Ilsington, Bag Tor and Ramshorn Down

When it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The theme of this walk was again, lanes on the edge of Dartmoor and a walk up to a couple of tors to give some fine views. This was my third of these type of forays and again allowed me to visit a couple of neglected tors in Bag Tor and Pinchaford Ball, alongside picking off the Dartmoor 365 squares in the area. The weather was stunning again, having had a fair bit of rain and strong winds in the run up, my walk day changed to blue skies and cold wind. Perfect. The walk again is a good one, the lanes were reasonably quiet, with the one exception being the short section of uphill road into Ilsington, which is a lovely village for a potter. My only issue is when leaving Bag Tor, I’ve always wanted to go straight on and down to Bag Tor House or Bag Tor Mill. However the black dashed lines never fill me with confidence and I’ve followed the one down to Bag Tor Mill previously and been hit with a Private gate as the dashed line turns to a lane. So instead I returned back out of the Bag Tor enclosure, picked up another black dashed line, a couple of hundred metres north east, which leads into a pink dotted line on the map, which I know is good and on to Birchanger Cross before dropping down to the mill. If anyone knows of a better path to Bag Tor mill from Bag Tor then let me know.

Start – Pottery Road, Bovey Tracey

Route – Brimley – Ilsington – Pinchaford BallBag Tor – Bagtor Mill – Birchanger Cross – Five Lanes – Ramshorn Down – Rora Wood – Old Liverton – Look and Weep, Colesworthy – Bovey Tracey, Pottery Road

Distance – 10.5 miles    Start time – 10am   Time taken – 5hrs 10mins  Highest Point – Pinchaford Ball 376 metres

Weather – Sunshine, windy and cold

© Crown copyright 2021 Ordnance Survey FL 2021 SF
Starting out and looking back along Pottery Road, which I think by now has changed name to something else. I’m at Brimley Cross and heading behind me along the lanes to Brimley itself.
Plenty of fields on this walk, high hedges, lanes and blue sky
Brimley, the Dartmoor 365 book doesn’t really give you anything to look at here apart from a few plants/flowers that grow at the roadside. Still I’m here and heading on to Ilsington
Cosy cottages
The road from Pottery Lane was climbing all the way, not steeply but enough to give these views even though I’ve barely walked more than a mile by this point.
This time of year tends to mean mud in the farmers fields, particularly where cows are concerned. Luckily this walk doesn’t pass through any fields like this. I’m heading downhill for a short section here along the tree line on the right, before I turn right at the bottom and start a steeper climb to Ilsington
Multi coloured sheep at Ilsington church
Which is here, its a good looking church, especially when the scaffolding is removed. The whole village is lovely and has a shop and a nice pub as well.
The entrance to the Church of St Michael, the carving to the right has been restored twice in the last 40 odd years, and its 10.45am now and a service is running
Over the fields and into the sun as I leave Islington, the road keeps climbing slightly as I head nearer to the Haytor area
The few houses down there are part of Pinchaford hamlet as I start the steepest climb of the day to Pinchaford Ball. Its only a short climb however and I’m up there in 10 minutes
Teignmouth in the distance from Pinchaford Ball
The outcrops on Pinchaford Ball. Bovey Tracey can be seen in the distance
I made the short trip across to Bag Tor which gives some fine views to Haytor right and Saddle Tor left. The cows on the right were coming out through the gate onto open access land and were not easy to avoid. Two young males were having a bit of a wrestle when I made my way back that way
Rippon Tor from Bag Tor
That is definitely a path on the floor, and also a black dashed line on the OS maps, but follow it to the end and you will see a gate with private on it with the track to Bagtor Mill the other side. I went left and picked up a path (on the OS map it starts black dashed and turns to pink dotted) this leads to Birchanger Cross
Bagtor Mill, one of the D365 squares and a holiday home so you can hardly see it anymore
Back at Birchanger Cross again, I’m heading right this time towards Bickington along the lanes
Five Lanes and the stone marker post
There’s one lane behind me (which is my next route), one left here, the one I’ve already walked coming straight down from the higher hills in the distance and one on the right. Also on the right out of shot is a second track/bridleway which leads across to Ilsington
A short climb up to Ramshorn Down from the lane below opens the views beautifully to the north. Rippon Tor on the left, Saddle Tor in the middle and Haytor right, further right and back looks like Black Hill
Bovey Tracey as I near the summit of Ramshorn Down
The local council have marked the summit area with this marked stone and ring of standing stones around it
Teignmouth is the other way
As I leave Ramshorn Down I enter Rora Wood, permitted paths run through this place and I didn’t see a soul in here
Leaving the woodland I again followed the lanes, first through Old Liverton and then to here Look and Weep farm and livery. Another Dartmoor 365 spot
Down the lanes and nearing the end of my walk, the farm on the right is Langaller and just behind that is Bovey Tracey
The sun barely gets any higher at this time of year and you always seem to be walking into it, blinding you as you go. Still the blue sky was lovely again today, the wind was biting and it felt quite wintery on this walk. Happy for these kind of conditions to continue into the festive season.

9 thoughts on “Ilsington, Bag Tor and Ramshorn Down

  1. I well remember an owner keeping people off Bagtor – the playwright John Ford was born nearby – we used to trespass there till CRoW.

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      • Not certain its within a series of walls, with gates giving access to the part nearest to Pinchaford Ball/Haytor (SX76087603) and then a sign near the gate which talks about a access path which leads up alongside trees to another gate at SX75597509. OS maps show black dashed lines which take you to lanes around Bagtor House and Bagtor Mill, but without trying all of them I’m not sure of the access down on to the lane, I just know the Bagtor Mill one says private on the gate (SX76727582). Normally a black dashed line is access at the landowners permission (I think)

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    • Looks like we’ve gained that now down here until at least the weekend. I didn’t manage to get out this last weekend due to rain Saturday and thick mist Sunday, which is still with us now. Have Friday off so hoping to get out possibly twice!

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