Sunshine at Cranmere Pool and Great Kneeset

A very sunny week and a couple of walks spring to mind, Tavy Cleave and up to Fur Tor or anything north!! I decided that anything north was the option and Great Kneeset would be the choice. Any walk around Cranmere Pool requires a good deal of dry weather. A walk there in February requires waders or some un-seasonal sunshine. Well anyone with a window will know that the UK has basked in some stupidly warm weather for February. 20 degrees is just not right. Still a week of it and places that normally can only be accessed easily in June are open for business, which meant my choice was Cranmere and Black Hill with a return via Great Kneeset. Normally I would look at East Mill Tor and others, and bag them on the way or on the way back to the car. Not today, I was focused on Okement Hill and what lay behind it, I was at Okement in an hour and at Cranmere an hour later. The area behind Cranmere is bereft of paths, and the walk to Black Hill and then to Great Kneeset was still tough, even in these conditions. But I’ve had worse on Dartmoor. Great Kneeset is a magnificent place, the views are incredible in all directions, particularly down the West Okement valley, however following that is a soul destroying plod up to Dinger Tor. I had a look at High Willhays and decided to head for the car, the high point in Devon could wait for another day.

Start – Rowtor parking
Route – Hart TorOkement HillOckerton Court Cranmere PoolBlack Hill – Black Ridge – Great Kneeset – Brim Brook – Dinger TorNew Bridge – OP22
Distance – 10 miles    Start time – 10.15am    Time taken – 5hrs 15mins  Highest Point – Black Hill 584 metres
Weather – Warm and sunny (not February at all)

© Crown copyright 2019 Ordnance Survey FL 2019 SF

I guess if your not a fan of blue skies then it might be wise to turn away, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, it was around 16 degrees at this point at 10am and I’m shedding clothes before I start. I’m stood at Hart Tor and looking across to the Belstone Tor ridge with Cosdon Hill back right

That’s OP22 in front of me and East Mill Tor above it. I could have gone up East Mill today however the main point of the walk was to get to Black Hill and Great Kneeset so I gave it a miss.

Rowtor from OP22

I passed East Mill Tor and I’m looking across to Cosdon Hill on the left and Steeperton Tor to the right

The military roads here allow for very quick progress deep into the north moor. Here I am starting to climb Okement Hill looking back to East Mill Tor, Belstone Tor and Cosdon Hill from left to right

A bit further left brings in West Mill Tor as well. The haze line can be seen in the distance. Long distance views were non existent today. But the clarity around the nearer tors was pretty good.

The roof of Devon, with High Willhays and Yes Tor from Okement Hill

OP15 on Okement Hill, looking across to the ridge with Kitty Tor on it

On of my favourite spots on the moor is this. Ockerton Court. This pool is the end of the decent paths when you are heading towards Cranmere Pool. You get good views across to High Willhays and if you head roughly south west out of the back of the pool you will pick up a faint path which takes you to Cranmere. The path is faint to start but after a few hundred metres is easy to follow on the ground.

I’m nearly at Cranmere now, I turn around to see the view to High Willhays the infant West Okement is on my left here. You can see the path clearly here as well

The letterbox at Cranmere Pool

At the back of Cranmere Pool is this sort of territory, plenty of jumping from dry ground to island and zigzagging around these pools. This is pretty consistent from here to Black Hill up there on the left and then across to Great Kneeset. Its part of the charm of Dartmoor that you get areas that do not have paths

Black Hill summit looking west to Hare Tor and Great Links Tor among others

Cut Hill left and the queen of the moor, Fur Tor, to the right

Its very barren out here and this is pretty much as far away from a road as you can get on Dartmoor, to be in February is ridiculous really as I should be sinking in soggy ground.

The head of the Black Ridge Brook, with Fur Tor left and Hare Tor right, the beady eyed will see part of Tavy Cleave just to the left of Hare Tor

Islands of peat with Black Hill beyond, I’m now on Black Ridge, halfway to Great Kneeset. There’s a push to allow the marshy areas to return in force on Dartmoor, thus over time creating more peaty areas which hold carbon dioxide

The haze has started to thicken a little now but it doesn’t distract from a superb view from Great Kneeset. The West Okement valley laid out with Lints Tor centre of photo. The High Willhays set of tors to the right of the valley and the Kitty Tor group on the left

Cut Hill and Fur Tor as I turn around

There are two parts to Great Kneeset, this is the more traditional outcrop part to the north, again that view beyond

Rude not to have another photo of it. Lints Tor can be seen clearly at the front with the valley beyond

This is the West Okement, I was pretty warm down here so I took time to pour some cold water over my head.

Dinger Tor now, looking up to High Willhays right and Fordsland Ledge left. Again I could easily of included these in this walk. But not today

Dinger Tor looking back to Great Kneeset in the centre of photo. Fur Tor just to the right at the back

Back on the army tracks again as I look down to East Mill Tor backed by Cosdon Hill

Further along and I can now see the car. Rowtor left, then Belstone Tor and Cosdon Hill back right

New Bridge with the Black-a-ven Brook running underneath it

Back at the car now and a section of Hart Tor, with East Mill Tor right, then Okement Hill, Hangingstone Hill right at the back centre. Then Steeperton Tor and Oke Tor. And not a cloud all day


8 thoughts on “Sunshine at Cranmere Pool and Great Kneeset

  1. Stunning day! What bizarre weather for February. Are the OPs military instillations of some kind?
    “There’s a push to allow the marshy areas to return in force on Dartmoor, thus over time creating more peaty areas which hold carbon dioxide.” Be interesting to know how you feel about that. It seems, from distance, that it would have a considerable impact on access and walkers?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes the OPs are for the military, observation posts within the northern Okehampton firing range. There used to be 23 I think but there are only 7 left in use now, but they are pretty easy to find. Not sure about the creation of the marshy areas again. But then again it was man that started the tinning which basically drained the moor over time so returning it to how it should be seems right to me. As long as there is still a little path to get in and out of the summits I would be happy!


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