I’d had a few ideas of routes to get to my true target on this walk, Quintins Man. I could have started from Postbridge, Rowtor or Fernworthy, I chose the latter as it gave a better circular walk than the others, which ultimately turned out to be a loop around Great varracombe. I wasn’t certain what to expect underfoot when i was planning a route a few weeks ago, however I need not have worried, the cold weather on Dartmoor and a little snow had left the ground pretty well frozen hard, the grass was all white and crisp with a hoar frost everywhere. Once up on to Quintins Man I had a fantastic walk across to Whitehorse Hill, 5 layers and two hats were worn for most of the time above 550metres as the wind was cutting. Brilliant day out and worthy of my last long walk on my list, just Brent Tor to do now. However it does mean i can start again!!
© Crown copyright 2016 Ordnance Survey FL 2016 SF
Not too far from the start is Fernworthy stone circle
As the track rises more snow lies underfoot
As you emerge from the forest you get this view northwards past Manga Hill on the left
South is Sittaford Tor, this is the way I’m heading as I’m doing a clockwise loop
Teignhead Farm is in the trees, my route will follow the hill behind (just seen at the back in light grey colour). I stood here for 10 minutes talking to a fella about his ten tors training days with the Air Cadets
Now at Grey Wethers, a double stone circle with a part of Fernworthy forest behind
Looking back the way I’ve come as I climb to Sittaford Tor
From the same spot looking down to Grey Wethers, its a little easier to see them with the yellow grass, as opposed to the green of summer
Looking south from Sittaford, the sun was piercing the clouds at this point
Quintins Man is at the top of that wall that runs up the hill, heading that way in a bit after some hot Ribena and a biscuit or two!!
God’s out with his torch again, he must have lost something on Winney’s Down!!
The palette of the day was grey, with hints of white and yellow
This stone marks the spot for the newly found Sittaford Stone Circle, the second largest in the moor. The only downside is all the stones are lay flat. No one is sure if that is by design or they have fallen, although the odd supporting stone has been found which could suggest upright was the original position
Here it is, 4000 years old or so. The sleeping stones of Sittaford!!
Sittaford Tor is just up there not far from the circle
After a quick down and up again I find myself at Quintins Man. Its absolutely arctic up here. That’s Cut Hill beyond the army huts (this tor sits on the edge of the Okehampton range)
I didn’t make use of the wind shelter as standing still meant I froze to the spot!!
The army flag pole and Sittaford Tor
Fernworthy forest and Kes Tor can just be made out (to the left of the trees)
Normally a boggy trudge but today was as hard as the granite famous in these areas, Whitehorse Hill ahead
Cut Hill again and Fur Tor just peeping up to the right, the hoar frost on the grass was everywhere up here
Looking back to Quintins Man as the second hat went on
To the west there was an amazing sky with orange and pinks all over. Hare Tor is the tor sticking up
Near the summit of Whitehorse Hill, the valley left in the distance is the West Okement. Right of picture is the hut on Hangingstone Hill
The Bronze Age burial on Whitehorse Hill. The peat ground normally so boggy was frozen solid here
The brilliantly constructed peat pass, heading east away from Whitehorse Hill
Close up on the freezing grass
Walla Brook head with Watern Tor to the right of the valley
The great wall on Manga Hill. Below the bright area of sky is Quintins Man
A few trees can be seen left of photo, marking the Teignhead Farm, where I’m heading next. Sittaford Tor is the high point centre. The terrain here was firm underfoot but very rough ground with long grass and hollows. As I nearer the farm in the trees there was a good path to my left, i should have headed further left after the wall.
The sheep mark rush hour, Dartmoor style
Ice hangs from the grass above Varracombe Brook
Teignhead Farm, a great wildcamp spot lies just to the left of this photo. In fact there was a fair bit of wood gathered ready for a fire, just dry sticks and tinder needed
These two have decided to stay the night!!
The brilliant Teignhead Clapper bridge
Back at the gate into the forest with my route on the horizon and less snow than when I got here about 3 hours or so ago. The forecast is for warmer weather so I’ve had the best of the snow and frozen ground I’d say. It was a absolutely superb walk