Swell Tor, Ingra Tor and the Princetown mast

Back on Dartmoor and a walk around the mast at Princetown, picking off lots of tors that I don’t visit very often, Swell Tor being one of these. This surprised me a bit as the quarry is a great place for an explore. The weather got better as the day went on, which was good but I have to say that it felt like autumn for the first time this year. The wind was keen and I had a baselayer under a t-shirt for the whole walk. Not long now and it will be winter!! There are lots of options on this walk, both to lengthen it or shorten it, a fine simple walk would be to stick to the railway track and loop around Kings Tor and head back the way you came. Its a great place for quarries with five in a short distance of each other, plenty to see and do, what more do you need.

Start – Princetown parking
Route – Plymouth/Princetown railway – Yes Tor (Walkhampton) – Fur Tor – Ingra Tor – Criptor – Swell Tor – Plymouth/Princetown railway – Longash – Merrivale Stone row and circle –  Hollow TorRundlestone TorHerne Hole TorNorth Hessary Tor – Princetown mast – Dartmoor Brewery – Princetown parking
Distance – 7.5 miles    Start time – 11am     Time taken –  4hrs 30mins  Highest Point – North Hessary Tor 517metres
Weather – Bit of drizzle to start and then clearing with some sun

© Crown copyright 2018 Ordnance Survey FL 2018 SF

Starting out from Princetown, these set of tors are in view for a lot of the walk. Left to right is Sheeps Tor, Leather Tor, Sharpitor and Leeden Tor

The old trackbed of the Plymouth to Princetown railway. Leeden Tor in the distance on the left

A bit of zoom down the valley that holds Burrator reservoir, Sheeps Tor is left and Leather Tor right. Black Tor is on the hill in front of Leather Tor

Left, Right, Left Right. Sir yes sir!! Green berets out walking across the moor, I assume they were reserves having camped overnight

The sweeping curve is the old railway track and I’m heading down to it. Ingra Tor, also on my itinerary, is about to get wet from one of the few showers I encountered early in this walk

A brief sunny interlude as I reach the curving railway. Fur Tor (Walkhampton) is first up on the left, with Leeden Tor behind, which I didn’t bother with today.

Fur Tor (Walkhampton) looking down to the old railway bridge, to the right of that is Yes Tor (Walkhampton) which is next for me

Yes Tor looking to Swell Tor

Looking back to the bridge, Fur Tor is right and Yes Tor to the left. I will also be at the mast in the distance at the end of the walk.

Cox Tor left, then the Staple Tors and Roos Tor back right across some green farmland around Merrivale

Ingra Tor quarry and Ingra Tor above

Looking back to Ingra Tor after crossing directly to Swell Tor across the bridlepath

Swell Tor looking past Foggintor quarry to the Princetown mast

The upper part of Swell Tor quarry, there are two parts to this quarry. Stone from here was taken to make London Bridge and Vauxhall Bridge in London

The lower part of the quarry, the quarry buildings are down there to the right. With Leeden Tor and Sharpitor beyond

Kings Tor from Swell Tor

These corbels sit to the west of Swell Tor on the railway siding, there are 12 of them and they were made for London Bridge but never used

I’m leaving the railway path now and heading for the bracken, gorse covered hill opposite, it looks an easy walk. It isn’t, nothing like it. I should have gone left and down to the main path and then backup to Longash (the rocks you can see between the bracken and gorse), but I didn’t. I saw a ladder stile and thought I was being smart. I can hear my grandad telling me “you know what thought did don’t you?”. The Staple Tors and Roos Tor form the backdrop beyond Merrivale

Before I start the daft route I look across to Vixen Tor

Phew, that wasn’t fun, the bracken, bushes and trees made for an impenetrable barrier. In the end I had to go back and forth and round about to get through. This is Longash looking down the Walkham valley

Kings Tor looks so easy from here!!

Merrivale standing stone. Great Mis Tor in the background

Merrivale stone row

After a bit of a trudge I reached Hollow Tor. The views are now northwards into the centre of Dartmoor around Rough Tor

This is Rundlestone Tor, just a short distance from Hollow Tor (down there on the left). Again the Staple Tors and co are in the distance

A section of green from Rundlestone Tor

The same green fields this time from Herne Hole Tor, which is the other side of a wall from Rundlestone Tor. The flat topped tor in the far distance is Hameldown

The mast on North Hessary Tor

Trig point on North Hessary Tor and views all the way to Plymouth Sound

The mast station

Long distance views are 360 on this point, which is the highest part of the south moor. This is east, looking to Hameldown, Haytor and Rippon Tor

Descending to Princetown

Shame it wasn’t open!!


2 thoughts on “Swell Tor, Ingra Tor and the Princetown mast

  1. Excellent walk and like you say loads of interesting stuff other than just hills and views. Ah, the number of times I’ve tried to be clever while out walking and ended up tangled in undergrowth or with wet feet!

    Liked by 1 person

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