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.

Labels: , , , , ,

All site material © John Hee - ask before you snatch