Meldon Hill, Kes Tor and a pint in Chagford

We’d have some pretty cold weather, even down here in the South West of England. Snow had fallen on Dartmoor and heavy frosts were the norm with the temperature rarely rising above zero Celsius. We set out a little later to allow the road conditions to improve a little, especially around Chagford, meaning we only parked up around 10.30am. The good news here is quite a lot of this walk is on lanes, punctured by some great hills and tors in between them, this lane walking makes for a quick passage. We could see from the top of Meldon Hill that there was snow around the Kes Tor area, and thankfully some of it was still present when we arrived. We perhaps could have gone further into Dartmoor, maybe around Quintins Man, but the draw of a possible pint in Chagford at the end swung it for me. Plenty of Dartmoor 365 squares in this walk with Hole Farm, Kes Tor, Chagford and Holystreet Manor all ticked off here. The story of Hole Farm is a long one, with buildings here in the 1200s and a part in the English Civil War with a Roundhead group besieged in the kitchen. Finding out about these places is what makes the Dartmoor 365 book so brilliant. And to finish we had a drink in the Three Crowns, a 13th century manor house and now pub, another place with links to the Civil War as a poet and Cavalier died in the stone porch after a battle with the Roundheads! History everywhere in this part of Dartmoor.

Start – Chagford parking

Route – Nattadon Tor – Meldon Hill – Padley Common – Hole Farm – Yardworthy Farm – Two Moors Way – Frenchbeer – Frenchbeer Rock – Middle Tor – Kes TorLittle Kes TorLeigh BridgeLeigh Bridge Cross – Holystreet Manor – Chagford Bridge – Chagford

Distance – 11 miles    Start time – 10.45am   Time taken – 6hrs  Highest Point – Kes Tor 436 metres

Weather – Cold, some snow on the ground, sunny spells and some cloud

© Crown copyright 2023 Ordnance Survey FL 2023 SF
All frosty at the start as we start up the hill to Nattadon Tor, we’d started a little later to allow any ice to clear on the narrow lanes to Chagford
Meldon Hill from the climb up Nattadon Tor, this climb always feels like hard work when you do it straight out of the car
There seemed to still be a few patches of snow on the high moors, the hope for us was that they would stick long enough for us to get there. Cosdon Hill just has a cap of cloud as we reach one of the outcrops on Nattadon Tor
Some shafts of sunlight pierce the cloud as we look west from the top of Nattadon Common
Weddicott Cross as we walk around the lanes to Meldon Hill
Looking into Dartmoor proper and the area around Kes Tor, plenty of fields with snow on them
A clearing Cosdon Hill from the top of Meldon Hill
The Meldon Hill trig, we’d stopped for a cuppa on the top and I can confirm it was a bit cold up here
Chagford down to the left and looking across to Nattadon Tor, as we descend the slippy path off Meldon Hill
The previous week in Lustleigh we’d seen a George 5th postbox, now we see a George 6th one on the edge of Chagford
Hole Farm, a Grade 1 listed longhouse, originally from the 1200s. The English Civil War was literally fought here, with a section of the Roundheads (Parliamentarians) besieged in the kitchen. For obvious reasons its a Dartmoor 365 square
Looking back down to Hole Farm
Lots of snow on the ground as we stop for lunch
Starting to hit some of the fields with snow now having walked through Yardworthy Farm, we are on the Two Moors Way here, Meldon Hill up to the right
The bridge over the South Teign river, this river is the one that comes out of Fernworthy Reservoir
Linda climbing the steep slippy track up from the South Teign river
We did shut the gate, we didn’t have £2 change anyway
We are just below Frenchbeer Rock here and the sky has cleared nicely and we have some glorious views of a snowy Dartmoor landscape
Frenchbeer Rock looking across to Thornworthy Tor
And up to Middle Tor from the same spot
On Middle Tor now and a magnificent vista is laid out below us. Easdon Tor to the left and Hameldown in the centre
Meldon Hill down there to the left
Middle Tor up to Kes Tor, the high point on this walk.
Linda on Kes Tor now and some lovely views east behind her
This is the view that Linda is looking at, Cosdon Hill is back right, back left is the area around Belstone Tor
Kes Tor looking down towards Middle Tor
We dropped down below Kes Tor to get a proper look at its size, Linda gives some scale to the size of the outcrop and the angle it leans at.
Heading downhill from Kes Tor towards Leigh Bridge we hit Little Kes Tor and the settlements around this outcrop. The settlements include bronze age hut circles and rows
Looking back up to Kes Tor
And the other way across to Meldon Hill, seems a while ago we were on there now
Linda and me on some of the snowier sections we came across, mainly due to these parts being in shadow for most of the day
Leigh Bridge
Leigh Bridge Cross sat on the rocks of the same name, this cross has been restored recently in 2019 by the Dartmoor National Park after the original broke in 2013. My previous walk here in 2018 was prior to the cross being fixed so it was nice to finally get to see it.
Holystreet Manor a fine house, which follows on from the lovely thatched cottage we saw, on my previous walk, in Wreyland
Chagford Bridge, a bridge has been here since the 1200s, although this structure is from the 1590s
Starting to get towards the end of the day now, and I look back up to Kes Tor, through a gap in the trees, which looks a long way off from here
This shop has been here since the 1860s, initially as the ironmongers, passing through several owners and family members before in the 1970s the shop next door was incorporated into the main shop. As it suggests it sells walking stuff on one side and ironmongery on the other
Chagford church, this photo was taken after we left the pub, plenty of history around this 1500s church
And to finish with our refreshments, I went for a stout for a change, made by the same St Austell brewery that does Tribute. A brilliant way to finish a brilliant walk, with history everywhere and snow in places. I’m loving taking Linda to all these places and continuing the Dartmoor 365 journey.

5 thoughts on “Meldon Hill, Kes Tor and a pint in Chagford

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.