Ducks Pool and Great Gnats Head

The day after the walk with the boys to Berra Tor I decided that enough was enough. Yes it was humid and warm. Flies were everywhere and they would eat me, but the hills needed to be walked. It was World Cup final day and despite the big plans being shelved after the semi final results, I wanted to at least watch something that only comes around every four years. I set out early (not as early as planned) for a walk that I’d attempted in early March (here) but had been bogged down a bit. Now the dry weather was ensconced across Dartmoor, I thought a walk including a few crossings of stream and rivers was a good idea, allowing for plenty of refilling opportunities. I started out around 9am, was hot by 9.15 but that was as bad as it got, to be honest the east facing slopes seemed better and had more breeze, and I readily dunked my head and hat in cold water streams at every possible crossing. It was a good walk and one that I needed, the hot weather had me feeling very lethargic and sleep had been tough for a few weeks, so I was glad to be out. Same again next weekend hopefully.

Start – Gutter Tor parking
Route – Eastern Tor – Ditsworthy Warren House – Drizzlecombe – Higher Hartor Tor – Lower Hartor Tor – Plym FordGreat Gnats HeadDucks PoolBlack Rocks – Erme Head and pits – Broad RockCalveslake TorLittle Gnats HeadPlym Steps – Shavercombe waterfall – Shavercombe Tor – Plym weir – Ditsworthy Warren House – Gutter Tor parking
Distance –  8 miles    Start time – 9am     Time taken –  4hrs 45mins   Highest Point – Great Gnats Head 469metres
Weather – Sunny and lots of blue skies and warm temperatures

© Crown copyright 2018 Ordnance Survey FL 2018 SF

9am and I wish I could have joined him. Sheeps Tor behind

The scout hut near the parking at Gutter Tor

Glorious and clear. The scout hut is in the trees and that is Gutter Tor left

On Eastern Tor now and looking south along the Plym valley

Ditsworthy Warren House and Hen Tor in the distance

Looking north to Higher Hartor Tor and the Plym valley to the right

Drizzlecombe stone row. Older than Stonehenge and a fantastic place for history

Looking back down across Drizzlecombe towards Eastern Tor

Sheeps Tor in the centre of photo and an azure sky from Higher Hartor Tor

Lower Hartor is down there

V22 Osprays. 4 of em. Making a right racket!!

Plym Ford, or as near to it as I got. Crossing the Plym here meant sun cream, food, water and a sit down were all taken on.

Entering the long grassy section here. From here to Calverslake Tor its a bit hit and miss with paths and in the wet it will be very hard going. I’m looking at North Hessary Tor here and the mast at Princetown

Great Gnats Head and in the distance is Three Barrows

The northern tors of Dartmoor from Great Gnats Head

This would be horrific in wet weather, I’m heading to Ducks Pool with Redlake in the distance

The depression here is Ducks Pool. I didn’t stop or visit the letterbox as there were too many biting insects needing lunch. I kept walking so as not to supply them with nourishment!

The rocks on the bank in the distance are Black Rocks. My next target. Quickbeam Hill is the high point behind

Black Rocks

Down the stream and around the corner is Erme pits and Erme head. Quite why man thought this was a good spot to remove ore. I’ll never know. Brutal in winter.

Redlake peeps up as I head for Calverslake Tor. Looking back across Erme pits and Erme head

On the rise I can look the other way now, to the south and west

Calverslake Tor

Now on the nearby Little Gnats Head, looking down to Calverslake Tor

Lower Hartor Tor on the opposite bank. Showing the loop I have done to get back here. This is Plym Steps

Along the River Plym, I’m following an old leat that has long since dried up. The weir to the south is the start of the new leat

Shavercombe Tor was visited after a shower in Shavercombe waterfall

The trees down there hold Ditsworthy Warren House. Eastern Tor and Gutter Tor to the right of that

The weir on the Plym. I crossed easily here

Back at Ditsworthy Warren

Walking the lane back to the car. Gutter Tor left

To finish a shot of Sheeps Tor left and Leather Tor (the pointy one) right


4 thoughts on “Ducks Pool and Great Gnats Head

  1. Excellent walk and I know what you mean about the frustration of seeing sunshine and blue skies but being too hot to really enjoy a walk. Short walks to waterfalls for a swim has been my outdoor focus for the past couple of weeks

    Liked by 1 person

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