Birch Tor and Challacombe Down

It was the weekend and again possible snow was forecast on Dartmoor. So again me and the boys decided to go looking for it. On reaching Princetown there was a fair bit, not loads but enough. However I wanted somewhere different for them, so we headed onwards to Postbridge, here we found less snow so carried on past the Warren House pub finally stopping at Bennet’s Cross. The snow here was decent, nice and powdery and good for snowballs and with any luck a snowman at the top of a tor. This is a great part of the moor, full of good shorter walks around Water Hill or Grimspound, alongside longer walks along the ridge of Hameldown. We chose for a short loop up to Birch Tor and then Challacombe Down and then depending on the time we may head over to Grimspound. This walk took quite a while but then again snowballs and snowmen take time and it was just a lot of fun being out.

Start – Bennet’s Cross parking
Route – Bennet’s Cross – Birch Tor – Challacombe Stone Row – Challacombe Down – Vitifer Tin Mine –  Bennet’s Cross parking
Distance –  2.5 miles    Start time – 10.50am     Time taken –  2hrs      Highest Point – Birch Tor 487metres
Weather – Cloudy, snow on the ground and a bit a sun peeking through

© Crown copyright 2017 Ordnance Survey FL 2017 SF

It was around freezing at this point in the morning as the boys are demonstrating. It was colder after my youngest threw that snowball at me which dribbled down the back of my neck!!!

Not bad for the southwest of England, a fair covering and it was nice and powdery

Snow Angels!!!

Bennet’s Cross with Birch Tor behind, our path is clearly picked out by the white stuff

Looking back down to the road and the Warren House pub

Heading for Birch Tor

That’s Cosdon Hill in the distance with Fernworthy Forest on the left

Birch Tor summit, by this point I’d been pounded by about 100 snowballs

Looking south from the summit with less snow down that way

Sammy the snowman and the builders!!

Hookney Tor to the left and the Hameldown ridge to the right, the dip in between holds Grimspound

A bit of sun lights up the snow around Birch Tor

We’ve reached the Challacombe Down Stone Row, looking back to Birch Tor

This wall marks the summit of Challacombe Down, we would follow the wall downhill in the direction of the photo. At this point tummies were rumbling so the car was favourite over a trip to Grimspound

Looking south with Corndon Tor and Yar Tor on the left

Following the wall, there is a good path at the bottom which leads back to the car

The Vitifer mine area which was a pretty successful tin mine on Dartmoor, This place closed in 1925

Last photo and some of the snow has melted, but no worries for us as we have had a ball, as we look back at Birch Tor left and Challacombe Down right


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