Sheeps Tor, Marchant’s Cross and Ringmoor Down

Those of you that have read my walking blog for a bit will have seen that I quite like a sunset, its rare that I’m up in time for a sunrise but a sunset is definitely one for me. I even try to make a bit of a pilgrimage to the Cox Tor area of Dartmoor to see a really good one each year, around June. However I don’t think that I’ve ever had a sunset walk in the first week of February, and I’d say that this walk is already penciled in for walks of the year. The golden hour colours were magnificent and the timing of our arrival on Wigford Down were almost as impressive as the sunset display. To add to that, if nature’s display wasn’t enough, we had a display of our own human making. Last year I managed to come across 4 fellas walking naked on the edge of Dartmoor, near to Grippers Hill (here), now we arrived at the summit of Sheeps Tor to find it had been taken over by a silent disco. There was a DJ sat at a small desk, with a laptop, bopping away with his headphones on, whilst 50 odd people dressed in thick coats, hats and warm footwear gyrated smoothly under headphones of their own. All bar one that is. He was completely naked, except his headset and knee strap and was doing handstands, cartwheels and frog jumps around the summit!! I was just stunned and was grateful to some stunning views across towards Lee Moor for drawing my gaze away. I can’t imagine that we can beat this experience this year, and alongside the stunning colours and views it certainly will be a walk that lives long in the memory. So there you have it, even in the wilds of Dartmoor, expect anything to happen!

Start – Clearbrook parking

Route – Callisham Tor – Lovaton – Marchant’s Cross – Yeo Farm – Sheepstor – Sheepstor CrossMaiden TorNarrow TorSheeps Tor – Ringmoor Down – Ringmoor Stone Row and Circle – Brisworthy Plantation – Wigford Down

Distance – 9 miles    Start time – 1pm   Time taken – 4hrs 30mins Highest Point – Sheeps Tor 366metres

Weather – Blue skies, sunshine, cold and a glorious ending

© Crown copyright 2023 Ordnance Survey FL 2023 SF
We’d had a slightly later start after a lazy morning and a night out the previous day, but the weather was just glorious today so we headed as near to home as I felt, into an area and a route I’ve only walked once before. The view is to the tors around Burrator, Peek Hill left and Sheeps Tor right, we will be there later
The fields of West Devon
Callisham Tor isn’t the easiest to see, but there is a bit peeking up. There is a fence between me and it as its on private land, but there are more rocks in under those trees
Lovely snowdrops lined the road to Lovaton
Quite liked the writing on this sign in the hamlet of the same name
Those tors around Burrator again
Marchant’s Cross is passed as we head to Yeo Farm
Yeo Farm, another trait of our walks this year has been some lovely looking houses
Sheeps Tor beyond the village of the same name
Sheepstor Cross and church
We followed a narrow road to reach this gate and access to Maiden Tor, which is just down the hill from Sheeps Tor, little did we know what was 400 metres up the hill from this point
We took in the view down to Burrator Reservoir from Maiden Tor
And the views get better as you climb
Erm, I’m not sure I have the words to describe this scene, this is Sheeps Tor summit area or should I say Pacha Tor, the main part of the tor, and the dancing, is over there on the far side, the guy sat down centre left is the DJ and the participants are all waving their arms around, twirling and doing walks straight out of a John Cleese sketch. Just surreal.
We headed over to Narrow Tor, a kind of outcrop stuck to the side of Sheeps Tor, but overlooking Burrator Reservoir and a great view across to the pointy Leather Tor. Princetown mast is at the back
Further right is Down Tor and Eylesbarrow
We’ve walked to the far side now and are stood on Sheeps Tor, a great views at the back beyond the revellers. Our naked friend can be seen mid frog jump just in front of the dark rock centre left
Linda rightly takes in the stunning view east towards Lee Moor
As you can seen the range of the headphones was decent, the DJ is in the main group over there and the girl in the green coat is bopping away to the right here out of shot, you know who is up there on the left
One last picture of Burrator Reservoir with Cornwall at the back before we descend
The hugely impressive bulk of Sheeps Tor, plenty of climbers trying out the routes, I hope they don’t get a shock when they top out
Walking the lane around to Ringmoor Down and looking back across to Sheeps Tor
And again as we climbed Ringmoor Down, it was starting to get late and we still had a fair way to walk back so we got a bit of a wriggle on around this point
We pick up the stone row across Ringmoor Down
At the far end of the stone row is this cairn circle and its golden hour time. Trowlesworthy Tors to the right and Legus Tor straight on, backed by Lee Moor
Rounding Brisworthy plantation and we get a lovely view of light and shade with the sun starting to set
Starting to climb to Wigford Down now and we turn to see the moon rising over Brisworthy plantation
To the left we see the tors surrounding Burrator catching some lovely light from the setting sun
Moon rising and a selfie
At the top of Wigford Down is this lovely pond and a wow view to the sun setting
Wigford Down cairn and the sun disappearing behind Cornwall
A glorious way to finish, the moon rising behind us, the golden glow in front of us, this photo was taken at about 5.20pm and there was still just enough light as we reached the car around 5.35pm. A fantastic way to spend a Sunday afternoon and one of the most memorable walks I’ve ever had, glad I had Linda with me to share it.

9 thoughts on “Sheeps Tor, Marchant’s Cross and Ringmoor Down

  1. Another lovely area – used to shelter in the Pixie’s Cave on Sheepstor, where legend has it that John Elford hid in the Civil War/

    Liked by 1 person

    • The sunset was absolutely gorgeous, however the naked man and silent DJ on Sheeps Tor is the equivalent of having the same on Catbells, with the amount of people that normally hit the summit each day. Very odd

      Liked by 1 person

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