All around the Cowsic

After only having one evening walk this year so far, I had two in two days. Yesterday evening I was with the boys around Hucken Tor, and this evening I’ve decided to make a loop around the head of the Cowsic River. Now I have to admit this isn’t really my favourite area to walk, The area is flatish making the shorter views less spectacular, you can however see an awful long way distance wise. I started out from a quiet Holming Beam car park after a very hot weekend, the area to walk is pretty boggy most of the way round and I was hopeful that the hot weather would help with this. The grass in this area is also very long and with the absence of paths makes for a tough walk. All of this walk is also within Merrivale firing range so the calendar was checked before heading out. All in all it was a pleasant walk with one exception, the wildlife. I seemed to attract an extortionate amount of horseflies today, so much so that 5 days after the walk my calf is still looking pickled. I think I counted at least 15 bites. Secondly, cows. Now I don’t like cows at all, very wary of them and coming across them 2/3rds of the way around my walk was not ideal, Less ideal was getting caught between the adult cows and two calves that stood up from behind a rock as I approached, they were not impressed and left me scooting away at a rate of knots!!!

Start – Holming Beam
Route – Black Dunghill – Lych Way –  Conies Down TorMaiden Hill – Source of the Cowsic – Devils TorBeardown ManLydford TorCowsic Bridge – Holming Beam
Distance – 6 miles    Start time – 3.45pm     Time taken –  3 hr 20mins    Highest Point – Devils Tor 549m
Weather – Hot, sunny and sweaty!!
© Crown copyright 2016 Ordnance Survey FL 2016 SF

© Crown copyright 2016 Ordnance Survey FL 2016 SF

Cowsic Valley 1

Most of todays walk in one shot, down the left hand side, around the horizon straight ahead and back along the right hand side. The Cowsic Valley in the middle

Cowsic Valley 2

After 10 minutes I arrive at this view across to Princetown, the mast and the prison

Cowsic Valley 3

Black Dunghill is a fairly featureless place up on the right, with Great Mis Tor peeping up on the left

Cowsic Valley 4

Fairly uneventful!!! Lydford Tor stands out by that sunny spot over there

Cowsic Valley 5

Princetown again from Black Dunghill

Cowsic Valley 6

Great Mis Tor and White Tor over on the right, from Black Dunghill

Cowsic Valley 7

After a tough trudge I made the Lych Way, all too soon I had to leave the path to head up to Conies Down Tor

Cowsic Valley 8

Probably the best view on this walk and one of the best on Dartmoor. Conies Down Tor along the Cowsic Valley, Holming Beam is by the trees above the tor rocks. I met a fella who was pitching his tent behind the tor, he was talking about his walk and how many cows he’d come across so far. It didn’t bode well for me!!

Cowsic Valley 9

The long flat topped Hameldown range behind Beardown Tor, from Conies Down Tor

Cowsic Valley 10

Up on Maiden Hill now, and Cut Hill can be seen on the right with Great Links Tor distant on the left

Cowsic Valley 11

Cowsic Head and a distant Princetown mast

Cowsic Valley 12

So here are the cows, all around Devils Tor

Cowsic Valley 13

As I near a few have wandered off, some are looking my way and others aren’t interested. Beardown Man stands proud

Cowsic Valley 14

Only a short distance across to Rough Tor, but not today

Cowsic Valley 15

The cows have cleared and I stand on Devils Tor, looking past Beardown Man to Maiden Hill, where I was an hour ago

Cowsic Valley 16

Ok, so the cows haven’t gone far and they now block my way to Lydford Tor, off to the right for me around this lot, however not too far as there’s another lot out of shot to the right!!

Cowsic Valley 17

After giving two calves hiding behind rocks a bit of a startle and causing the adult cows to have a run in my direction I scuttled off pronto away from all that and into the boggy ground between Devils Tor and Lydford Tor. Here I have a view of Princetown and North Hessary Tor again

Cowsic Valley 18

Flat and fairly barren up here, no wonder the military use it so much

Cowsic Valley 19

Lydford Tor comes into view, Beardown Tor behind

Cowsic Valley 20

On Lydford Tor now looking to Great Mis Tor over Black Dunghill

Cowsic Valley 21

Lots of cows between me and the bridge which is at the bottom across the river. Holming Beam by the trees above

Cowsic Valley 22

Longaford Tor above the Lydford Tor rocks on the left with Beardown Tor to the right. The views are lovely from here

Cowsic Valley 23

I’m in the long grass again and not on a path as I thread my way between a set of cows by the Cowsic River and another load by Beardown Tor and the path to the bridge!! The bridge is just ahead though

Cowsic Valley 24

At the bridge now and the River Cowsic

Cowsic Valley 25

A lovely spot to look back along the valley and up to Lydford Tor on the right

Cowsic Valley 26

Beardown Tor on the right after crossing the bridge

Cowsic Valley 27

The path back to Holming Beam, Ryders Hill to the left

Cowsic Valley 28

Back at the start


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