Quintins Man and Whitehorse Hill

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!!

Start – Fernworthy parking
Route – Fernworthy Stone Circle –  Grey Wethers –  Sittaford TorSittaford Stone Circle – Little Varracombe – Qunitins ManWhitehorse Hill – Manga Hill – Teignhead Farm  – Teignhead Clapper Bridge – Fernworthy Forest – Fernworthy parking
Distance –  8 miles    Start time – Midday     Time taken –  4 hrs Highest Point – Whitehorse Hill 602metres
Weather – Cloudy, very cold, frozen and some snow underfoot, breezy

© 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


5 thoughts on “Quintins Man and Whitehorse Hill

  1. A great walk and very interesting to see everything covered in frost. Nice picture of the cairn at Whitehorse hill and Sittaford circle, both on the agenda for the spring.


  2. I’m so envious of your walks! Beautiful!
    Hoping I can do some long distance walking this weekend. My goal of 100 miles this month is not going to happen unless I can get a few days of 10 or more miles.


    • You’ll do it, plus keep in mind that the better weather is coming over the next month or so which gives you better chances to get out. I picked up a magazine here which had a goal of climbing the equivalent Everest height over the year in my walks. Just need to work out now how I’ve done so far

      Liked by 1 person

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