Saturday, April 13

Dartmoor - Epilogue

 A noisy night, but no drama.

A quick change of gear back at the car and then, reluctantly, heading off home.

A final finger flick from the moorland world as I made my way down to the A38.......

Life is different here, and waiting is just a way of passing the time.




Knowing that I needed to travel back to Dorset the following day I opted to stay on the east side of the moor. Whilst the weather wasn't especially bad, bar the day of rain, the wind had been steadily increasing so I decided to put the moor between myself and the westerlies blowing in their degrading weather fronts.

Back to where I started my trip, to check out another couple of easy access spots. Possible jumping off points for the future trips as the permissive wild camping virago finally settles down.

(Like most of the local wild campers I spoke to on this trip I did take head of the DNPA advice/instructions when deciding where to camp, but not slavishly so. Anyone keen enough to chastise "illegal" wild camping is more than welcome to come and find us quietly carrying on carrying on as we have always done, practising responsible wild camping, mostly solo in my experience. Despite that all my wildcamps were in 'approved' areas. This time)

Whilst exploring I discovered a car park  at GR 735 768 offering quick & simple access to a few tors, and hopefully far enough away to avoid those problems associated with the Haytor anthill antics.

Any easy 10 minute wander up onto TOP TOR (736 762) A quick look around and then onto PIL TOR (735 795) to look for alternative sites. While on the wander I checked out HOLLOW TOR (550 842) All pretty much of a muchness with a westerly now gusting to 40mph

Back to PIL TOR looking for a spot sheltered from the wind. On a windless day there would have been plenty of choice, but tonight, with showers now drifting through, it was time to make the best of what I had to work with.

As normal, I checked to see what the local animals where doing. Living daily here they simply demonstrate the best way to operate to anyone who takes the time to watch their behaviour. And at present they were nailed behind any shelter they could find, stomachs firmly on the ground.

Which is why I found myself evicting the residents, clearing sheep droppings, and setting up quickly behind a solid rock outcrop, free from any potentially loose material that could be dislodged.

Pil Tor

But the ground here is hard!

In 14 years of using clamcleat tentpegs I've barely scratched them. Tonight I bent two trying to get a secure placement. 


Clearly the tent would be in for a battering later so it needed to be firmly nailed down tonight. But I'm an old hand where bad weather is concerned, and soon my evening meal was cooking with me thankfully finally out of the wind.

5 nights of wild camping in a row. Weather not too typically Dartmoor, but not at its best. But hey that's Dartmoor. Take what you get and adapt. 

There's enjoyment to be had in abundance, as long as you open yourself to whatever comes your way.

People often ask me why I do this. 

But so few seem to listen to my answer.

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Broad Barrow overnight-King Tor-Shapley Tor-Vitifer Mine workings

NNE from BROAD BARROW and onto KINGS TOR (709 814) and the sunken barrow

Kings Tor

West to handrail along the field wall onto SHAPLEY TOR (699 820)

Shapley Tor

Making may way back to the road passing Grimspound I crossed onto Headland Warren, aiming to make way own route just below the hilltop.

Oops - Bad news/Good news this morning it seemed.

Bad news: The sheep tracks soon petered out and I had to take great care with my footing due to the heather covering the many dips/troughs running across the hillside (I later found out the path at the foot of the hill was equally as treacherous, due to erosion from those doing the Warren House/Grimspound tourist friendly route)

Good news: Whortleberries! I'd read they grew on Dartmoor, but never really come across them until now - or perhaps they were out of season. After a quick google check (like that's definitive these days!) I tasted a few and to my delight found that they were sweet and absolutely gorgeous; 

And the whole hillside was covered with the bushes. 

Definitely due a revisit. I've never been into wild food foraging, but I'll remember this spot for the future. Especially as its such a bugger to walk over it appears to be rarely troubled.

Back to the old mine workings below Warren Head, on a truly abysmal track. A pretty spot on a quiet day, but always going to be hellishly busy in the Summer months.  

 My trip notes tell me that the trip out yesterday took approx 1hr, with a 1.5hr return. That's a round trip of 7 miles. Bearing in mind I had the weight of a loaded pack for the overnighter I think I had a better experience compared to poking around Vinter Mineworking like so many others.

