Lake Viaduct, Great Nodden and Sourton Tor

We started out with a good weather forecast, the winds from the east mean that clearer weather will be found on the western side of Dartmoor. Now its not often that this happens, mainly in the winter, but we were going to take advantage of it. The plan was to head for the Willsworthy ranges and have a look at Hare Tor, Sharp Tor and the rest around that area. However I had assumed that on a Sunday that no firing would be taking place. Nope, I was wrong, the military had put up their red flags as we pulled into the car park at Willsworthy. Plans scuppered, we headed north and stopped at Sourton village, parking by the village hall and setting out for Great Nodden, picking up the Dartmoor 365 squares as we walked. The return over East Tor and Sourton Tor was brilliant and the weather gave some fantastic views to Cornwall. I always try to come to this side of the moor on a good weather day, simply because of the views to the west, and this was one of those days, with a bank of cloud holding on to the northeast. I’d picked the right area. Another superb walk on the west side of Dartmoor.

Start – Sourton parking

Route – Sourton Green Cross – Granite Way – Lake Viaduct – Lake Down – Rattlebrook Railway – Great Nodden – Rattlebrook Railway – East TorSourton Tor – Prewley Moor – Granite Way – Sourton

Distance – 7 miles    Start time – 12.30pm   Time taken – 3hrs 45mins Highest Point – Sourton Tor 440 metres

Weather – Sunshine all the way around, glorious blue skies

© Crown copyright 2023 Ordnance Survey FL 2023 SF
The Highwayman Inn and Sourton Cross which is just in front of me
The lovely Sourton Church
And inside
Linda is off along the Granite Way, a walking/cycling route along the western side of Dartmoor which uses the old railway track which ran from Tavistock to Okehampton
Lake Viaduct, Great Nodden in view now back left
Lake Down spreads out below us. we will walk up to the right in this photo towards Great Nodden, but return across the top edge up there heading left towards Sourton Tor along the Rattlebrook railway
Lake viaduct and one of the Dartmoor 365 squares
Number 13, Lake viaduct and the views across towards Cornwall which are improving behind us with every step up the hill
Sourton Tor is over there and you can see the Rattlebrook Railway bending around on the right of photo
Great Nodden summit has two cairns, this is the smaller one with Brat Tor and Arms Tor in the distance
And looking up to Great Links Tor
The larger cairn with Cornwall behind
On the Rattlebrook Railway now looking back to Great Nodden right and Arms Tor left, the valley between holds the infant River Lyd
The part of the railway where the track would have reversed to send the horse and carts up and left in the direction of Great Links Tor. The railway ran for 7 miles from Bridestowe up to Bleak House behind Great Links bringing peat down from the moor.
East Tor, this one sits below and south of Sourton Tor, the outcrops look like they are ready to slide down the hill
Looking into the sun and more of East Tor
Up on Sourton Tor now, that’s East Tor down to the right, the views to Cornwall from up here are superb, especially on a day like today
Looking down from Sourton Tor towards Meldon Reservoir, the bank of cloud to the northeast is looking particularly foreboding from here
Walking down from Sourton Tor towards Meldon Reservoir you hit these mounds running across the hillside. This is the Ice Factory which was in use in the 1880s for 11 years, it had some success when it was very cold. Yes Tor and High Willhays at the back with cloud touching the tops
Linda walking down to Prewley Moor from the Ice Factory
The two of us in shadow with Meldon Reservoir beyond
Looking back up to Sourton Tor as we join the Granite Way again
Walking back along the Granite Way towards Sourton Church
Back at Sourton Church, the sun is still shining and it has been a beautiful walk in a lovely area of the moor

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