Ryders Hill and Bench Tor on a dull day

Not the best weekend for weather but I wasn’t bothered, it wasn’t raining and that would do me. I quite like this area, in fact Venford is my favourite reservoir on the moor by some distance. I decided to take the direct route from Aller Brook Outcrop to Bench Tor which meant a drop into a wooded valley, a surprising waterfall and leap over the river. It was an easy walk, made all the more interesting by the orienteering event taking place on the Holne Ridge area. I dodged my way through guys and gals running this way and that on my way up to Ryders Hill, after that point I saw no one, which was a bonus. The hills around Ryders Hill can be a lonely place, so if you want a bit of peace and quiet then this is the place. However at this time of year it can be pretty soggy, we have been blessed with an exceptionally dry summer, but now the rain has taken hold, infact as I type the rain is pounding down again. This should ensure a soggy moor for the next few walks at least!!

Start – Venford reservoir parking
Route – Venford Reservoir and Dam – Holne Ridge – Ryders Hill – Horns CrossHangmans PitAller Brook TorNorth TorBench Tor – Venford Reservoir
Distance – 7 miles    Start time – 11.15am     Time taken –  4hrs 30mins  Highest Point – Ryders Hill 515metres
Weather – Gloomy, fairly low cloud, some brighter parts in the distance. Cold

© Crown copyright 2018 Ordnance Survey FL 2018 SF

From the car park, the view to Venford reservoir, I originally wanted to park in the car park to the left of this photo but the orienteering event had taken over so I parked here.

Barely a breath of wind today as I make my way around the reservoir

Climbing away and dodging between the runners searching for boxes, I look back to Venford

And even further up now

I contoured around the head of the River Mardle, that is the river winding away. This is a peaceful spot which would be great for a wildcamp or bivvy in good weather. I’m about to head into the cloud as I rise up to Ryders Hill to my right

Ryders Hill summit. Directly above the tall stone, those with a keen eye will spot Redlake. By the naked eye it was easier to spot than on this photo.

Trig point and Petre’s Bound Stone at the top of Ryders Hill. I’m in the cloud at this point.

The top up here is pretty boggy, lots of ground like this at the moment

Coming out of the cloud I look down to Combestone Tor

Horn’s Cross with Corndon Tor in the distance, the weather here was strange, blue sky was over the Corndon Tor area, and patches of sun moved across the hills

Yar Tor, Corndon Tor and Vag Hill with a pointy Sharp Tor, all grouped together

Hangman’s Pit

The leat that runs past Hangman’s Pit, not sure of the name of it. But there is a rocky outcrop called Aller Brook so it could be that?

Aller Brook Tor, I sat here for a bit and drank a coffee or two enjoying the view down to Dartmeet and the sun in the distance

After leaving Aller Brook Tor I followed the leat, I spotted Luckey Tor down below (bottom centre) with Mel Tor and Sharp Tor above

Taking a straight line between Aller Brook and Bench Tor takes you down into a wooded valley and past this waterfall before a steep climb up to Bench Tor. I took a while to find spot to cross a stream in full spate, to ensure I stayed dry.

North Tor, its just beyond Bench Tor and has the better views down to the Dart valley

Looking the other way along the Dart from North Tor

Now on Bench Tor, North Tor is 100 metres that way. And Sharp Tor stands out and grabs the eye, a fantastic shape from this area.

Bench Tor looking to Venford reservoir

Crossing the dam and looking along the reservoir. Ryders Hill beyond. The end of a good walk where I had very little expectations but enjoyed walking a different way to many different hills.


2 thoughts on “Ryders Hill and Bench Tor on a dull day

    • You don’t know unless you try I suppose. The thing about the weather in this country is it is different, even within 50 miles. Especially places like the Lakes, Dartmoor and Snowdonia. You will always get that north, south, east and west divide

      Liked by 1 person

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