Top Tor, Pil Tor and the tors all around

A Sunday in December and the weather has turned over the last week, finally. After a long warm autumn we finally hit some gloomy and cold weather, and some rain. This walk was squeezed in between rainy days and luckily for us, it fell when it was at least dry. The clouds however, were very much down. I chose a spot which had some elevation, but not too much to put us in the clag. This is a lovely area for tor bagging, this walk alone has 11 tors/rocks, and it wouldn’t take much more effort to collect another 5 or 6. Still this was enough for us as it was pretty cold and after the warmer autumn, I’m not sure we were ready for it being so cold. Still the number of tors kept us interested and we always felt that there was something to see not too far away, due to the tors being so close together. Another nice walk in a favourite area of mine, after this is I have another two walks to publish for 2022 and also my review/best walks of that year. At least I’m catching up a bit now.

Start – Cold East Cross

Route – Buckland BeaconTen Commandment Stones – Welstor RockBuckland PoundWittaburrowTunhill RocksPil TorHollow TorShovel StoneLower Top TorTop Tor – Blackslade Manor – Hemsworthy Gate – Rippon TorThe Nutcracker – Cold East Cross

Distance – 7.5 miles    Start time – 10am   Time taken – 4hrs 30mins  Highest Point – Rippon Tor 473 metres

Weather – Murky and cold

© Crown copyright 2022 Ordnance Survey FL 2022 SF
The car park at Cold East Cross, Rippon Tor behind as we start out towards Buckland Beacon
On Buckland Beacon after a short time and the views down to the River Dart are just about there in the murky weather
Buckland Beacon views, not much today
The Ten Commandment Stones
On Welstor Rock now, looking back to Buckland Beacon
We’d passed Buckland Pound on our way down to the trees over there, we cross the cross just this side of the trees before picking up a path on the western side of the stream that runs through the woods before heading up to Wittaburrow behind
The diddy bridge by the trees in the previous photo above
We had a brew and biscuits with a robin for company
We are on the track under Wittaburrow now looking across towards Rippon Tor
Following the wall up to Wittaburrow looking back to Pil Tor, we will be over there in a bit
The large cairn on Wittaburrow, we are looking towards Buckland Beacon here
The tor part of Wittaburrow is lower down than the large cairn and in the direction of Tunhill Rocks, which is over there
Tunhill Rock now and the lovely views towards Corndon Tor are missing today
Large outcrops of Tunhill Rocks
The tors in this area are pretty close together so after barely a few minutes we were on Pil Tor, looking up towards Top Tor
And back the other way to Tunhill Rocks. We are heading out of photo and right in the direction of Widecombe in the Moor
Next we got to Hollow Tor (Blackslade Down), this one is always a bit tricky to see from above as it looks like a flat grassy mound but come around the side a bit and you can see the outcrop a bit easier
From the grassy top the misty shape of Chinkwell Tor appears. Hameldown is up to the left
A short climb back up and we pick up a path which passes the Shovel Stone, never the easiest on to find, particularly when the bracken is up. The simplest way is to go to Lower Top Tor (which is dead ahead here) and then the path will be more obvious
Now at Lower Top Tor, Linda gives some perspective to the size of these outcrops
Top Tor from its lower cousin, with Pil Tor over to the right
The cloud is lowering if anything as we reach Top Tor and look to Rippon Tor which is our next target via two Dartmoor 365 squares
Blackslade Manor, the first of the D365 squares with Top Tor right and Pil Tor left in the distance
Hemsworthy Gate, not sure why I’ve taken this photo on a tilt! This is the second of those D365 squares
Walking up from Hemsworthy Gate to Rippon Tor
No view from the summit trig point of Rippon Tor so I will have to do, sorry about that. This is also a D365 square so you have three in a short distance
Just down from Rippon Tor, on the way to Cold East Cross, is this outcrop The Nutcrackers, again the backdrop is Top Tor and Pil Tor
The Nutcrackers
On our way down to Cold East Cross and the end of the walk. This is a lovely 7 or so miles in good weather, in this murky clag, you have the tors themselves to keep you interested plus a few Dartmoor 365 squares thrown in for good measure.

5 thoughts on “Top Tor, Pil Tor and the tors all around

  1. Brought back some memories of walk on some of these we did a years back. Started with amazing thunderclouds and Jane’s hair standing on end with the static charge (sadly days of my hair being long enough for that are long gone!🤣). Moved on to the most amazing bluebell display I’ve ever seen at Holwell Lawn and finished off in a hailstorm that turned everything white!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Such a good area for tors, you can easily pick up 15 or 20 tors on a day walk in that area. As for the bluebells I’ll be heading back there towards the end of May as they are fantastic normally

      Liked by 1 person

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