’s being slowly reclaimed by the Moor.” the one illustrated below your portraits?

    It is the railway bridge of the 1820s Plymouth & Dartmoor Railway which could not be used by the 1883 Princetown Railway because of the sharp curves on either side.

    I have the original 1880s survey of the 1883 railway at a scale of 40 inches to the mile. I have used extracts of this to produce a leaflet showing the later railway where it deviates off the Plymouth & Dartmoor trackbed, not only at Yes Tor Bottom but also Burrator where the two lines were on the opposite sides of Yennadon Down, and to a lesser extent east of King’s Tor.

    I can’t see how to add this as an attachment to this email, so if you can supply your own email address, I will be happy to copy this to you. Alternatively, I can post a printed copy if you can provide details. By all means call me on 01752 481514

    I have also prepared individual leaflets for Burrator Halt and Ingra Tor Halts. The latter includes an aerial photograph provided by Simon Dell which shows the two alignments around the tor. You are welcome to use them but with the exception of the Ingra Tor one until you have Simon’s permission.

    I am still compiling King Tor Halt. Contrary to what is often stated, none of the three halts were originally opened for walkers. Kath Brewer explained that King Tor was opened for the mining community at Foggintor, but the imponderable is why it was as late as it was. It happened to be the same year as the Devon Motor Transport bus route between Tavistock and Princetown was reduced from daily to Tavistock’s market days, but that might be a coincidence. Using the bus would have involved a walk to the main road, whereas Kath told me that she cut across the open moor to Princetown on the south side of North Hessary Tor.

    I am no longer agile enough to walk on the Moor, but still have the memory of travelling on the train. Unfortunately driving up to Princetown at the moment does not constitute “necessary travelling”, but doing so with the benefit of the internet is a good substitute.

    Keep safe!

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