Around Dartmeet before lockdown

I’m writing this as a wave of deja vu appears to wash over the UK. Back in March 2020 I wrote about a walk around Holne before the lockdown and here we are again. No more than 5 miles further north I’m on my last proper Dartmoor walk before we are shutdown again. Looks like I’ll be revisiting plenty of coastal walks from home again, as I did in April last year, although the restrictions again mention staying local and a short drive for nearby exercise is fine. Which maybe means I could get to Ivybridge which is 10 minutes away in the car. But we will see, I’m always one for walking without the crowds, that comes naturally to me and I know the areas to walk within this south west corner of Devon which is lacking people. As for this walk, well the looming lockdown hung over the walk like the thick cloud base at 500 metres. Many of the higher hills stayed in the cloud, such as Hameldown. However all this walk is below that and towards the end the sun kept popping through. No rain today and the snow left on the ground was melting quickly today. Plenty to see in this walk, plenty of Dartmoor 365 spots and a walk which seemed longer than the 7.5miles, especially the long plod up to Corndon Tor at the end. Welcome to 2021 everyone.

Start – Bel Tor Corner parking

Route – Coffin Stone – Dartmeet Clapper Bridge – Badgers Holt – Clan Tor – Walla Brook Stepping Stones and Clapper – Spitchwick Common Tor – Sherwell – Lower Cator Bridge – East Shallowford – West Webburn Bridge (Shallowford)Corndon North Tor – Corndon Tor – Cave Penney MemorialMoney Pit – Bel Tor Parking

Distance – 7.5 miles    Start time – 10am    Time taken – 4hrs Highest Point – Corndon Tor 432metres

Weather – Dull but brightening as the day went on. Very cold

© Crown copyright 2020 Ordnance Survey FL 2020 SF
Still a sprinkling a snow around as I look to Sharp Tor from the car park
The cloud base was pretty low as I started around the 400 metre line but it rose a hundred metres or so as the day went on which meant I had views all day
The Coffin Stone, a place to lay a coffin as the pall bearers climbed the steep hill from Dartmeet
Dartmeet road bridge, I’m turning right here
The broken down clapper bridge at Dartmeet
Badgers Holt outcrop just behind the car park and about 200 metres from the bridge
The East Dart heading to join the western version at Dartmeet
The area opens up a bit as you leave Badgers Holt, this is a lovely area for picnics. Clan Tor is up on the right on the slope, a tor named by the team at Tors of Dartmoor and continues the badger theme in the area.
Clan Tor
The Walla Brook Stepping Stones, on the left are two people about to cross, I always find the gap between the last 2 stones to be the tricky part. They crossed without incident and did well on such slippy stones
The Walla Brook clapper a short distance from the stepping stones, just away to my right is my next stop
Spitchwick Common Tor, another named by the guys over at Tors of Dartmoor website
Its a decent sized outcrop and one rarely visited
I’m in Sherwell now looking back into the sun to Yar Tor
On a good path from Sherwell to Lower Cator looking to the higher moor capped with cloud but with some snow still in view
Looking back to Corndon Tor (left) and Yar Tor (right)
This spot in Lower Cator was marked by John Hayward as one for his Dartmoor 365 book, he remarked about the quality of the wall building, mixing large and small stones
It is always in view, last week I was in Moretonhamstead and I could see Haytor from there and again here near Lower Cator its there with Rippon Tor
Lower Cator bridge
The road bridge (once a clapper bridge) is joined by this clapper bridge. The West Webburn river passing under both bridges
I gone through a gate to head down the lane towards East Shallowford, only to be grilled by a local on my route. I think he assumed the lockdown had already started or maybe he had a hotline into Number 10 as new what was coming and that I should leave immediately. Up on the right in Corndon Tor, it doesn’t look to much of a climb but its a bit of a long slog
Sheep enjoying some cabbage
Normally I’d be looking along the valley towards the Warren House pub but today only Challacombe Down is in view to the right
East Shallowford farm is below
West Webburn and Shallowford Bridge
Looking to the east as I start the climb up towards Corndon Tor. Buckland Beacon is in view on the left
Corndon North Tor
Looking up to Corndon Tor itself from its north cousin
Corndon Tor now looking down to the pointy Sharp Tor
Corndon Tor looking across towards Bellever Tor and forest
The Cave Penney memorial with Yar Tor up on the left
Looking north from between Corndon and Yar Tors. Most of this walk has been in that direction
The Money Pit and Kistvaen near Yar Tor. Normally I would head up to the tor after this spot but I chose to head back to the car
On my way Sharp Tor was lit up by some fine sunlight, the sun itself kept coming and going in the second half of the walk. It was a lovely way to finish this walk with a good photo of one of the best looking tors on the moor

14 thoughts on “Around Dartmeet before lockdown

  1. Nice post, Steve. I haven’t walked along that public byway through Broadaford as from the north end it looks private with the gate there, so perhaps if you encountered a landowner along that section they weren’t used to seeing others take that byway? I don’t know but I always try to avoid routes through farms. Good to see Clan Tor and Spitchwick Common Tor again – both look better in winter of course so you chose the right time! ATB Max

    Liked by 1 person

    • Its a definite byway down that way, the fella held the gate open for me as he thought I was lost!! However he then started the questioning so as you say maybe he doesn’t see that many heading that way. It is a good tarmac path which leads down some nice paths by the bridge, always worth keeping in mind when working out a route I reckon. I quite liked Spitchwick and had been to Clan before but I love the area and the name is very inventive to keep the badger theme going. I’ve put a comment on both the tor pages to mention the TOD website. I need to go back and comment on other tors you guys have named also which I will endeavour to do.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ah, that makes more sense. Thanks for including references to the site – hyperlinks would be good too if you have the patience to do that but it’s not a requirement! Credit to Tim for keeping the badger theme going in the absence of any other names. ATB Max

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    • I think lots of us are trying to stay safe and stay away from others. I’ve done two very short walks the last two days around local fields which involved leaving the path every hundred yards or so to avoid others. Its just not enjoyable and actually brings on stress. I’m going to go more out of the way and less often I think. I haven’t a clue how you would do it in a city centre. No wonder people are driving a few miles to get some space

      Liked by 1 person

      • It would have been better if the govt had suggested a maximum distance to travel. I see those ladies who got fined in the Peak had only travelled 5 miles!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Absolutely John, lots of other countries such as France and Germany have given a maximum travel distance. Makes it far clearer then. Those ladies in Derby also had bought a coffee, which was classed as a picnic!! Now I know that all the National Trust places here in Devon have their grounds open for walks and a takeaway coffee facility. Which means everyone buying one is breaking the law!! Think the police have that one wrong

        Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely, I’m on the edge of plymouth so I can do a little bit a see a few people. But how do those in the city cope. In Plymouth we have Central Park, which is big but packed. No wonder people are driving a few miles to try and get some space.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We drove through this area on our way to other walks on Dartmoor after lunch at Widecombe. It always looked like a great area for a walk mixing river valleys and tors. Not entirely sure why we didn’t stop and do just that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is an awful lot around that area and it mixes it nicely with valley, woods, some tors, lanes and hamlets however heading towards Princetown you would be going towards the better and bigger tors

      Liked by 1 person

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