And I got free food!

Finally back to the car to move on for my last night. 

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An easy return in the morning following the wall south back to the road.

Time for tonight's wildcamp.

I've always wanted to visit GRIMSPOUND, but heard all the usual mutterings about leaving a car in the area/theft hotspot.

But firstly a steak/pint at the ever excellent WARREN HOUSE INN (674 809)
Please try to drop in here. Always a welcome greeting and its hard going when you're totally off mains services and so reliant on oil for cooking/electricity. Trade has been slowly recovering, but the heyday of large numbers of coach trippers hasn't returned post Covid and they deserve whatever support you can give.
Always a popular spot with the bikers and horse riders.

(And a chance to take on water for later this evening)
I tucked into the Bennetts Cross car park before heading off for the afternoon

A quick climb onto BIRCH TOR (686 814)
Birch Tor

Back to the junction with The Two Moors Way (TMW) and east to 
HOOKNEY TOR (698 812) 


Not a very sheltered spot, and still rather too many people around, compared to yesterday. But I'm an old hand at this. Once 6pm comes I mostly have the hills to myself, save the occasional local dog walker or runner.

A drop down to GRIMSPOUND
Grimspound from Hookney Tor

An interesting spot, but it feels so strangely surrounded by hills. Normally these locations like to see danger coming; But it feels like the Grimspound inhabitants were hiding away?

And now the very steep climb up (well with a water loaded pack) onto HAMELDOWN TOR (703 805) Its just a cairn, so no shelter from the wind, not so bad today. 
Hameldown Tor

And as a reward - an easy amble on the TMW track along 
BROAD BARROW RIDGE to find a spot to wildcamp for the night off the track near BROAD BARROW (705 799)

Plenty of flat spots to pick from with good views all around, and sheltered from the wind by the barrow remains nearby.

Tent pitched (where's JohnHee hiding tonight?)

A quick brew and plenty of opportunity to wander the ridge southwards to take in the panoramic views & examine the wooden poles dotting the area. 

These were placed during WW2 to prevent enemy planes landing. They knew their stuff in those days. Despite the extremely harsh conditions I could see poles dotted all around. Now why do my 'treated' fence posts fall down/break within 4-5 years?

As you can see the ridge track is easy going with fine, fine views. Although I suspect many of the TMW walkers are mostly looking upwards at the long haul from Widecombe. The downhill direction is so much more rewarding. Great views all around.

But boy will that wind ever drop? Its been a constant niggle for four days now, and is now become an irritant.

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Time to finally get properly exploring. Dry and clear, but with the ever persistent wind. But thankfully the rain has cleared and visibility is good.

COX TOR to MIDDLE STAPLE TOR (540 576) onto GREAT STAPLE TOR (542 759) 

Great Staple Tor..I think

Quickly over ROOS TOR (543 765) and then heading for the stone circle (556 782)

I didn't manage to stay very long. Hearing a noise behind I turned to find a herd of curious ponies, with their foals, had snuck up behind me ... ninja quiet. And like ninjas, due to the young foals, they were potentially a risk. It didn't help that nearby curious cattle had spotted a chance for fun and were working their way across towards me. 

 So that's the way it was going to be then - one of those days avoiding the locals.

I don't mind livestock, but big and bouncy animals are always a challenge when carrying a full pack, and there isn't a wall or tree for shelter within miles.

Bugger off and leave me alone.

Harsh words may have been aimed their way as a deterrent. Whatever - it seemed to work as I yomped off leaving them to return to their daily cud chewing. Spoilsport that I am.

was aiming for a meander to take a look at LYNCH TOR (564 806) but needed to take on water for tonight's wildcamp. 

Not so easy across relatively featureless moorland.

A detour then down to the stream south of COCKS HILL (555 783), but a pleasant sheltered spot for lunch, and it made the diversion worth the effort.

A typical waterside spot found on so many of my trips. Nothing but the sound of nature, and nil phone signal. It doesn't really take that much effort to get far far away from "civilisation", but I suspect few have ever bothered to come this way. 

