Tavy Cleave, Fur Tor and Cut Hill

Some of the best walks that there is on the moor, will include Tavy Cleave at some point within it. This route not only walks the length of it but also heads out to Fur Tor, over the settlements at Watern Oke, before looping back around Cut Hill and Little Kneeset. The finale is a traverse above the cleave over the tors that perch on its top edge. Now, the area out past Watern Oke can be pretty boggy at the best of times and crossing the Amicombe Brook twice will take some doing, but there are spots where a few rocks will help you get across with dry feet. The whole walk is a joy, from the closed in spaces in the cleave to the wide open barren lands atop of Cut Hill, and the return above Tavy Cleave providing some fine vantage points to see your outward route. It had been 3 or 4 years since my last visit to the cleave and it had been long overdue. Cut Hill was also a lovely spot, a small white cairn marking the top of this boggy, peat hagged hill, covered in yellow grass. The isolation was fantastic up there, and with this walk I’d reached the top of all the 3 high hills on Dartmoor over the past 2 months, with Whitehorse Hill and Hangingstone Hill done on a recent walk to bag my last Dartmoor 365 squares (here). A fantastic walk, brilliant at most times of the year and one I loved again in autumn.

Start – Lane End parking

Route – Wheal Friendship Leat – Tavy Cleave – Rattle Brook – Watern Oke – Amicombe Brook – Fur TorCut HillLittle Kneeset – Black Ridge Brook – Amicombe Hill – Rattle Brook – Tavy Cleave TorsSharp Tor (Tavy Cleave)Ger TorNat Tor – Lane End

Distance – 10.5 miles    Start time – 10am   Time taken – 7 hours  Highest Point – Cut Hill 604 metres

Weather – Mainly cloudy with the odd bit of sun

© Crown copyright 2022 Ordnance Survey FL 2022 SF
Starting out from the car park at Lane End and looking across at the Willsworthy firing range area and White Hill
Out along the Tavy valley in the direction of Tavistock, the thin cloud overhead would mean we got the occasional breakthrough of the sun but it mainly stayed cloudy on this walk
There’s is a leat between me and Nat Tor up there on the left, we are heading around into the valley of Tavy Cleave down there on the right
Into Tavy Cleave now and the Wheal Friendship leat is on our left and the tors above the cleave come into view
Looking back at the point where the leat starts, splitting away from the River Tavy
A glorious spot Tavy Cleave tors above us, a wild swimming pool and little waterfalls along this section of the Tavy
A little higher up and the cascades continue, the path through the cleave is tricky in places with rocky scrambles, muddy parts, boggy parts all mixed with good grassy sections, its a lovely walk through here
One of the trickier sections of the path
We’d crossed the Rattlebrook at the part where it joins the River Tavy and walked to the start of Watern Oke, an ancient settlement area with lots and lots of prehistoric hut circles
Looking along the Rover Tavy past Sandy Ford to Fur Tor. We stayed on the left hand side until the Tavy split from the Amicombe Brook, following the Amicombe Brook we found a good spot to hop a rock or 3 across
Fur Tor, the Queen of the Moor
Looking towards High Willhays in the distance with Little Kneeset the green hill below us
Cut Hill from Fur Tor
Linda provides some scale to the main Fur Tor outcrop
A short walk had us at Cut Hill and the small cairn showing its summit, as always with these flat topped hills on Dartmoor, it was wet, boggy and peaty. But the views to High Willhays were brilliant as always and the dip in the photo is were the West Okement river runs off Dartmooe
Looking south from the cairn on Cut Hill, it always feels very central standing up here as you can see both ends of the moor
Linda is following a path, I promise, despite looking like she is heading aimlessly off into the wilds of Dartmoor
Little Kneeset now, its small outcrop below, with Cut Hill back left and Fur Tor right
We are heading down there, basically in a line with the pointy Hare Tor, it will mean another crossing of the Amicombe Brook and possibly Black Ridge Brook if we head a little further right to miss the worst of the boggy ground
Having crossed the brook we head up Amicombe Hill and look back at Fur Tor right and Little Kneeset left
Heading down to the Rattlebrook, to the right here, we look across to the north end of Tavy Cleave and the tors along the rim, we will pass each of the outcrops shortly
The other way we can see Green Tor on the right, the Dunnagoats in the middle and Great Links Tor back left
Looking down where the Rattlebrook, coming from the left, meets the River Tavy. Fur Tor is back left looking a long way away here
Heading along the high path above Tavy Cleave
Linda above Tavy Cleave, we are between outcrops here, both named Tavy Cleave Tors. Sharp Tor (Tavy Cleave) is just left of Linda’s head
Sharp Tor (Tavy Cleave) is a tall tower of granite, again Linda gives a bit of scale
Looking back at the Tavy Cleave Tors from Sharp Tor (Tavy Cleave)
Not sure what this is, as we neared Ger Tor, but it certainly looks like a stone row, there was a hut circle here as well, neither marked on the map
Ger Tor views to the south always deliver and today was no exception
The views into the cleave from Ger Tor are also fantastic
Dropping off the front of Ger Tor we headed towards Nat Tor, the last one on our list today, with lovely views back along the cleave
And south from Nat Tor, the watery sun filters through
Nearing the car now and one last photo of us following the leat with the sun shining. Such a fabulous area for walking and one of the best on the moor by far

8 thoughts on “Tavy Cleave, Fur Tor and Cut Hill

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