Cheesewring, Kilmar Tor and Hawks Tor

A change of scenery on this walk, away from the coast and away from Dartmoor. Bodmin Moor was the destination this time and a walk out past Kilmar Tor from Minions (yes a village of the same name as those little yellow characters, only in Cornwall). The area is packed full of mining heritage, antiquities and tors, and the tors here are big and shapely.The Cheesewring is a stack of rounded weathered boulders balanced on top of each other, Kilmar Tor a long ribbon of boulders, massive boulders all piled up. Its a fascinating place. In between you have marshy areas, quarries, stone circles and engine houses as a memorial to the tin mining, so prevalent in Cornwall. The weather was mainly grey and cloudy but the tors on this part of Bodmin Moor stand proud, tall and impenetrable, vast walls of piled up rocky boulders. The plan was to extend the walk a bit up to Newel Tor and Hill Tor as well, but we heard what sounded like a firing range in Smallacoombe Downs, possibly clay pigeon or something like that, so instead we tagged on Hawk’s Tor and Trewortha Tor, with Hawk’s Tor being a new one for me. We loved this walk and seeing the rock structures is a must for those that like the tors.

Start – Minions

Route – Mining Heritage Centre – Cheesewring – Sharp Tor – Bearah Tor – Kilmar Tor – Twelve Men’s Moor – Hawk’s Tor – Trewortha Tor – King Arthur’s Bed – Withey Brook – Craddock Moor – The Hurlers – Minions

Distance – 10 miles    Start time – 10.15am   Time taken – 6hrs 45mins Highest Point – Kilmar Tor 390metres

Weather – Cloudy most of the way, some sunny patches but a cold wind

© Crown copyright 2023 Ordnance Survey FL 2023 SF
Starting out, with the mast on Caradon Hill dominating the area. Like the one at Princetown this carried the old analogue TV signal
The mining Heritage Centre, from a converted engine house, in the winter months it closes but is open throughout the summer with plenty of info on how things worked
Another engine house a few hundred metres below me, Kit Hill over there has another at its summit. There are also another 5 or 6 on the sides of Caradon Hill
You can see the Cheesewring on the left hand side above the quarry on Stowe Hill. Mine shafts are fenced off and litter the landscape here
At the top overlooking the quarry and looking back to Caradon Hill and mast
Cheesewring and the landscape stretching out towards St Austell
More of the outcrops up here, love how they defy gravity
A steep up and down brings us to Sharp Tor, Stowe Hill on the right with Caradon Hill to the left
From Sharp Tor looking east, we could just make out some of the tors on Dartmoor from here despite the cloudy, hazy views
Looking to Kilmar Tor from Sharp Tor. Parts of Bearah Tor is on the right hand edge of the photo
Bearah Tor, more huge boulders all stacked up and fantastically shaped piles. Kit Hill looking a bit gloomy in the distance
Thought this outcrop on Bearah Tor was fascinating. You can see the rock that has fell and is lying on it side on top of another rock. Well that has separated, through weathering away from the top rock. There would have been a rock basin, seen by the dips in the rocks which would line up, this has caused the rock to split as water filled up the basins and wore away the rock causing it to crack. Bearah Tor also has a working quarry which spoils to view a bit from certain angles, but I avoided that today
Now on Kilmar Tor, the real gem in this area, its massive, hundreds of metres long. Smallaccombe Downs is the forest over there, we could hear gun fire from that direction and that area
Bearah Tor left, Sharp Tor , Caradon mast and Stowe Hill, going from left to right
A bit of sun behind Kilmar Tor on Trewortha Tor
We sat here for some lunch, near the trig point, I’m looking east to the end of Kilmar Tor, its over 100 metres to the end of the tor that way
Facing the other way now and the big outcrop on the right sits about a 1/3 of the way along the tor. That’s Siblyback Lake over there to the left
Linda (in red) is stood under the large outcrop mentioned in the above photo showing the size of that part of Kilmar Tor, I’ve walked about 50 metres or so from where we ate
I walked another 20 metres on and took this photo to the western end of Kilmar Tor, at least another 150 metres away. The whole thing must be 400 metres long at least. All the time the boulders are vast
We’ve torn ourselves away from Kilmar Tor and crossed over to Hawk’s Tor, a gate has given us access through a wall, just a simple climb up to this one is needed
At the back on the right is Brown Willy and Rough Tor, the high points of Bodmin Moor, The East Moor is this side of the trees, there are a few tors over there as well to be walked to
Hawk’s Tor
A lower part of Hawk’s Tor and Kilmar Tor stretched across the back
On Trewortha Tor now, some big drops off these tors to be wary of and plenty of balanced boulders, East Moor beyond
Here is one of those balanced rocks defying gravity again
Trewortha Tor to Hawk’s Tor
King Arthur’s Bed and one of the largest rock basins I’ve seen anywhere, Linda is checking it out to see if it would double up as a bath
King Arthur’s Bed then Trewortha Tor in the sun and a dark Hawk’s Tor at the back
Crossing the Withey Brook, the gate was locked on the other side but plenty of people have headed this way and a few others followed us over a few minutes after we did. Not sure if it was locked due to the firing in the woods on Smallacoombe Downs
Old farm buildings on this side
Stowe Hill as we follow the path back this side of the Withey Brook
A dark and brooding Kilmar Tor beyond the valley holding the Withey Brook, the gate through the wall is actually at the bottom of the hill to our right here, near the brook
Wild swimming spot in another quarry on Craddock Moor, Stowe Hill over there
All the way to the sea at St Austell. Gribben Head also in view with a bit of zoom
The Hurlers stone circles as we near the end. Caradon Hill and mast back dominating the area
The Hurlers at the end of the walk, a lovely change from our normal haunts and showing the best tors on this moor

4 thoughts on “Cheesewring, Kilmar Tor and Hawks Tor

  1. We did a walk around there, maybe 5-6 years back with the kids. Fascinating area just packed with interesting stuff with all the rock formations, stone circles, mining relics etc. we were actually looking to take a swim in that quarry but there were several people camping there and it was a pretty grey and chilly day.

    Liked by 1 person

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