North Tor and Venford Reservoir

A calm day on Dartmoor and a chance to get out. I originally wanted to go further north east, more around Moretonhampstead, but time didn’t allow so I opted for something nearer. Venford Reservoir is a favourite of mine and North Tor gives great plunging views down into the Dart valley. The reservoir was very low on water, which shows how little rain has fallen on Dartmoor over the summer (similar levels seen at Fernworthy and Burrator), so the minor flooding this week downstream around Exeter and parts of Devon are a surprise. Clearly something is wrong with our river management, when after the first heavy rainfall of the autumn we get floods, there should have been plenty of places for the water to go before it hits the towns downstream.

Start – Venford parking
Route – Venford ReservoirNorth TorBench Tor – Venford parking
Distance – 2 1/2 miles    Start time – 2.30pm     Time taken –  1hr  Highest Point – Bench Tor 313metres
Weather – Lots of sun, colder
© Crown copyright 2016 Ordnance Survey FL 2016 SF

© Crown copyright 2016 Ordnance Survey FL 2016 SF

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The dam at Venford, I’m heading into the trees at this side of the dam first

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With the very low water line someone has taken advantage and done some rock balancing

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Looking back to the dam

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A calmer section of water provides some stunning reflections

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It doesn’t take long to get round the good path, now to cross the dam and head left out onto the moor

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Bench Tor and North Tor up on the right, Yar Tor and Corndon Tor distant left

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The nearer to Bench Tor you get the better the view across the Dart valley, the icon mountain shape of Sharp Tor begins to appear also

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Looking east from North Tor

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The river Dart and the Dart valley. North Hessary Tor and the mast in the far, far distance

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A short distance to Bench Tor on the left and Venford Reservoir sparkling to the right

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On Bench Tor now looking back over North Tor to Sharp Tor and the surrounding hills

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The sea at Teignmouth captured with a bit of zoom

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Rippon Tor stands highest with Haytor just visible to the left of it

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Heading back to the car now and one last look back to Bench Tor and pointy Sharp Tor

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