Cosdon Hill and the tors all around

This turned into a walk which circumnavigated Cosdon Hill, whilst picking up all the tors in the area that I’ve missed for one reason or another. I started out from Shilstone Tor and made a careful plan to avoid as much of the soggy ground as possible. You are never going to be totally dry on Dartmoor, however this area, in particular, can be awful, especially around Raybarrow Pool and Taw Marsh. A good route was planned and generally I stuck to it, the biggest issue turned out to be getting down to Ivy Tor from above. I ended up too near to Belstone and descended through gorse, bracken and trees and a very steep muddy bank. I should have gone all the way to Belstone Bridge and then headed back along the path, but you live and learn!! The weather was fantastic, sunny and cold, gorgeous. Cosdon Hill was a highlight again, I love that hill, its a long plod to climb but the views to the south are brilliant. Shilley Pool was a nice surprise, I can imagine its a great wild swim spot in the summer as well. I’ve 19 tors left to complete all of them on my list, I might get them done this year, but its more likely to be January.

Start – Shilstone Tor parking
Route – Shilstone TorKennon HillHound TorMetheral HillWhit Moor Stone CircleLittle Hound TorOttery TorIvy TorCosdon HillCosdon Stone RowShilley Pool – Shilstone Tor parking
Distance –  10 miles    Start time – 10.30am     Time taken –  5 3/4hrs  Highest Point – Cosdon Hill 550metres
Weather – Bright, sunny, cold, absolutely perfect
© Crown copyright 2016 Ordnance Survey FL 2016 SF

© Crown copyright 2016 Ordnance Survey FL 2016 SF


A fine view to start, looking from Shilstone Tor across the car parking spots to Meldon Hill (on the right)


Shilstone Tor looking into the sun to Kes Tor


I’d driven through quite a bit of mist and fog to get here and it was an ever present to the east, with a few smaller hills peeking through


Meldon Hill in the centre with Hameldown at the back right, this is from the ascent of Kennon Hill


Kennon Hill looking to Cosdon Hill


A large bank of cloud was sat to the west over the high ground around Yes Tor. On returning home I learned that Plymouth had stayed in cloud all day. I got very lucky here as I was in sun all the way around


The low point near is Gallaven Mire (another place to avoid), with the large Fernworthy Forest area at the back. Birch Tor appears to the left of Fernworthy


Low cloud skims over Wild Tor to the south as I stand on Hound Tor. It was proper cold here, hat and gloves are on


The huge bulk of Steeperton Tor to the left with cloud still hanging around Yes Tor behind


The yellow grassy area in front here is Metheral Hill where I’m off next. Belstone Tor behind


Cosdon Hill right and Belstone Tor left from Hound Tor


I’d arrived at Hound Tor alongside about 20 or so Ten Tors training groups, here they leave towards Wild Tor which is now out of cloud and clearer weather appears to the west


The last of the cloud on High Willhays as Yes Tor is clear to the right. I’m on Metheral Hill now


Shapely Steeperton Tor


Now up to Whit Moor Stone Circle with all the tors to the west now clear


Yes Tor far left and Belstone Tor on the right from Little Hound Tor


Looking back across to Kennon Hill from the same spot


Taw Marsh sits in an amphitheatre with high tors all around


On Ottery Tor now with a view back to Taw Marsh and Steeperton Tor left edge of photo


Great views across to Belstone Tor from here


And to Belstone village itself


After some poor navigation I got to this point, with Ivy Tor below. I managed to get there but I should really have used the path that comes out of Belstone


Looking back to Belstone along the cleave from Ivy Tor


Leaving Ivy Tor wasn’t much better, I managed to avoid all the trees and gorse but that meant very boggy ground. By the time I’d reached here, time was ticking on and I was only half way up Cosdon Hill. Still the views to Belstone Tor were fantastic in this light


Got to be one of the best summits on Dartmoor for 360 views


Looking across to Belstone as the sun starts to set


The tors around Haytor from the descent of Cosdon towards the Stone Row


Cosdon triple stone row, the sun has gone behind Cosdon Hill as I descend to the east


Shilley Pool below as I made haste to get back to the car before it went dark


This is a lovely spot with the water cascading down across the rocks into the pool


The moon is out as the sun lights the sky with an orange hue


End of the day as I reach Shilstone Tor and the view to Meldon Hill and Kes Tor


2 thoughts on “Cosdon Hill and the tors all around

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