It's not particularly on-the-way to anywhere, so largely unvisited judging by the lack of tracks. Their loss. There is more to walking than Tor bagging and tromping long distance footpaths. 

I find my meandering and response to changing circumstances seem to bring me far more satisfaction.

I contoured along the valley, the usual obstruction strewn going, following upstream until I could safely cross over and then the typical uphill clamber through long tussocks/no obvious tracks until finally crowning Cocks Hill and making my way to LYNCH TOR (564 806)

This tor is a  bit of an anti-climax. Less a tor, more a pile of rocks strewn on moorland. My end of day notes read "not very inspiring". Not a place I'll be using for any future wildcamp.

The weather had remained clear, but by now the westerly wind had been picking up, so not a spot for hanging about. Little real shelter, and not much to say for itself except as a stop on the way to elsewhere.

Lynch Tor

From the tor there was a strong track heading southwards to pick up the track aiming for the stone wall crossing White Barrow, and then westwards.  Its clearly a well used route, the path wide and increasingly obvious the further I travelled southwards.

Using the standing stone as a guidepost I swung up onto WHITE TOR (542 787) 

White Tor

It felt enough for the day. Probably around 9 miles, but with a water load on for the latter half.
By now the wind had strengthened to Bloody Annoying, so R&R for the rest of the day.

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Dartmoor NIGHT 2/5 Sat 30/6/23 COX TOR

COX TOR (GR 530 761) - an old & dependable wildcamping spot

It started murky and then became increasingly wet.

Dropping from my overnight spot it was an easy leg stretch for very quick return to the car and my relocation for a more leisurely wander.

Nothing like a night alone on the hills to detoxic mind and body

Off to one of my regular spots, at the strangely named (so I've later discovered) Pork Hill Car Park

Not a lot of walkers heading off today, mostly hanging around the car park clutching mugs of soup and hot drinks. 

Not a day for wandering without aim.

I must have appeared a solitary sight (if not slighty insane) as I walked off into the rain cloud for the 0.65 mile uphill drag to COX TOR.

Within five minutes I could no longer see the car park ..or the car

Welcome to a murky damp world of mystery and noiselessness, except for the occasional skylark singing high above, somewhere in the gloom.

Hunkered down in the tent for the afternoon, visibility restricted to nearby outcrops.

And for some weird reason, a mole visit.


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Dartmoor NIGHT 1/5 Fri 29/6/23

A very late arrival, so a quick and convenient pitch for my first night.

Hemsworthy Gate car park and then a short easy path up onto TOP TOR (736 762) 432m

Just watch out for dogwalkers, and their always hungry animals trying to interrupt you when gourmet cooking


spot the tent

promising weather?

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Wednesday, May 10

Dartmoor Tors 5/5/23 - Bonehill Rocks, Bell Tor, Chinkwell Tor and Honeybag Tor

 Now where was I before I went off on that last post ...

The area around Haytor Rocks, as I've said previously, is one I've tended to avoid. But with low visitors around, and poor weather this was a good time to explore further.

After a little mapwork, a quick recce of car parking spots, and some on-line camping map access (Note:Haytor Rocks phone reception was dire for my usually good network) I had a few options to play with.

Ignoring the more mainstream choices (nope - I'm not saying where they are - do your own leg work matey) I parked up at Bonehill Rocks car park (730 774)

Pack loaded from the car boot for an overnighter, with plenty of water onboard I explored the rock outcrop before descending to cross the road and work my way up around the east side of Bell Tor (730 788) and up onto Chinkwell Tor (729 782)

With the wind continuing to blow strongly, and rain intermittent enough to demand full waterproofs, I mooched around for a while mentally marking potential wildcamp spots. 

But oh that bloody wind. Howling unceasingly from the south west.

Blow you bugger blow - and did it just!

A steep descent from Chinkwell Tor, and then back up to Honeybag Tor (728 786) 

Signs of a recent fire outbreak on the vegetation to the left of the path. Heather now gone for the bees and their summertime honey making?

It took a good 15 minutes to find a spot sheltered enough from the full force of the wind, but there are quite a few choices here. 

