Kes Tor and Frenchbeer Rock

I’d taken a day off work and planned a good walk that would take me from Fernworthy reservoir up to Scorhill, round to Gidleigh and back via Kes Tor. I set off in poor low cloud hoping that the eastern side would clear a bit, the forecast said it would. Well I arrived as I set off, in low cloud and more worryingly, I just didn’t feel like walking. My usual speed to pull on the boots wasn’t there and it wasn’t helped by the no parking signs which seemed to have sprung up around Fernworthy in an attempt to force you to pay to park. Well I wasn’t having it and pulled off into a side track where no signs existed. With two fingers firmly stuck up at South West Lakes I headed off for Thornworthy Tor in the mist, however by the time I stood on the summit I’d had enough and decided to change my plan of going to Stonetor Hill and then on to Scorhill. Instead I did a quick loop to Kes Tor and back via Frenchbeer Rock. That was enough for me, I’ve since realised I have a bit of flu which hopefully I’ll get rid of by the time of my next walk, but as for this one it is unlikely to make my “best walks of 2018” shortlist.

Start – Fernworthy parking
Route – Sandeman Bridge – Fernworthy Reservoir – Thornworthy Tor – The LongstoneKes Tor – Middle Tor – Frenchbeer Rock – Fernworthy Reservoir
Distance –  3.5 miles    Start time – 10.30am     Time taken –  2hrs 20mins   Highest Point – Kes Tor 436metres
Weather – Low cloud down on the hills, cleared a little after Frenchbeer and almost a bit of sun to finish

© Crown copyright 2017 Ordnance Survey FL 2017 SF

Not long after leaving the car I cross Sandeman Bridge

See, told you!!

There was a mist hanging over all the trees making it eerie and still

Into the mist. This is Fernworthy reservoir, however the only clue of the difference between the water and the mist is the two geese in the distance and the reflections

This is Thornworthy Tor

The logan stone near the Thornworthy Tor. I took a bearing from here heading for The Longstone. In the end I was about 30 metres out as I ended up trying to pick my way through the bogs in between

Dartmoor ponies and The Longstone. The ancient Bronze Age settlement of Shovel Down is just north of here

Kes Tor appears from the mist

By the time I reached Middle Tor there were some clearing patches

Frenchbeer Rock can just be made out against the yellow grass on the next hill. Looking here from Middle Tor

On Frenchbeer Rock now and I look back to Middle Tor which has escaped the mist

The same can be said for Thornworthy Tor now as well

That’s the South Teign valley down there. The water from the Fernworthy Reservoir flows down along the valley

I’m contouring around under Thornworthy Tor now, I did consider revisiting the summit but at this point I just wanted to be back in the car. Here I look back to Middle Tor left, Frenchbeer Rock in the centre and Meldon Hill back right

Thornworthy Tor along the fence

The reservoir comes back into view as the mist lifts a bit more

The dam end of the reservoir with Birch Tor rising behind

The mist lifting from the trees of Fernworthy forest

The fishing house across the water of the reservoir

Back along the path that helps to circle the reservoir

Velvet trees, covered in a bright green moss

One last shot of the reservoir looking to the dam end as I reach the car and head home for some honey and lemon


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