Christow, Bridford and the lanes of North Eastern Dartmoor

Back onto Dartmoor and a choice of where to head, initially I wanted to go to Belstone Cleave and maybe up onto Cosdon Beacon. But I decided to head to the north eastern corner of Dartmoor and the point which is nearest to Exeter on the map. This area is classic Devon, and if you have driven down the A30 or A38 you will recognise the scenery either side of those roads. Here you have lots of rolling hills, patchwork fields and lots of narrow lanes, with little traffic and high hedges. Its an easy walking area in the main, except on this walk the part up Berrah Hill to Kiln Down, which so early in the walk was sapping on the legs. Still some nice weather, good scenery, some rocks and hardly saw a soul. Shame both pubs were still closed in the villages as I had time for a cool something at the end of the walk.

Start – Bridford parking
Route – Bennah Hill – Kiln Down Tor – Great Stone – Hole – Rowdon Rock – Bridford – Windhill Gate – Copplestone Rock – Venn Farm – Rookery Brook Tor – Christow
Distance – 8 miles    Start time – 10.30am    Time taken – 4hrs 30mins    Highest Point – Kiln Down Tor 270metres
Weather – Warm and sunny, some clouds around later one. Gentle breeze

© Crown copyright 2020 Ordnance Survey FL 2020 SF

Christow Church at the start of the walk, some lovely blue skies above, suncream is on

Green fields and rolling hills as I start to ascend

Lovely countryside and nice and quiet

Looking back down Berrah Hill as I walk up to Kiln Down, it was hot work walking up here, the high hedges keeping the breeze away and whilst in theory you are allowed to drive up here, I wouldn’t

As you pass over a stile into Kiln Down up to the right you see a few rocks, this is them. The main outcrop is in the trees ahead there

Not much to see on the ground but that is Haytor just to the left of the tree. The unmistakable double rock outcrop stands out for miles

In the trees now and here is Kiln Down Tor proper

Lots of rocks and boulders to see, its pretty big, considering the size of the copse of trees it is in.

The way I’m going down off Kiln Down

A fine outcrop if ever there was one. Rubble Tor in the corner of a field, Dartmoor style

This outcrop is called Great Stone, although if you’ve seen the film Tremors it looks more like one of those creatures that tunnels through the ground

I was heading down the road towards Hole when I heard a distinctive clip clop of hooves, a steward stood by the side of the road confirmed it was a Fun Ride around the area, about 50 or so of these guys having fun on a Sunday morning

A Gatekeeper (Hedge Brown) settles on a hedge, thanks to Beating the Bounds for the correction

The village of Bridford through the trees as I get to Hole

More rolling hills, wildflowers and greenery through a different hole in the canopy

Rowdon Rock, not the best time of year to visit, but this one has been on my list for a long while now. If coming to visit you need to be east of the stream to get to it, you’ll know what I mean when you are here

Through a garden to Bridford church

Severe Covid 19 distancing in Bridford

A lunch a drinks spot, the sun was warm and the view was lovely

Heading down the lanes and tree tunnels to Copplestone Rock, if you keep following this road then you will end up near to Steps Bridge

Copplestone Rock, right by the road. If heading down to the right in a minute along a path

Copplestone, this hamlet is absolutely silent except for the birds, the house on the left was glorious and I would have taken a better photo but the owner was gardening at the front.

More of that rolling fields as I reach the top of a short steep climb

And again looking east this time

At the far end of this it said public footpath but its actually someones driveway (Many Waters) and judging by the size of the house at the end of it they could afford to lay the driveway

The driveway leads here to the chimney at Birch Aller Mine

And the proof

After some more lane walking I reached Rookery Brook Tor, you can reach these normally but the undergrowth was a bit high this time, come back in late winter or spring

I thought this must be one of the most isolated post boxes there is, however as I walked along the road to Christow I found a thriving Post Office/shop and two post vans. Not to shabby.

The Artichoke Inn in Christow, could have done with a cider on this warm day.

To finish, I’m back at Christow church after a lovely walk. This would make a fine winter walk when the high moor is a bit sodden as an alternative.

8 thoughts on “Christow, Bridford and the lanes of North Eastern Dartmoor

  1. Rather a good place for a walk round there, often with fewer people. Though I once got my hand trapped in the door of an abandoned safe and thought I might be there for weeks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the look of the Artichoke Inn. Lovely patchwork views on this walk. I think that the butterfly is a Gatekeeper, also known as a Hedge Brown.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really fancied a pint in that pub at the end of the walk, shame they weren’t open. And you are right on the butterfly(correction made), I assumed it was a Meadow Brown as I’d passed loads up to then


    • I loved that sign, to be fair it was on their driveway but a nice touch. You’re right about the ticks, nothing on the route apart from a short 30 metres section of footpath that had overgrown with a lack of activity. A fine walk but I’ll be glad when autumn comes and the bracken is gone

      Liked by 1 person

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