Tent up, coffee on, watch the world go by.

Honeybag Tor

Occasionally I would explore the Tor surroundings, but I regretted not going back to Chinkwell Tor.

The views on offer were better, even if the wind protection was a little more elusive.

..not the greatest panorama

Mostly it rained. Occasionally a bee would wander past the tent (hence the Tor's name?) 

The main highlight of the day was watching a farmer in the field across in the valley herding sheep between fields using the customary tradition of sheepdog ... and a volvo estate. 

Well that was a first - you know the weather is poor when the local farmer prefers to use the family 4x4 rather than their trusty  tractor or quad bike.


A quiet night. The sheltered spot worked well avoiding the sleep interruption that comes with gusting wind conditions. The frequent rain showers were just the background song of nature after so many years of camping.

The following morning, as expected, I returned to the car through thick raincloud, yesterday's clear route gone, requiring compass work to stay on track.

Through the murk I spotted my vehicle, solitary in the car park, in such filthy weather.

Not the greatest tor I've ever spent a night on, but a pleasant experience, bedding down my gear for my next trip.

And as I travelled back home, I realised that this area offers a real advantage with a quicker travel time and readier access, rather than the lengthy trip I normally take to the Okehampton or Tavistock to access Dartmoor.

Definitely one to ponder for the future.

Sometime soon.

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Dartmoor Wildcamping Access

It was clear that during this trip Dartmoor's weather was just not going to be playing nicely. That's the problem with having to book holiday leave so many weeks in advance.

In theory I potentially had a few days free for wildcamping. 

In practise the weather forecast was highly erratic, and had been for most of the week.

And those who know Dartmoor understand how just how unpleasant that can get at times.

But it seemed a pity to bring all the gear without bedding it down ready for the rest of 2023. 

Last visit had been a night's wildcamp on Rippon Tor

All of which has diverted my attention away from my planned trip report to reflect on the recent shitshow over access rights for Dartmoor wildcamping.

For, you see. Rippon Tor, according to the DNPA Access map. is now 'off-limits', and it would be an offence to wildcamp there.


From local Dartmoor contacts I spoke to on this trip, the wildcamping 'ban' enforcement was viewed as being unenforceable on the ground, and hence effectively being ignored. 

Particularly by those experienced wildcampers who understand the ethos and how to carry it out on the ground.

Having been involved in an earlier campaign for wildcamping access back in 2008 most of the arguments I'd worked over years ago in much detail. And now, as then, it was clear that without considerable political support, and money, little would change.

[Archives about that campaign can be found here - but here was the final outcome:

"23 June 2008/We received a petition asking:

"We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to legalise wild camping in England and Wales."

Details of Petition:
"Currently without the landowners concent it is illegal to wild camp on the moors, mountains, National Parks and MOD land. It is time to give people the same rights as those given North of the Border in Scotland to allow them to wild camp in these places without threat of legal action."

The Government's response
This Government appreciates the potential benefits of wild camping in England and its attractiveness to campers who already have the opportunity to camp in the wild in Scotland.

The Land Reform Act in Scotland allows for wild camping, but the land issues and the legislation in England are somewhat different. The introduction of wild camping in England would be a controversial issue, which would require both significant consultation and legislative change.

On open access land wild camping is prohibited under Schedule 2 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, which lists all restricted activities. Therefore, new Regulations would be required to exclude wild camping as a restricted activity. Any change to the current rules on wild camping in National Parks and Ministry of Defence land would require new primary legislation.

The Government has no plans to allocate the necessary resources to consider proposals for such legislation at present, and is concentrating on following up the successful introduction of 750,000 hectares of open access land with new legislation on access to the coast in the 
Marine Bill, which is currently going through Parliament." 

[By the way - No idea whatever happened to that last point]]

My personal response to that was blogged at the time - and to be honest it remains an approach I would take today if I feel the desire to do so.


Coming up to date....

The post covid camping/party madness on Dartmoor (and across the UK) definitely didn't help build support for 'proper' wildcamping access. As I recall some areas of Scotland suffered clampdowns on existing access rights as a result.

