Whiddon Woods, River Teign and Cranbrook Castle

This was a walk to pick up some tors in the north eastern side of Dartmoor. I have been meaning to come back to Whiddon Wood now for a while. Lots of woodland here, and at this time of year, plenty of brown bracken to bash through and the odd awkward fence to hop over as you near Cranbrook Castle, having hand railed the top of the woodland. The walk along the bottom by the river is always lovely, although it can get very popular with walkers coming down from Castle Drogo itself or from the popular parking at Dogmarsh Bridge. This was a good route with the real highlight the ascent up past Whiddon Park Tor to Whiddon Wood Tor and then dropping down past the red roofed hut to Great Parford. On this walk we had planned to carry on down to Fingle Bridge and on towards Wooston Castle, but the weather was forecast to come in with heavy rain and on cue the clouds looked very black at Cranbrook Castle so we headed to the car. Next I will no doubt be back to walk the next section along the river towards Fingle Bridge, probably taking in Castle Drogo Still it was a fine day out in some lovely autumn sunshine.

Start – Castle Drogo Parking

Route –  Parford Brake Tor – Whiddon Park House – Whiddon Park House Tor – Dogmarsh Bridge – Dogmarsh South Tor – Iron Bridge – Whiddon Park Tor – Whiddon Wood Tor – Great Parford Tor – Whiddon Wood Tor – Uppacott DownCranbrook Castle

Distance – 5 miles    Start time – 10.30am   Time taken – 3hrs 30mins  Highest Point – Uppacott Down 336 metres

Weather – Sunshine and white fluffy clouds, wall of rain as we reached the car

© Crown copyright 2022 Ordnance Survey FL 2022 SF
The starting point a couple of spots by the side of a lane near to Cranbrook Castle, it always seems an odd spot to have a trig point, deep in trees on a sunken lane
Once you hit gates and gaps along the lane the views are fabulous, here looking towards Easdon Tor on the left
A bit further north you can see to Cosdon Beacon
Plenty of green fields as we look down to Chagford with Meldon Hill on the left
Luckily this one is named for us, Parford Brake Tor
Whiddon Park House Tor, this one is just inside the woods on your left, and up off the path, as you leave the house
We did an out and back to Dogmarsh Bridge to follow the River Teign for a bit
The farmer has piled these rocks up at some point to make Dogmarsh North Tor, over there in the trees to the right of that one is Dogmarsh South Tor, this one is on my list, unlike the north version
Still a bit too much foliage to see this one in its full, but you can see parts of Dogmarsh South here
Iron Bridge over the River Teign, we head across here and then right and along for 30 metres and then upwards to the next tor
First a view along the Teign towards the weir
We then climb the path steeply up through the woods to Whiddon Park Tor, the start of the path is tricky to find, you first need to cross the Iron Bridge and turn right, a clearing will appear on your left, head up that and then up into the trees, the path improves as you climb and you might see it across from you, so it can be easier to find it slightly higher up
This is the path up, the tor is off to the right and gets bigger as you go back
Some of the bigger rocks of Whiddon Park Tor
I popped through the rocks on the previous photo to see this glorious view all the way to Cosdon Beacon, the colours are lovely in this photo
The avenue of trees at the top of the path, there’s a split stone at the top and anyone who has seen the similar National Trust rock in Derwent Water in The Lakes will see a resemblance
As we pop out of the top we look across to Castle Drogo
Turn right and head up the hill, then follow the wall to Whiddon Wood Tor, this is a large tor hidden in the woods, you can head through a gate lower down the wall to this one, but then you can’t get back out again!!
Whiddon Wood Tor is up in the trees there, you can see Castle Drogo between the trees on the left
We dropped down a bit to the top of Great Parford Tor, again lovely views towards Meldon Hill, we are stood by the red roofed hut here
Great Parford Tor below the last photo
Love these views, Kes Tor and the area around Fernworthy Reservoir is in the distance
Easdon Tor is centre of this one as we look south
We hand railed the trees heading towards Cranbrook Castle. Cosdon Beacon back left and Drogo again in view, the valley holds the River Teign
Uh oh, the forecast rain is slightly ahead of schedule and it looks angry
The other way and its Linda, blue skies and fluffy white clouds
On Cranbrook Castle/Uppacott Down here, the dark clouds were just behind us so we headed down to the right to the gate off and 100 metres from the car. As we sat in eating our sandwiches the rain fell heavily, it was a good choice not to carry on down to Fingle Bridge and onwards, instead we finished a good walk in the dry

8 thoughts on “Whiddon Woods, River Teign and Cranbrook Castle

  1. I love these tors but I agree, the access between Whiddon Wood Tor and Uppacott Down needs sorting. The trig point where you parked used to be situated at Cranbrook Castle, but it was moved for its protection by the parish council in 1993. A plaque on the trig explains this. Can’t say I understand why but there you go!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Another favourite walk of mine. there never used to be any access problems. I well remember the trig point on the fort itself.

    Liked by 2 people

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