Hockinston Tor, Leigh Tor and Poundsgate

I’ve been banging on about the weather down in these parts a fair bit recently, with all the rain the ground underfoot has been boggy to say the least. Well this time I decided to change things. I chose a walk that was fairly low (nothing over 350 metres high) and involved plenty of tracks and roads. Now these roads aren’t really that busy, even on the stretch through Poundsgate I only came across 10 cars, so I’m looking at more of these walks for now, which means that I don’t get back to the car looking like I’ve been fishing without my waders! I really like the section of this walk from Leusdon down to Newbridge as it gives some nice variety of paths and sights, from there it is a bit of a plod up to Aish Tor but all that downhill, at some point, means up hill will follow. I went looking for Hockinston Tor on this walk as well, which is probably the hardest tor to find on Dartmoor and certainly one of the toughest to get to. Still I finished in bright sunshine on Mel Tor and I sat and enjoyed the sun for as long as I could before heading home. Maybe less is more when it comes to Dartmoor at this time of year.

Start – Bel Tor Corner parking
Route – Bel Tor – Leusdon Church – Blackadon Tor – Spitchwick Manor – Poundsgate – Leigh Tor – River Dart – NewbridgeAish TorTwo Moors WayHockinston TorMel Tor – Bel Tor parking
Distance –  6 1/2 miles    Start time – 11am     Time taken –  4hrs 15mins   Highest Point – Bel Tor 354metres
Weather – Cloudy with some breaks, finishing with nice sunny spells

© Crown copyright 2017 Ordnance Survey FL 2017 SF

A bit gloomy as I look down to Mel Tor with Venford reservoir in the distance

Looking north you can see the cloud base sitting around the 350-400m level. Normally Hameldown would be in view this way

Bel Tor is first up

As I drop down the road I pass this lovely cottage. Bel Tor is up on the left

The two Diamond Jubilee stones as I approach Leusdon

Leusdon church

Inside Leusdon church, no service today

On Blackadon Tor looking south to some brighter patches of weather

Blackadon Tor

Sun breaks through as I look down to the church at Buckland in the Moor with Buckland Beacon up on the left

Heading into Spitchwick, the wooden house in front of the manor is a new build

Blimey he’s a big fella and he’s giving me the stare

Before long I’ve arrived at Leigh Tor, again Buckland Beacon in the distance

Looking back to Blackadon Tor (the brown covered hill in the centre of photo)

Looking down towards Newbridge (which is in the trees)

Down at the River Dart. Classic fun on this part of the river

Leigh Tor up on the left of photo (you can just make out the rocks in the trees)

Newbridge. Built in 1413 a great example of a classic Dartmoor bridge

This little fella was on the road up from Hannaford farm

Heading up to Aish Tor I look back in the direction I have come. The cloud is lifting and breaking for sure

Sunburst to my right

Aish Tor summit. Rippon Tor is at the back in the centre

Turning the other way I can see the Dart valley with North Tor on the other side. Sharp Tor is the pointy tor at the rear

Walking the Two Moors Way and looking back to Aish Tor. The Dart valley drops steeply on my right

Trying to get down to the tree line and through the thick gorse. Hockinston Tor is down to my left in the trees, the River Dart can be seen and Sharp Tor is still pointy

In the trees looking for Hockinston Tor, this is the typical terrain in here

Hockinston Tor is found

Sharp Tor through the trees

Its a tough slog back up from Hockinston Tor. I found a sheep track through the trees which helped get me across and up. I rest here and enjoy the view down the Dart valley again

On Mel Tor in the sunshine I look to the trio of tors to my west, with Sharp Tor, Yar Tor and Corndon Tor left to right

Still a bit dark over the Haytor area though

Back to the car park I take the same photo as number 2 in this post. Hameldown is now visible with Chinkwell and Honeybag Tor to the right

Same photo as the first one and a much better and sunny outlook

3 thoughts on “Hockinston Tor, Leigh Tor and Poundsgate

  1. That’s a walk I used to do regularly. I once spent a year living in a tent in Spitchwick’s Park Wood. Leigh Tor is an oft-neglected gem.

    Liked by 1 person

      • The Victorian novelist Charles Kingsley was born at Holne. When his mother was pregnant with him, she used to walk on Leigh Tor hoping it might imbue the would-be Charles with a feeling for natural beauty.

        Liked by 1 person

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