Meanwhile DNPA has been drawn into an expensive legal battle that I personally think they are unlikely to win, using limited funds that they really cannot afford to spend, with likely cut backs elsewhere as a result. 

But to stand by is also not a good alternative - they are buggered whichever way they turn.

On the plus side its exposed the machinations of one particularly rich and powerful landowner. Well what a shocker!

More positively it has shown the strong community support from other Dartmoor landowners across the area, especially on the military ranges.

Peversely researching this trip I've spent more time poring over the detail of the DNPA Camping Map than I have ever in the past. With the result that I've now spotted some hidden gems in isolated areas, places where before I would never have even considered camping.

When I look in the mirror these days I  see that devilish glint starting to look back at me. 

It seems to say ...

'You know exactly who is responsible for the infamous court action.

You know precise area of empty moorland that they regard as so vital to protect.

Looks like a fun - lets go visit - I feel a wildcamp a coming on'

So that all worked out wonderfully then!  

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Dartmoor Tors 5/5/23 - Brent Tor & Church

Often, whilst I was high on Dartmoor's western tops, I could see a distant church sat alone on a hill. 

Intrigued, a little research showed it to be St Michael de Rupe, an iconic 12th century church perched on top of Brent Tor (470 804) near Mary Tavy. 

Iconic is right - a pretty unique sight..... and site.

Annoyingly it is also just off the OS Dartmoor Explorer map, so some on-line detective work was required to identify the precise location, but it is amazingly easy to access. 

A small car park at the foot of the tor leads through a stile, meanders around the tor base and up onto the tor itself. 

A quick look around the inside of the church. A wander around the site to take in the excellent views, and back to the car.

A 10-15 minute walk, and excellent views.

The car park is quite small, and clearly a hot spot for car thefts - so beware. On the plus side there is a set of public toilets there - always welcome when travelling around.

Some fun facts

1. It is the highest church on Dartmoor.

2. The car park visitor information board suggests that all the high-up churches on Dartmoor are called St Michaels. (A noticeable example being the one at Princetown)

3. But there may be a more ancient reason to do with the St Michael's Ley Line.

Whatever the reason, it is a remarkable place to visit. 

To wonder at the effort involved to construct such a solid building in such an inhospitable location. 

And to have it still standing nearly 900 years later.

Only churchyard I've ever visited where the crosses are supported by stakes & tension wires - must be a great place in a gale.

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Bodmin Moor Circular 3/5/23 - Showery Tor, Brown Willy, Little Rough Tor, Rough Tor

A visit to Bodmin Moor has been long on my list of Things-To-Do. 

(Very long apparently - my OS Bodmin map is dated 2002)

I was spending some nights camping at the Eden project YHA site. 

Glamp, not wild. 

I quite enjoyed the luxuries of a woodstove, DAB radio, and watching the English Channel from high on a hill, surrounded by birdsong, without the noise of traffic/aircraft/DIYers etc.

Then, later in the week, Dartmoor wildcamping, weather dependant.

So with variable weather each day picking a reasonable day for a daysack circular on Bodmin felt to be the right call.

A word of caution - getting to the car park nearest to the track to Rough Tor is quite simple. 

Unless you are a Satnav device.

In which case every back lane between Bodmin & Camelford seems to be neccessary. 

On the return trip I followed Roughtor Road straight back to Camelford before I let the Satnav have any sort of say.

I parked up at Rough Tor car park (GR 138 819) Despite sunny dry conditions the wind was howling from the south-east, gusting to a chilly 40mph. Made for an interesting approach up the well trodden track to Showery Tor (149 813)

Admiring the distinctive rockwork the track led southwards and then sout east contouring around the south of Rough Tor.

River crossing (From Brown Willy looking at Rough Tor)

Warning - although it seems possible to head for the easier ridge to the north of Brown Willy, keep to the track, heading for the De Lank River crossing (153 805) to the right of the fieldwall. Based on the solid construction of the fencing and walls I saw on the route the local landowner has clearly had enough of walkers wandering off at all angles, likely damaging fencing/releasing stock as they go. So play by the rules here please.

