Blackingstone Rock, Heltor Rock and Doccombe

We’d had a Sunday off walking when we’d returned from the Lake District so despite the low cloud and dull conditions we headed out ready for another Dartmoor walk. The week’s break has allowed me to catch up a bit on the number of outstanding walks I had to post and I am exactly one month behind now (although that is 3 more walks after this one). We headed up towards the north eastern corner of Dartmoor, to seek out a mix of extremely large rocks and some very small outcrops. Blackingstone Rock has to be one of the largest lumps of granite on the moor, it is vast, especially when you look at the section sticking out to the side which is covered in a bit of heather, gorse and scrub now. Heltor Rock is very similar to that as is Wood Hill Lower Tor. Doccombe Rock however is titchy, but its distinctive shape, astride the wall, at least lets you know that you are in the right spot. Both tors on Wood Hill are slowly becoming more and more difficult to get to, with the brambles, gorse and loose wood on the hillside becoming treacherous and clawing at your clothing, making it almost impossible to walk through. This may well be my last visit here, as the greenery is slowly swallowing any passage and the rocks themselves. As with our walk to Great Calva in the Lakes, the weather suddenly improved right at the end of the walk, the sun appearing below clouds and bathing us in a warm glow as we crossed Pepperdon Down. A lovely end to a walk in a lovely area.

Start – Moretonhampstead parking

Route – Blackingstone RockHeltor RockWood Hill Higher Tor – Wood Hill Lower Tor – B3212 – Snaresbrook – Leign Farm – Leign Valley TorDoccombe RockStacombe Tor – Doccombe – Little PepperdonPepperdon Down Rocks – Blackingstone Rock

Distance – 7 miles    Start time – 10.30am   Time taken – 5hrs 30mins Highest Point – Pepperdon Down Rocks 350 metres

Weather – Low clouds, misty and gloomy

© Crown copyright 2022 Ordnance Survey FL 2022 SF
Blackingstone Rock, its huge
There is even a metal ladder up the side to get to the top. Heltor Rock is in the distance
You would normally be able to see Haytor when looking this way, but not today as its a bit gloomy
Tree tunnel as we walk the lane to Heltor Rock
On Heltor Rock looking east
Mardon Down at the back from the top
Linda on Heltor Rock
Normally some lovely views up here across the fields of east Devon, but not today
Wood Hill Higher Tor
And again from below, the quarry easily seen here although it is rapidly disappearing under greenery
The Lower Tor is over there, we had reached the top of it up to the right of this photo, but retreated as we couldn’t descend safely to it
Wood Hill Lower Tor again, this one is the better of the two tors, its just not possible to get to it without shredding your legs
Linda negotiates Snaresbrook
We climbed up the lanes and lonnings to reach Mardon Down
Before descending back alongside a wall to reach the woodland and Leign Valley Tor
It was a short distance to Doccombe Rock although we went around the paths to get to it, as the bracken and gorse was too thick
Stacombe Tor was next up
And the lower parts of Stacombe Tor
The 365 square, the hamlet of Doccombe
Some interesting skies over the main northern end of Dartmoor as we walked the lane to Pepperdon Down
On Little Pepperdon now and the sun looks like it might be coming out
Here it is, silhouetting the trees in front of us. Cosdon Hill is in the distance below the sun
Looking back along the lane to Mardon Down
At Pepperdon Down Rocks, enjoying the late sunshine
And a brighter looking Blackingstone Rock at the end of the walk
Trenchford Reservoir at the end as we drove home, some of the dying embers of the sun reflected to make a lovely end of the day.

6 thoughts on “Blackingstone Rock, Heltor Rock and Doccombe

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