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.
© 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 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