Up onto Brown Willy (158 799) the highest point on Bodmin, and indeed Cornwall. 

Brown Willy

Out of the wind it was a nice enough spot to stop for some sandwiches. But, as I later discovered, Rough Tor is an easier walk, with more to offer.

Lunch over. 

Hat blown off. 

Hat retrieved. 


A feature of the day it seemed.

Descending the northern slope of Brown Willy to the river crossing, and then back up to the saddle between Showery & Little Rough Tor. There are alternatives but to be honest a good track is always welcome, and clitter can be a swine to work through. Take the easy path here.

West over Little Rough Tor (146 809), then onto Rough Tor (143 80-8) 

Rough Tor

This  is definitely the most interesting of the group, particularly the memorial plaque.

Rough Tor memorial

Rough Tor

Rough Tor

A bit more gazing around, then straight down and back to the car park.

I took about 1 hour 30 min of actually walking covering around 4 miles.

A word of warning:
For the less experienced access to these tors seems especially simple once one steps out of that nice warm car.

The distance to the tors looks like an easy walk for the day tripper unused to moorland conditions or steepish ascents. 

Pleasant enough on a clear summer day, but an area where it is easy to wander off track in poor/foggy conditions. 

Back at the car park one local told me of their neighbour, who knew the area, and was caught unexpectedly in sudden moorland fog, whilst dog walking. They ended up calling out the Mountain Rescue Services who advised staying put so that they could be walked back to the car park. Much easier than playing hunt the walker in fog.

On this quiet day I counted around 20 people. About a quarter of them wearing basic indoor clothing. With one person in denim cut off shorts and a vest t-shirt. My friendly observation on the wind strength/chill factor went, like the wind itself, straight over their head. The fact I was wearing a Paramo smock top as I came back from the route should have been their clue. 

Not the first time I've seen that blank smile of polite disinterest. 

Oh well. I'll keep on explaining, sometimes it sinks in. And some learn the lesson in their own sweet way.

Never a sign of a map, food or even refreshment. After all it was a clear dry day. What could go wrong?

So take a map and compass. And some warm, better still waterproof, clothing. Please.

Bodmin Moor was an interesting place to tick off. But I had no sense of that wilderness feeling that Dartmoor offers.

Ticked off. 

Unlikely to repeat.

But a trap for the unready.

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Tuesday, May 9

DAY 5 Sat 9/7/22 Rippon Tour and avoiding the Haytor madness

  Typical Dartmoor, the sun had arrived, but with a vengeance.

Clearly not a day for long distance pack humping, especially considering the water load that would be neccessary.


Some meandering around checking likely spots eventually led me over to Widecombe in the Moor to follow the road leading up onto Haytor Rocks (760 774).


In the past this has been an area that I've always avoided like the plague. Especially during the summer months. 

Haytor always seems to be teeming with day trippers, and with that comes the problems of noise, late night partying & an increased risk of theft from any cars left unattended overnight.

So not my natural first choice.


But after speaking with a couple of local people it felt like parking & overnighting away from the main honey spots might work. And to be honest it was just too uncomfortable to carry on cruising around in a hot car.


I decided to keep it simple using the car park at GR 742 761, and following the distinct ascent up onto Rippon Tor (746 755). That way I could visually check on the car if needed, and definitely hear any alarm going off.

(No idea what I would do then, but the logic made some sort of sense)


Sad, but a realistic consideration when wildcamping in remoter places for any period of time, when using private transport, 

Rippon Tor       

Spot the tent? Click the picture to find me.         

And there I sat into late evening. 

Watching the masses below, soaking up the sun, in a light breeze, enjoying the peace and quiet from on high. A opportunistic wildcamp pitch, but well rewarded.



Just a couple of issues.


The ponies here are highly inquisitive, remaining so until the early hours of the morning.

I don't mind sharing, but their wariness of people had clearly disappeared. Too much cadging snacks in Haytor car park I guess - there is a similar issue here in the New Forest each summer.


And the ticks. 


Oh the ticks.


After years of avoiding these little buggers I managed to pick up 5 in one evening! Whilst wearing long trousers and socks. 

