Hurston, Jurston and Coombe Down

Time for another walk on Dartmoor and an attempt to pick up a couple of tors not visited before. I’ve had Coombe Down Tor on my list for a while now but wasn’t able to put together a decent walk to pick it up. I also realised that I had never been to Hurston Stone Row, which given it is one of the better ones on the moor, was a bit remiss of me, going here would also allow me to pick up Hurston Castle Tor as well. The weather was very good, except for the cold wind from the north, which at 8.45, when I turned up at Bennet’s Cross, was cold enough to make me get back in the car and have a coffee first. This walk also picks up a chunk of the Two Moors Way (or at least one version of it that doesn’t go over the moorland), hamlets such as Hurston, Jurston and Lettaford are passed through. I then made an error and took a path out of Lettaford up on to the moor rather than directly to Moor Gate, but I quickly corrected that and found the track to West Coombe. Then came the brutal climb up on to Coombe Down, to pick up its tor and then further upwards to Shapley Tor and the final walk back to Bennet’s Cross. This was a surprisingly long walk which is packed into a little area with more popular spots around it, it would be easy to add on Hookney Tor, Birch Tor or even Assycombe Hill to this walk to make it even better.

Start – Bennet’s Cross
Route – Water HillHurston Stone RowHurston Castle Tor – Hurston – Two Moors Way –  Hurston Double Clapper – Jurston – Jurston Clapper and Ford – Lettaford – B3212 – Moor Gate – West Coombe – Coombe Down TorShapley TorTwo Moors Way – Bennets Cross
Distance – 8 miles    Start time – 9am    Time taken – 5hrs    Highest Point – Water Hill 489metres
Weather – Very sunny, keen wind from the north

© Crown copyright 2020 Ordnance Survey FL 2020 SF

8.45am at Bennet’s Cross, a cold wind was at my back here and I decided to put a 3rd layer on plus a hat and a buff around my neck.

The valley holding the River Bovey with Meldon Hill at the far end as I start the ascent up to Water Hill

The large cairn on top of Water Hill. Views to South Dartmoor around Ryders Hill

Cosdon Beacon back left in view, as I start along the path towards Hurston Stone Row. East Devon stretching away in the centre

Hurston Stone Row. Next I’m heading down to the right, basically over the top of those cows towards the River Bovey

Hurston Castle Tor, some of it is on the bank over there on the left and more behind that main outcrop as well. To get here however I made the mistake of heading down to the River Bovey in order to follow it. Don’t do that, it is boggy as hell down there, handrail the river about 200 metres above, until just short of the wall where a track will bring you down to this main outcrop.

Looking out from Hurston Castle Tor

I’m stood on the track that I should have used to get down there, looking back at the tor

Peek a Moo

Anyone needing a wheelbarrow then there is one on the track off the moor to Hurston

A small copper taking advantage of some fine September sun.

Before reaching Hurston I found this large lake, the owner has built a little hut with fishing rods and seats to while away an afternoon. There is also a small firepit nearby with logs for seating.

After Hurston is this double clapper bridge section which takes you to the gate over there and the track to Jurston

A fixer upper? This one is up for auction at the moment and is near Jurston. Suggested price is £800 – £900,000!!

Meldon Hill from the path to Jurston

Kes Tor looking like a dark pimple as I reach Jurston

The clapper, ford and stepping stones at Jurston

Another lovely hamlet of Lettaford. I made an error here and took a path up on to the moor rather than staying on the Two Moors Way to Moor Gate

Coming the wrong way out on to the moor, looking back to Meldon Hill with Cosdon Beacon back left

Great views east towards Mardon Down

Lovely views down the valley, with Easdon Tor left and King Tor right as I find the B3212 to take me to Moor Gate.

A West Coombe resident

I huffed and puffed up to Coombe Down and quickly found Coombe Down Tor. The wall runs through this tor but most of it is on open access land. Nice clouds above Easdon Tor

And the other way to Cosdon Beacon

Further up the hill here to Shapley Tor with great views to the northern moor

The one photogenic rock on Shapley Tor looking to Challacombe Down

I’ve walked past East Bovey Head now and look across to Hookney Tor and Hameldown

The Beehive as I descend to Bennet’s Cross. The car park is full now and more cars are parked on the road outside the Warren House Inn

Looking across the Vitifer Mines and Soussons Forest to the southern moor, the weather is much warmer now than when I started but the breeze is still there. A fantastic walk in some less visited spots in some lovely weather.


10 thoughts on “Hurston, Jurston and Coombe Down

  1. Seem to remember one of those farms once had the right of way running through one of its corridors. As for the TMW I wish they’d kept it on the route my old pal Joe Turner designed – over Hameldon alone.

    Liked by 1 person

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