Whiddon Woods and the Teign Valley

This was a walk to pick up some tors in the north eastern side of Dartmoor. I have been meaning to come here now for around 6 months but with the lockdown I haven’t ventured to far from home. This was as far as I have been now and a return to some sort of normal walking. Lots of woodland here, and at this time of year, plenty of bracken. The problem with bracken is the ticks, and I picked up 2 on this walk. That makes 4 this year. So being a tick free zone prior to this year, I now have 4 and a reliable technique for getting them out. I’ve been told to stay off Dartmoor for a few months, which isn’t going to happen but I’ll be heading more into proper Dartmoor for now and away from the long grass and bracken, which swamp the outskirts. That said this was a good route and one I would repeat, it can be shortened once you get to Cranbrook Castle, or lengthened further to Clifford Bridge if you want to. A fine day out.

Start – Castle Drogo parking
Route – Parford Brake Tor – Whiddon Park House – Whiddon Park House Tor – Dogmarsh Bridge – Dogmarsh South Tor – Iron Bridge – Whiddon Park Tor – Whiddon Wood Tor – Great Parford Tor – Whiddon Wood Tor – Cranbrook CastleFingle Bridge – Butterdon Ball Rocks – Upperton TorSeamans Borough RocksPin Tor – Willingstone Rock
Distance – 9 miles    Start time – 10.20am    Time taken – 5hrs    Highest Point – Pin Tor 314metres
Weather – Cloud and some sunshine. Very humid

 

© Crown copyright 2020 Ordnance Survey FL 2020 SF

Looking into eastern Dartmoor, mainly Hameldown which looks strange from this angle

Down the lane, the weather was cloudy but very humid

Some lovely views to patchwork fields with higher ground beyond

Nice of them to name the tor so you know where you are!

Fields to Natterdon Common and Meldon Hill

Cosdon Beacon is far right at the back

Heading towards the River Teign now and that is Hunters Tor below Castle Drogo, the entry to the Teign Valley starts there

Whiddon Park House Tor in the small woodland down by the River Teign

Whiddon Park House Tor

Having not walked in this area before I was expecting to walk to Dogmarsh Bridge (the road and stone one), but this wooden version meant I cut half a mile from the walk

In the meadow on the other side of the bridge I could see this outcrop, Dogmarsh South Tor, a clearer view would be possible in winter but this one will do for me

Iron Bridge is below Hunters Tor and Castle Drogo. It gives access to a fine circular starting from the castle above and heading down to Fingle Bridge. Even better when the Fingle Bridge pub is open

A calm River Teign from the bridge

I walked the main track for a bit before breaking off up to Whiddon Park Tor, this could be the start of it

More rocks as you head upwards. You need to head out into the open ground beyond the trees to find the main outcrops to this one though

I missed the main part of Whiddon Park Tor, choosing to follow the wall uphill. I broke out into this part with Whiddon Wood Tor up there

The lower rocks are in open ground, with the main part in the trees behind me. The views are good from here though. Cosdon Hill is back left and Castle Drogo behind the trees to the right

Chagford village is down there below Meldon Hill. Kes Tor is the lump sticking up back right

In the trees and there are more boulders to Whiddon Wood Tor beyond the wall, and in the wall!

As you pop through the wall which runs downhill from Whiddon Woods you get this vista. The little corrugated barn below and a few rocky outcrops signifies a tor. Great Parford Tor

There’s a view to Haytor from here as well

Into the woods shows you some larger outcrops, these are difficult to photograph, but they are pretty big, showing a vast tor heading down the hill

Out of the trees there is a fine picnic spot here with views to Cosdon

I had left Whiddon Woods and was heading to Cranbrook Castle, as I made my way across I saw a roe deer in the distance

A view down into the Teign Valley as I made for Cranbrook

I kind of skirted Cranbrook Castle and headed down towards Fingle Bridge with fine views to North East Devon

On the lane down to Fingle Bridge and some fine views along the Teign Valley

Fingle Bridge, I worked a bit to cut out all the people down here having picnics and ball games

Through Butterdon Ball Wood

The River Teign again

Now having walked past Butterdon Ball Rocks, which I wasn’t impressed with I rejoined the path below and spied Upperton Tor (Broadmoor Common) opposite. I will return in the winter when I can see it better

Seamans Borough Rocks (yep that’s the name), this outcrop runs up the hill a bit. Easier to see in the winter

I’d climbed up a very humid path past Wooston Castle which had me pouring with sweat. I was glad of this view and a chance to take a drink before pushing on to the lane at the top by the Hillfort parking spot

Fluffy clouds and a great view to the east from the woods above Wooston Castle

Out of the woods and along the lane for a distance, I then turned off for Pin Tor (which is in the trees up there) I got talking to the farmer who runs this area and is setting up a kind of woodland seating area below the tor to the left. With him being around I chose not to summit the tor but move on to…..

Willingstone Rock. Not the best view as I’m up close to it.

Walking back to the car now and the lane walking is punctuated by these views over a gate to the main part of Dartmoor. A fine way to end a good walk, were I took home two friends who were attached to me!!

14 thoughts on “Whiddon Woods and the Teign Valley

  1. I remember years ago the Dartmoor farmers cut bracken and took it in for bedding. It’s a pest really in great amounts as the rhizomes can damage antiquities.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent walk, and some good tors there, but as you say, better in winter. I was at Water Cleave Tor today in Lustleigh Cleave, among other outcrops, and it really was quite hard going because the bracken obscures holes and all sorts (rocks, etc.) so you have to be extra careful.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Looks a fab walk though I am horrified about the ticks. 😦 Hugo our lab sometimes picks them up and my other half is a dab hand at removing them. I can’t imagine getting one myself. Yikes!

    Liked by 1 person

    • So far so good regarding my ticks. Bit of anthisan followed by some savlon and they look ok and have gone down as they should. Not sure if they are more prevalent this year or I’m just unlucky as I’m going the same places but getting them now

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ticks give me the creeps but in all my years walking I’ve only had one decide burrow in whereas others seem to pick them up easily and anywhere. Having visited Castle Drogo, the area around the Teign valley has always looked like fine walking country, now confirmed.😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Castle Drogo, Fingle Bridge, up and down hills, some great views and some nice lanes. Plenty of options around there. This is the first year I’ve had a tick, and its 4 in 3 weeks. Either there are more of them or I am unlucky at the moment

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Maybe the weather has been favourable for ticks? Last year I was crawling around, identifying plants for some voluntary surveying I do on some National Trust land, when I realised that the ground was jumping with them – when I stood up I discovered that my arms and hands wee covered, hundreds of them. Fortunately, none of them had ‘dug in’. So far this year I’ve avoided them, but my son has had a few – because deer regularly visit the garden we can pick them up there. Yuck!
    Another lovely varied walk, with some splendid views.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great photos, here in North Norfolk we don’t really have rocks so it’s always nice to see some of the hard stuff, so to speak. One thing we definitely do have is ticks, they’re routine all summer even in our garden. You kind of get used to them, although they sometimes appear in very surprising places! It’s a good idea to monitor the bite site for any signs of infection, two friends of mine have had Lyme Disease, it can be very serious if not treated promptly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Still keeping an eye on the ones I had a few weeks ago, but they are dying down nicely. Lyme’s disease is rare down this way, more of it on Exmoor. But I’ll be checking over the next month or so to be safe

      Liked by 1 person

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