I even sat for several minutes watching a group of them work their way up a sun hot rock, ready to launch onto any unwary passerby.


Overall - an excellent view, but not a tor I'd wildcamp on again. Too much wildlife out to get me it seemed.

But I did get plenty of opportunity to look over nearby tors,and tracks, for some interesting ideas for the future.


Another trip over. My wildcamping approach, selecting gear/food/water out of a car boot will not be for everyone. 

But it continues to be working well, giving me access to a variety of areas, without restricting myself to water sources. 

By increasing my flexibility in this way it means I continue to enjoy something that over the last three decades I've come to understand is an essential part of my make up.


 Long may it continue.

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DAY 4 Fri 8/7/22 Support The Warren House Inn

 A lazy start, still trying to work out the weekend weather possibilities.

My return route crossed over Scarey Tor (607 924) 

To quote the ever excellent "Dartmoor Tors Compendium" by Josephine M Collingwood - "Scarey Tor is not at all alarming"

I'd say this remains one of the definitive reference works for those wildcamping on Dartmoor, or just looking for choice spots to visit, as I've recommended before.

A year later and I'm still finding it an essential help for trip plans. I can't think of a higher recommendation than that.

Today was becoming increasingly hot & sunny. 

In fact too hot for anything strenuous -  so I decided to use one of my bug-out spots behind the Warren House Inn (673 809).

A lazy day feel to it - so a chance to get a pint and a meal. 

My night's sleeping quarters nearby, one that I've so regularly used I've lost count of the number of nights I've used it. An accessible location, offering an quick bad weather/lie-up refuge, safe from the worst elements whilst I weather watch. And it offers good road access to other parts of the moor with minimal foot traffic interrupting my peace and quiet.

So for once I could take in the view, rather than the more usual raincloud/Dartmoor mist.

(BTW: when I visited The Warren House was having very tough trading conditions, with the post covid/Brexit impact. The tourist coaches, typically from abroad, had dwindled to few a week. For a pub without any all mains connections the impact of diesel price rises was a hard hit being totally reliant on diesel fuel for power, lighting and cooking.

If you do pass by, drop in for a drink - its future is looking increasingly difficult and these type of establishments need our support.

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DAY 3 (PM) Thu 7/7/22 Winter Tor, Higher Tor & Belstone Tor

During the afternoon I spent a little time exploring some of the military roads crossing the Okehampton Army range.

I can 'do' the long walk ins & steep ascents, but these days I prefer to use my brain rather than my brawn.

If there is a way to cut out the footslogging - then I'll take it. 

I've discovered that it is wildcamping element that appeals most to me. 

(Although every so often I think about another long multi day walking trip to enjoy that satisfaction of covering the distance once again. I was 50 then, perhaps a similar challenge for next year when I hit State Retirement Age.

Oh no- I forgot that particular goal post got moved back courtesy of HM Gov - The Swine)

By the afternoon ever playful Dartmoor was offering up sunshine with a hint that the wind was dropping.

I decided to park up at GR 601 919 at the north western edge of East Okement Farm. 

A rough track down the the stream, crossing Cullever Steps and then a clear track southwards onto Winter Tor (610 915), along the ridge to Higher Tor (612 917), and eventually onto  Belstone Tor (614 920) on Belstone Common.

Again a sheltered spot, the wind now west/north west - clearly the weather was on the change (Little did I know!)

Belstone Tor

A scenic spot, mildly popular with the hardier Okehampton locals, out on the saunter on an increasinly pleasant evening, but  quieting as the day drew to its end.

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DAY 3 (AM) Thu 7/7/22 Arms Tor, Brat Tor & Widgery Cross

 Another cloudy and windy day. 

A slow start to the day as I waited for the cloud to blow away. Whats the point in a panoramic view if you spend your time in Dartmoor mist? Sometimes a little wait is all that is required.

Back to the car via Arms Tor (540 862),  Brat Tor (539 855) and the highly distinctive landmark of Widgery Cross (537 857)

A steepish descent to Noddden Gate and following a path to the west of the stream - the first track on this route that was less than clear and wide.

Car boot reloaded - off to the next spot.

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