Last of the Dartmoor 365 – Walla Brook

The end of a list and one which I’d probably only found out about when I was actually half way through completing it. The Dartmoor 365 list will take you everywhere across Dartmoor and I mean everywhere. Villages, tors, woodlands, valleys, churches, ruins, streams, pools, bridges, crosses, farms and one particular square with nothing in it (Wilderness – G7). It is just a brilliant list, climbing mountains or tors has a familiarity about it, not this list. You will need to walk lanes to get all these spots, in fact there were lots of walks that I did that didn’t once set foot on a moorland pasture, and some where you are miles from a road. I’m a bit sorry to see the end of this list, I loved walking the lanes and looking at the houses and the views back to the tors. I also loved heading off into Dartmoor proper and picking off a square by visiting something that was in-between tors or off to the side of the normal path. This last walk was the Walla Brook, a stream that wriggles across Gidleigh Common, boggy in places and very boggy in others. We’d just had the driest summer for quite a while so it seemed a good idea to head out on a sultry day to finish the list off. As I was heading out and across the Common, I figured that Watern Tor needed a revisit as I’d not been since 2018! I then headed up to Whitehorse Hill and then a loop around picking off other tors as I went, finally finishing at Scorhill Circle. As for what’s next on my list of to do’s, I’ve got the Coastal path and Wainwright to finish and lets face it I might as well do the 365 all again!

Start – Gidleigh parking

Route – Scorhill TorTolmen Stone – Walla Brook Clapper – Walla Brook – Watern Tor – Walla Brook Head – Whitehorse HillHangingstone HillWild Tor – Gallaven Mire – Gallaven Ford – Ruelake Pit – Rival Tor – Gidleigh Common – Scorhill Stone Circle – Gidleigh parking

Distance – 9 1/2miles    Start time – 9:45am   Time taken – 5hrs 15mins  Highest Point – Hangingstone Hill 604m

Weather – Some cloud, sunny and very humid

© Crown copyright 2022 Ordnance Survey FL 2022 SF
Having left the car at the car park near Scorhill Circle I headed through the gate to this view north. Cosdon Hill at the back looking bulky as always. Cloud above but some breaks of blue skies also. Still very warm though.
Fernworthy Forest on the left and the basin that holds the North Teign river immediately in front
I left the stone circle to the end and instead dropped to Scorhill Tor. Kes Tor at the back
Down at the North Teign now, the stone with the hole in it is the Tolmen Stone. Pass through the hole to cure your rheumatism apparently. I’ll keep it in mind
Walla Brook Clapper. Watern Tor can be seen way in the distance back left ish and the Walla Brook goes around the back of that having wriggled its way between here and there. I initially stayed on this side of the Walla Brook and tried to head out, but quickly hit horrendous ground and started to sink, so I crossed the brook and made my way on the southern side, handrailing the brook as best as I could
There is a path of sorts on this side, sometimes a sheep path, sometimes boot trails are visible, but despite the knee high grass in places it was passable and mainly dry
Think that’s Hound Tor in the centre distance as I look along the Walla Brook
Having been to the Lakes recently I did a double take on these two Herdy’s
I’m pretty much at the spot where the path, coming from the Manga Rails direction, crosses the Walla Brook and heads towards Gallaven Ford. I’m at the spot where my Dartmoor 365 journey is complete. That’s Watern Tor up ahead.
Looking across to Fernworthy Forest, almost an eerie look to the sky above
Climbing up the front of Watern Tor (harder than I though it would be) I look back along my route so far. The dip to the left of the trees holds the Tolmen Stone and North Teign
Watern Tor, Cosdon Hill is back right
This one is probably the most weathered and shapely of the tors out on the moor
Whitehorse Hill peat pass was next up having negotiated Walla Brook Head
The peat pass sign
Despite the hot summer months at the end of August there were still pools of water on Whitehorse Hill, alongside the boggy ground north of the Walla Brook. It was also pretty wet between here and Hangingstone Hill
The burial cairn on Whitehorse Hill summit
Leaving Whitehorse Hill I look across to the top of Dartmoor, with High Willhays and Yes Tor insight
Its a short but boggy walk to Hangingstone Hill, here’s the military hut on the left with Cut Hill and Fur Tor on the horizon
Looking north is Steeperton Tor in the centre with Belstone Tor behind that left and Cosdon Hill back right
Heading now to Wild Tor again that view towards High Willhays and the Belstone ridge
Wild Tor ahead. Steeperton Tor left and Cosdon Hill right
The scattered outcrops of Wild Tor
Watern Tor up on the right with Gidleigh Common spreading out below
Gallaven Mire with Hound Tor above it, normally pretty wet in there, I avoided it on a good grassy path to Gallaven Ford
Gallaven Ford. I’m heading to the trees in the centre of the photo which has Scorhill Stone Circle this side of them
First I head to Rival Tor, this one sticks out on a spur of higher ground into Gidleigh Common. Down there on the right is the Walla Brook. Fernworthy Forest at the back
Another good path takes you to Scorhill Stone Circle and a lovely view beyond that piece of antiquity
Most of my walk on this picture. The Walla Brook wriggling away from me
Looking north east off Dartmoor with some lovely clouds above. A brilliant walk to finish the Dartmoor 365 with loads to see on this side of the moor. Another visit to Watern Tor which is always a joy and hopefully not another 4 years before a return

8 thoughts on “Last of the Dartmoor 365 – Walla Brook

    • I think its a fantastic idea for a list, all from noticing that Dartmoor has 365 square miles that make it up. Love that he didn’t just plump for some of the obvious spots either and its certainly broadened my experience on the moor

      Like

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