A walk around Holne before the lockdown

This was a strange weekend, people knew this could be the last chance for a while to get out. Some despite the instructions went for a popular spot, a well known beach or area of a national park. Myself, I went quiet, more intent on a local pub that might be selling takeaway beer!! I chose an area of south eats Dartmoor that had a hamlet or two and a village, Holne, to park in. I headed first for the River Dart, knowing that if I got there early I would see very little people, I saw 5 on the 2 miles to Sharrah Pool. Then the rest would be a matter of staying away from Venford reservoir and to the path to Michelcombe. I saw 5 more on the remaining 5 miles or so. We are in strange times, you would normally stop to chat to other walkers, not today, you avoided socialising and therefore avoid catching the dreaded C. All the way around this walk, my brain was thinking of what I will do if lockdown happened, as it is I have walks from my doorstep. I am lucky in that way to live at the edge of Plymouth. Farmland is all around and with it paths snake to the sea. After today I did one more day of work in an office before we closed, when we go back and life becomes a form of normal, we don’t yet know. All I know is that the hills will be there another day, treat it like bad weather, were you cannot walk to the summit and turn back. On those days getting to the summit isn’t recommended, but getting back home is compulsory. Today going out isn’t recommended, but staying alive is compulsory. Stay safe everyone.

Start – Holne parking
Route – Holne Woods – Holne Wood Tor – Holne Wood WaterfallSharrah PoolBench TorHolne Moor Leat Bridge – Michelcombe – Gibby Combe Tor – River Mardle – Chalk FordChalk Ford Rocks – Scoriton – Holy Brook Bridge – Holne
Distance – 6.5 miles    Start time – 10.20am    Time taken – 5hrs 15mins    Highest Point – Bench Tor 313metres
Weather – Lots of sunshine and blue skies

© Crown copyright 2020 Ordnance Survey FL 2020 SF

I’d struggled on where to walk, mindful of the lockdown that looked to be coming (despite the fact that I would work the next day). I’d chosen Holne, this is the church in the village.

With my mind on other things I’d left the house with a flask, but with nothing in it!! This leat drops into this trough here in Holne, my saviour!

The Two Moors Way, this takes me down towards Holne woods

Across the Dart valley, Aish Tor is up on the right and the pointy Sharp Tor is straight ahead

Into Holne woods

The River Dart as I start along the path towards Sharrah Pool

The sun was shining beautifully through the trees, just after this point I dropped down to take a look at Holne Wood Tor, it wasn’t anything special so it isn’t one to include on my list

Holne Woods waterfall

This was my first visit to Sharrah Pool. A glorious spot for a wild swim and the most popular spot on the moor

The entrance to the pool starts here at this rocky rapids section

North Tor is above

One last look at Sharrah Pool before I start the steep climb up through the woods towards venford Reservoir

Bench Tor is just up there on the left with the pointy Sharp Tor ahead and Corndon Tor to the right of that. The Dart valley is below

The Dart down below and half way up the trees to the right is Hockinston Tor just peeking out of the trees

At Bench Tor

Looking across towards Rippon Tor past Haytor to Chinkwell Tor. Over the top of Aish Tor and the Dart valley

Venford Reservoir backed by Ryders Hill, there were a few people around here walking dogs

South Hams from Holne Moor

Holne Moor leat and the bridge which bring the Sandy Way down off Holne Moor. Rippon Tor is furthest right in the distance, with Corndon Tor furthest left. Hameldown, Chinkwell Tor and what looks like Pil/Top Tor in between

Heading down towards Michelcombe with Ryders Hill/Snowdon at the back

Whilst the human race locks down, the natural world is springing on in Michelcombe

From Michelcombe its a long path uphill through farm fields to the moor again, with South Hams stretching to the sea in the distance

I’ve dropped down the hill now towards the confluence of the Holy Brook and an unnamed stream to this, Gibby Combe Tor, this is some of the larger rocks near the unnamed stream, just above…………

One unnamed stream on my left, the Holy Brook to my right and Gibby Combe Tor

Leaving Gibby Combe Tor and walking for a bit I saw this herd of deer in the distance

The area with the deer in is the green field centre right, I headed straight on past the field before dropping down to the left to the River Mardle

Following the River Mardle downstream along the path you reach Chalk Ford, a lovely spot for a picnic

Chalk Ford Rocks down by the River Mardle, there are more uphill to my right which are the main outcrop

These ones, I didn’t head up to them as I wanted to get back to the car

Probably my favourite photo of the day, centre of photo is Buckfast Abbey

Bit of zoom picks out the town and the spire sticking up

I had to reach up above my head to take this photo of Holne village, that’s a circling buzzard above!

Into Scoriton first (not Scorriton as is on the OS maps), this is the Tradesmans Arms, normally this would have been busy with Sunday lunch but as of Friday before this, all pubs were closed. I was hoping for a pub to have takeaway beer, fingers crossed the Church Inn in Holne would take my sterilised 4 pint milk carton and fill it full of something yummy

Holy Brook bridge is crossed as I start my way up to Holne

One last photo across towards Ryders Hill, as for the pub, well it was open, I asked nicely and they filled my milk carton. Nice one The Church Inn. Support your local pubs were possible, they have beer to sell and takeaway. Use the farms shops and breweries nearby who will deliver, use your local butcher of fishmonger, they are not as busy as a supermarket. That way they will be there when things start to open again and you are helping a family to feed themselves..

4 thoughts on “A walk around Holne before the lockdown

  1. Superbly varied walking and photos. I walked locally that weekend. It was crazy – I’ve never seen the area so busy. I’m convinced that just about every able bodied person was out walking that weekend, knowing that it might be their last chance for a while, which is sort of understandable, if somewhat cavalier.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As you say, it was as if everyone knew. But if anything it made the decision to lockdown easier and quicker for those in charge. Imagine what it will be like when they raise the lockdown


  2. Been behind on checking out my blog roll so apologies for a late comment.
    With confusing instructions and only himts about what might happen, it’s not really surprising people went out. Goodness knows how long it will be before we’re freeto roam again.
    Stay safe and healthy 👍

    Liked by 1 person

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