Ryders Rocks and around Avon Dam

The days are getting longer and this means there is no need to be up and out early to get a good walk in. I started this amble after lunch and was easily finished before dark was even considered. This one is a new route for me as I don’t normally head out to Ryders Rocks and then up to the White Barrows but this is a good way up and walking the path from Black Tor to Ryders Rocks is fantastic, as the views down to the valley are brilliant from up there. I have done the return leg many times and I’m always surprised by the length of distance from Grippers Hill to Shipley Tor, it seems to go on forever. I dropped down along the wall after Shipley Bridge and crossed the river at the popular flat stones section of the Avon, there was still a fair bit of water coming down the river, which meant a foot in 8 inches of water to get across. It wasn’t far from the car though and my boots did their job and kept me dry. The weather was glorious, hardly a breath of wind, lots of sun and warm enough for just a t-shirt.

Start – Shipley Bridge
Route – Hunters StoneBlack TorRyders RocksEastern White BarrowWestern White BarrowHuntingdon ClapperHuntingdon CrossWestern Wella Brook ClapperAvon DamGrippers HillShipley TorShipley Bridge
Distance – 7 miles    Start time – 12.45pm    Time taken – 4hrs 10mins  Highest Point – Western White Barrow 481 metres
Weather – Very sunny and quite warm

© Crown copyright 2019 Ordnance Survey FL 2019 SF

Just after the car park is this waterfall, always my first photograph on any walk out of Shipley Bridge

The Hunters Stone on the left, put there by the owner of Brentmoor House for the Masters of the Dartmoor Foxhounds. It has their names on it but I’m not sure why it makes its way into any Dartmoor Tors list, but there you go. I’m heading left up the road to join the ridge across to Black Tor (behind the trees up there on the left)

Climbing the road and a look back across to Shipley Tor which will be my last tor of the day. You can see the wall heading down the hill, follow that down to reach an old path which crosses the River Avon at a flat stones section of the river, expect to do a bit of leaping and get a wet foot, but it isn’t far from the car after that.

Black Tor with Grippers Hill straight ahead beyond the Avon Valley

Ugborough Beacon furthest left across the green fields of South Devon

On the path now to Ryders Rocks, a great view up the valley to Grippers Hill

And the other way back to Black Tor to the right and in the distance the dark shape of Brent Hill

The pathetic outcrop of Ryders Rocks, I’ve seen larger rockeries in a garden. But the view to Avon Dam is excellent from this side. Grippers Hill up on the right

The distance views were a little hazy but still pretty good

Walking up to Eastern White Barrow now and looking across to the section of the south moor from Ugborough Beacon to Three Barrows

The Avon valley from Eastern White Barrow

A bit of zoom to pick out Redlake, always standing out as a dark pyramid against the yellow moorland grass

Petre’s Boundary Stone on Western White Barrow with a vast wilderness around Redlake behind

Looking east from Western White Barrow


Dropping down to Huntingdon’s Clapper Bridge with the River Avon wriggling away towards the reservoir

Huntingdon Clapper Bridge, the fence wasn’t there when I last came here.

Huntingdon Cross as I head along to the reservoir

I crossed the new Wella Brook Clapper after the Cross and followed the path around the back of the reservoir, here looking back from where I’ve been

Avon reservoir

Grippers Hill now, Redlake can be seen peeking up back left. Pupers Hill up on the right

Turning around to see Ugborough Beacon

Crossing from Grippers Hill to Shipley Tor I always seem to find this boundary stone. Eastern White Barrow up on the left

Shipley Tor comes into view down there, you can see the road I followed at the start of the walk on the right of photo, it heads to the Avon Water treatment works

Shipley Tor looking to Black Tor behind the trees over there

Shipley Tor to Ugborough Beacon across some lovely countryside

After following the wall down I popped out of the bushes on the right and then crossed the flat stones over the river, only one part required a hop into water which was around 8 inches deep. In the summer you should be able to get across dry footed.

Shipley Bridge ahead as I reach the car park


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