Moretonhamstead, Hingston Rocks and Pin Tor

A nice walk around the north eastern side of Dartmoor and one to keep the miles up in preparation for some walking in the Yorkshire Dales. This walk picks off a number of tors, hills and a number of Dartmoor 365 squares including the diddy hamlet of Sloncombe. Starting and finishing in the lovely town of Moretonhampstead (Doomsday book named as Mortone) this walk heads out to the east first to pick off the awkwardly placed Hingston Rocks, which require an out and back to get them. We headed up to Mardon Down next before heading along quiet lanes to Pin Tor and Butterdon Hill, the return via Linscot is always lovely, dropping steeply through the woods to the lane at the bottom. We tagged on Sloncombe at the end to avoid walking along the A382, but this meant a steep pull up after the hamlet to get to Lowton, before dropping again to Moretonhampstead and the car. The weather throughout the walk was dull and grey but this was better than the rain at home, again showing that the weather on the eastern side of the moor, seems to be better in the winter, especially if the prevailing south western weather is coming in. A good 9 1/2 miles here as well and it could easily be extended to Cranbrook Castle in the north.

Start – Moretonhampstead parking

Route – Moretonhampstead Village Cross – Rectory Tor – North Kingwell – Hingston RocksMardon DownMardon Stone CircleHeadless CrossPin TorWillingstone RockButterdon HillButterdon Hill Standing StoneAsh TorLinscot TorLinscot Cross – Howton Farm – Sloncombe – Moretonhampstead

Distance – 9.5 miles    Start time – 10.45am   Time taken – 5hrs 30mins Highest Point – Mardon Down 356 metres

Weather – Dull and cloudy

© Crown copyright 2023 Ordnance Survey FL 2023 SF
Starting out in Moreton, heading right here firstly along the B3212
The old cross of Moretonhampstead, it used to sit on a shaft and not in this bowl. The bowl used to hold the Elm tree called the Dancing tree, which was cut and clipped in the form of a punchbowl. The Elm has now been replaced by a beech tree, seen behind the cross
A gorgeous looking building, these are the almshouses in Moretonhampstead, the date on the front says 1637, but it is believed that parts of the house pre-date that by 200 years as the 1637 date is when it was refurbished. We head behind the almshouses and cross fields heading downhill.
Rectory Tor, near the rectory, obviously. The lower boulders look to be moved into that form in the main, but the top rocks under the tree are natural
2 Jedi’s have left us, hoping Luke is still out there somewhere
Climbing the lane up towards North Kingwell and looking back down towards Moreton
Snowdrops on the path, also lots of daffodils out on this walk at the start of March
You have to walk a short section of the B3212 to get to this stile (which is currently very unstable), the finger post gives a clue as to what is next
Views down to Moreton from Hingston Rocks. Cosdon Beacon back right and a hazy grey view all around
Looking into Dartmoor proper from Hingston Rocks, Haytor is far left
Back left is Butterdon Hill, with Mardon Down over there on the right. We head down the way we came up off Hingston Rocks, and follow a path from North Kingwell up to Mardon Down
We’ve crossed Mardon Down now, passing through the stone circle to this point, Headless Cross, above the cross is the obvious effects of the recent swaling up here
A bit of lane walking brought us here, this lane takes us to the back of Pin Tor, the woods on the right are Butterdon Ball Wood
Pin Tor, a fine upstanding tor
The view out from Pin Tor with Willingstone Rock over there sticking up, we will be there next
And here we are, Willingstone Rock. It sits in a farm garden, but 5 metres walk into the driveway gives you enough of a view of it
Walking the 5 metres also means you can see that the rock is actually split in two
Butterdon Hill next and plenty of dead bracken, could do with this being swaled as well
The standing stone on Butterdon Hill. Haytor can be seen in the distance
Heading for Ash Tor now and Linscot, views to the eastern side of Dartmoor and again Haytor away in the distance
Ash Tor, always quite like this one for some reason, as you come into the wooded area the tor is off to your right
Dropping down the steep path, with views to Hayne Down
At the bottom of the steep hill before hitting the lane you find Linscot Tor on the left. I’d also seen another biggish outcrop in a field to my right (behind me here), sitting around SX740875, can’t find anything about that one listed anywhere, if anyone knows anything, then let me know
Linscot Cross, the tor of that name is in the trees behind
Linda has now been renamed the cow whisperer as some whistles and noises made them come over for a chat. This technique has also been replicated on sheep so maybe she has some sort of Dr Doolittle powers
Heading for Sloncombe with Hingston Rocks back right and Mardon Down on the left
Lovely house in Sloncombe
After an unexpected steep climb up a lane we reached this view. I think the trees on the hill to the right hold Ash Tor and Linscot Tor, but I was huffing so much at this point that I forgot to note which direction I was looking
Back into Moreton now, no pub for us this time but we’d enjoyed the walk around this area and the are plenty more walks we can do from here heading west especially towards North Bovey.

5 thoughts on “Moretonhamstead, Hingston Rocks and Pin Tor

  1. Another favourite walk of mine – been living there in my mind quite a lot as it’s a primary location of my new novel. Good to see the pics.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The whole area east of the A382 from Bovey Tracey to Whiddon Down is a bit of a bonus area. When you look at Dartmoor it would be a egg shaped National Park but for the bit that kind of bulges out in the north eastern corner. And yes it can be very quiet on that side. But with areas like Shaptor Wood, Castle Drogo and the 3 reservoirs there is some great walking and an awful lot of tors in there

      Liked by 2 people

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