All around the West Dart River

After a couple of weeks away from a walking path, still on antibiotics and not wanting to push myself too far I sought a route that didn’t involve too much ascent. Distance would be ok if I could find a way not to be heading up and down hills too often. That ruled out the coastal path as that can’t be trusted to be flat, alongside lots of Dartmoor, however there are parts in the centre of Dartmoor that surprising are fairly flat. I concocted a route which stuck to a few lanes and roads as well as a great section across Royal Hill to Swincombe which was fairly flat as well. I even threw in a tor at the end for good measure. There was plenty of the West Dart River and some streams to circumnavigate as well, which involved a few fine stone bridges. The views are good and are mainly to the higher ground around this area and there are a few Dartmoor 365 squares to pick up on route. All in all the walk did exactly what I wanted, it got me out again and didn’t break me in doing so. Perfect.

Start – Dunnabridge parking

Route – Lower Cherrybrook Bridge – Prince Hall Hotel – Prince Hall Bridge – Swincombe Farm/John Bishops House – Gobbet Mine – Hexworthy – Jolly Lane Cottage – Hexworthy Bridge – Huccaby – Huccaby TorDunnabridge PoundDunna Bridge

Distance – 7.5 miles    Start time – 10am   Time taken – 4hrs 15mins  Highest Point – The track between Laughter Hole and Dunnabridge 370 metres

Weather – Mainly cloudy, a fairly flat light, pleasant temperature

© Crown copyright 2021 Ordnance Survey FL 2021 SF
Looking over the car park towards the Dart valley and Combestone Tor is the dimple above the valley. Ryders Hill up to the right
The other side of the road is Bellever Tor, in view a lot on this walk. Back left is Longaford Tor and Higher White Tor
I’ve crossed over the Lower Cherrybrook Bridge down there, Bellever Tor back left and that’s the road to Dartmeet if you go that way
This is the tree tunnel down to Prince Hall Hotel (hotel is behind me)
Down the permitted path towards the West Dart. The rock over there is part of Ground Tor
Prince Hall Bridge and a burbling West Dart River, a lovely spot. I noticed a fair few large boulders and rocks in the trees behind
Prince Hall Hotel from the bridge, the West Dart passing below me
These are the boulders. There was lots of them but not sure they get a name on any website. The hill they were sat on would lend itself to a tor type formation though
Bit of clitter as well beyond the trees. Parts of Ground Tor can be seen above the trees over there. The Princetown mast is at the back
On to open moorland now. I sat on the wall on the left here for a coffee. The path leads to Swincombe which is were I’m heading. Ter Hill and Skir Hill at the back
Bellever Tor and Laughter Tor in the distance
Bit of zoom into Princetown and the mast
John Bishops House (you’d think with all his money the comic would have done the place up!)
The River Swincombe and Royal Hill at the back, I’m stood on the bridge here before turning left along the track on the other side
The Gobbet Mine adit
Looking back down the lane, Princetown mast in the distance, the trench on the left was dug in the direction of the majority of the tin streams (east/west)
Heading towards Hexworthy. Yar Tor is the high point over there
The Forest Inn and the commemorial stone
Hexworthy Bridge and a still West Dart, this spot is popular for swimming
The West Dart and coffee stop number 2. I was sat on a rock under a tree when to guys came to the other side of the bank with a fishing rod, they walked into the water with sandals on and cast off, trying to hit the calm waters before the small falls through the rocks. Eventually they caught a small fish and proceeded to yank the line so hard the fish came flying out the water and arched beautifully 20-30 metres downstream, still on the line. More Bob Mortimer technique than Paul Whitehouse I’d say!!
St Raphael’s church in Huccaby, set in a very pretty location
After passing the church I headed gently uphill to the crossroads and turned left on the road back towards the car. A short detour off the road I came to Huccaby Tor. Ryders Hill is at the back and the Dart Valley is between me and Ryders Hill
Bellever Tor (left) and Laughter Tor (right) from Huccaby Tor
Small Tortoiseshell which took a bit of catching!!
Bellever Tor on the right and back left is Higher White Tor, as I head towards Dunnabridge Pound
Dunnabridge Pound
More of the Pound
Dunna Bridge and the Pound beyond
Last shot from the car park, again (as in the first photo) looking to the Dart Valley and Combestone Tor

4 thoughts on “All around the West Dart River

  1. Need to catch up on your posts – I’m way behind.
    Sorry to hear you’ve been poorly. I’m sure you’ll soon be back up to speed and this looks like a nice enough walk through some pleasant countery even if you didn’t climb any hills.

    Liked by 1 person

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