Back on Dartmoor around Swincombe

Well its been a while, but as they say Dartmoor is still here for me. I had waited a week and a bit after the official announcement that we could drive to places to walk. Unlike the Lake District fuhrer, Dartmoor National Park had said to come to the wild landscape and enjoy it responsibly, stay distanced and try to avoid peak times. All very sensible advice and one that is easily done on Dartmoor. Now I’d like to stab a jab at those papers and photographers looking for a story, taking a picture from ground level looking along a beach, giving no perspective as to the distance between people (we have seen the evidence from the those taking the photos from the 90 degree angle to compare). It is petty and looking for click bait. To those then leaping on social media to chastise those on the beach/car park, busy green area. Just behave, you don’t know who or what is involved. Is it a group of care workers walking with people with aspergers, or a large family, perhaps it is a number of people feeling trapped who need an hour outside. You don’t know and the photo is made to create a response, don’t be fooled to join in.

Climbing off my soap box, I loved my time back on the moors, I’d been sensible these last 8 weeks and seen my boys from a distance (despite being allowed to have them as normal), so we went out and enjoyed a few hours, talking nonsense, moaning about the wind and laughing a lot. This was a great walk, simple, funny, interesting and more than all that, space and time. The time to spend a few hours with my two most special people in a space that gives us all happiness. Stay safe everyone and get out where you can.

Start – Whiteworks parking
Route – Whiteworks – Strane Tor – Swincombe Farm – John Bishops House – Swincombe Bridge – Higher Swincombe RocksSwincombe Reservoir – Strane River – Whiteworks
Distance – 4.5 miles    Start time – 1.45pm    Time taken – 2hr 30mins    Highest Point – Parts of Royal Hill 390metres
Weather – Blue skies and white clouds. And then some spitting rain right at the end. Very windy

© Crown copyright 2020 Ordnance Survey FL 2020 SF

Fox Tor Mires ahead. The plan was a walk around the Swincombe valley, down to the bridge and back along the path, hop the river and back to the car.

The boys had been out occasionally but they need a reset every now and then. Staring at a screen is not great for anyone and most kids need a bit of fresh air, lucky mine aren’t too bad, if anything it was me that needed the leg stretch

Ter Hill is the high point as we look around the outcrops either side of the Strane River

These are on the southern side of the river and are larger than the actual tor (Strane Tor)

Strane Tor is down there on the right (sticking up). Whiteworks is in the trees

Ahead along the easy to follow grassy path. We talked utter nonsense on this walk, lego, films, computer games, tanks, planes, war, clouds, Dartmoor and farms. I loved every second of it. Boys talking rubbish. My eldest also told me about his Geography test the previous day which included questions about Dartmoor, which he naturally nailed (proud dad moment!!).

To the north is the high moor. this is Longaford Tor (the pointy one)

The area ahead in the distance is that around Rippon Tor and Haytor. A hazy Hameldown can be seen to the left

Folds of the landscape. The hills behind Fox Tor at the back

Higher Swincombe Rocks on the left of the river, which is between me and the rocks

Swincombe Farm

A lane leads you down through the farm to the bridge across the river

The boys having a mess about on the stepping stones, Swincombe Bridge (one of my favourite Dartmoor bridges) and John Bishops House in the trees behind

Looking back along the path to Swincombe Reservoir

First we come to Higher Swincombe Rocks

Swincombe Reservoir

Higher Swincombe Rocks is on the hillside beyond the reservoir

Climbing away from the reservoir and joining a path back to Whiteworks

I loved this image, bits of grass blown by the strong wind against the fence. No guesses for the direction of the wind!! I’ve seen this before on Skiddaw with snow and ice, but I loved this picture

Whiteworks is in the trees on the right as we work our way back across

Little and large

Back at Whiteworks and a look back across Fox Tor Mires to Ter Hill and Skir Hill. The dip running to the left, beyond the dots of cows, is the one we have walked

Whiteworks on the left. The windmill was doing its job today. A fine walk and great to be out with the boys again. We all needed it.



10 thoughts on “Back on Dartmoor around Swincombe

  1. It’s a remarkable bit of the Moor. Eden Phillpott’s does it rather nicely in his novel The American Prisoner which is worth seeking out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Clearly a good choice on your part – no one in sight! It must have been doubly a relief – to get back to the hills and to see the boys properly. You can’t beat talking nonsense – my specialist subject!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it helped that it was the Friday before the school half term but we did walk a normally quiet part of the moor. Probably out again this week, trying to work out whether to go moor again or back to the coast


  3. I enjoyed that post. Not only what was clearly a special day to enjoy with your boys but your opening paragraph. I couldn’t have written that any better myself!
    Talking nonsense, always great therapy. Both mine are grown up so conversations tend to be a little more serious. Luckily I get on well with Marks’ boys and we have some truly bizarre conversations including one that covered inflatable alpacas performing a robbery – don’t ask!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.