Shilley Pool and Shilstone Tor

It was hot, too hot to do anything more than a gentle stroll for 15 minutes before returning home for a cold shower. Typical Britain, in that we all moan about good weather!! This weekend, I had one boy isolating due to being within a quarter of a mile of someone with a sniffle (no covid found after 2 tests but still has to isolate), so me and my youngest headed off to a Dartmoor swimming spot for some fun. There was a second reason for the visit, as a publisher had decided to use one of my photos of Shilley Pool in their book on outdoor swimming spots of Britain (see the link below if you are interested in some outdoor swimming whether it be sea, lidos, rivers and pools like this). I’d not been to Shilley Pool for a while and I figured that a revisit was required on the back of this and it would be perfect in this weather. The track up to Shilley Pool was very muddy and boggy which was strange considering the week of hot dry sunshine, it also taught me a lesson to always walk in footwear suitable for the terrain (we had to wash our trainers on arrival as my youngest went knee deep in a bog!!). However once there we had another dozen fine people enjoying the pool and space for us to set down and enjoy the water. The best part about this pool is the mossy slippery rocks, providing a cascade down into the pool. A perfect series of slides, giving my youngest a bit of fun, yes the rocks stick up and provide a bump and a stop as you head down but its fun. It was so much fun that we were in there for 90 minutes, which felt like 20, a good guide that we had fun. So much so that this could be my favourite outing on Dartmoor so far. Advert for the new book below.

© Crown copyright 2021 Ordnance Survey FL 2021 SF
We parked by Shilstone Tor, (lower blue arrow on the map above), the view here is to Kes Tor which stands out to the south
The eagle eyed will see Haytor way, way in the distance between Hameldown to its right and Easdon Tor to its left
My youngest on Shilstone Tor
Looking north east ish across green fields of Devon
Meadow Brown, or at least I think it is, the bracken across here was shoulder high and hot to walk through
Shilley Pool is down there, I was very hot by this point, 15 minutes of walking meant I was ready for a plunge
Definitely looking north east this time, the trees in front of me hold the Blackaton Brook (which feeds Shilley Pool)
And here we are, Shilley Pool. The mud on the right is nothing compared to what we walked through to get here. But that’s a distraction from what is a gem of a spot. The pool is at best a metre deep but its enough, and the slippery cascades on my left here are the fun part
My youngest was in before I’d took my socks off
A chilled spot as well, enough room and hot enough to sunbathe, enough water to cool off
Wet but loving it. The trainers and socks behind were drying off after a boggy walk here, with the high bracken there’s no avoiding the boggy ground, just do your best, but then again it puts off everyone but the determined and hardy. We half dried off at this point and walked back to the car wet without changing
We headed down the boggy path its full length to the road and then turned towards Shilstone Tor, this is the larger car park by the bottom of the path. Cosdon Hill is up there on the left
We reached the car and did a quick change into some dry clothes. We then drove about 100 metres from the car park below Shilstone Tor to Higher Shilstone, which is one of the Dartmoor 365, so a quick tick on that one as well at the end of a fantastically fun few hours

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