Longaford Tor, Rough Tor and Wistmans Wood

Where to walk? That was the question this weekend, we looked at East Dartmoor and also coastal, but an early start meant that we might be able to get some parking at Two Bridges, and a walk out to Rough Tor. As it was we were too late for the parking opposite the Two Bridges hotel, but there is a small layby just up the road and meant we could complete the route I’d had in mind. The ridge from Crockern Tor to Higher White Tor is a favourite, giving lovely views all around and some brilliant tors. And don’t the tors come quick in succession, by the time you have reached Broadown Tor after 3 or so miles of walking you have picked off 10 tors! Our route back was via Rough Tor and Crow Tor, both places give an element of isolation, especially when you look north from Rough Tor into the centre of Dartmoor to the heads of the Tavy and West Dart rivers and some very boggy ground. The walk back by the West Dart and then Wistman’s Wood is a good one, the high altitude oak woodland is lovely to see, but it is clear that the number of visitors is starting to affect the area, it doesn’t help that this walk from the Two Bridges car park is so well advertised. Still this is a brilliant out and back walk, nothing too difficult other than the boggy ground either side of Tom Browns House and finished off with a pint at the Two Bridges Hotel, lovely.

Start – Two Bridges parking

Route – Crockern Tor – Little Bee Tor – Littaford Tor – Little Longaford Tor – Longaford Tor – Higher White Tor – Little Whiten Tor – Lower White Tor – Cherrybrook Rocks – Broadown Tor – Browns House – West Dart River – Rough Tor – Crow Tor – West Dart Weir – Wistman’s Wood – Two Bridges Quarry Tor – Two Bridges

Distance – 9 miles    Start time – 10am   Time taken – 6hrs  Highest Point – Rough Tor 547m

Weather – Sunny with some cloud

© Crown copyright 2022 Ordnance Survey FL 2022 SF
Starting out from the car, Bellever Tor is away there on the left
On Crockern Tor now and that’s the Parliament Seat down there, the place where the four stannary towns of Dartmoor met, Sir Walter Raleigh was one of those who chaired a meeting here. Princetown and the mast is back right
Bellever Tor on the left of photo as we look out across Smith Hill
The tors come thick and fast now, this is Little Bee Tor
Little Bee Tor far left of the photo and we are on Littaford Tor now looking down to the West Dart River
Little Longaford Tor and a gap to Beardown Tors
Bellever Forest and tor in view as we look south east. Ryders Hill up on the right
On Longaford Tor now looking back along the ridge and the tors along
From Longaford Tor to the Beardown Tors, the West Dart is between the two. The West Dart Weir is down there centre right
Linda looking out the back of Longaford Tor. Higher White Tor is next for us on the right along the obvious path
I have always loved this view from Higher White to Longaford and beyond, time for a brew to enjoy it.
The forest in the distance is Fernworthy. we head away left from this photo and follow the wall to another tor
This is Little Whiten Tor. Rough Tor is on the hill over there and the West Dart is in the valley between here and there. We are heading to Little White Tor next but will be on Rough Tor later
Little White Tor looking south eastish, Hameldown is back left and Rippon Tor can be seen at the back middle
Linda looking down to the Cherrybrook from Little White Tor, we will then head up to Broadown Tor beyond the Cherrybrook
Cherrybrook Rocks
We have headed up to Broadown Tor here from Cherrybrook Rocks, that’s Higher White Tor up to the right
Very bleak out the back of Broadown Tor even on this sunny day
From here there is a faint path looking like it heads straight for Rough Tor, don’t take it as it leads to boggy ground, green mossy soft areas. We ended up almost out of photo up to the right to get around it. Just go back to Cherrybrook Rocks and follow the obvious path to Tom Browns.
After a bit of bog hopping we reached Tom Brown’s house, unreal that someone would think to farm out here. The Beardown Tors are straight ahead
On the way up to Rough Tor, the path is obvious but not necessarily dry, Broadown Tor is in the near ground, at the back is Rippon Tor and Hameldown
Rough Tor and the rocky part of this place, Princetown mast in the distance
The normal photo of the tor includes the military paraphernalia, back left is Cut Hill, with Fernworthy Forest away to the right
Rough Tor to the pointy Longaford Tor, we are heading this way down to Crow Tor, which is in view here as a dark area sliding down the hill middle right
Crow Tor now looking to Longaford Tor
Crow Tor
And the other side of Crow Tor, this is a shapely outcrop
Longaford Tor up on the left and the West Dart below us, we have just crossed it for a second time as we head for the West Dart Weir which will mean a third crossing
West Dart Weir and the separation of the Devonport Leat starts here on its 27 mile journey to the dockyard in Devonport, built in the 1780s
Beardown Tors above the West Dart Weir, it was horribly wet and boggy as we left this part, heading away up and left as we could to avoid the worst
The main path after the boggy bits brought us to Wistmans Wood, and amazing oak woodland with lichen, moss and plants rarely found elsewhere
The trees are fantastic, all gnarly and spooky
Leaving the woods along the main path and looking back, the West Dart River is down to the left
Two Bridges Quarry Tor, probably the most important tor on the moor as it shows clearly how all tors were formed and the weathering which took place underground
After a pint we looked around the ground of the hotel, this is the road bridge (Prince Edward) built in 1931. We’d sat outside and had a pint which for April isn’t bad in the middle of the moor/ All that was left was a short walk to the car after the end of an amazing walk into the heart of Dartmoor and a chance for Linda to see some of the boggy centre of the moor, I’m loving showing the moor to her.

8 thoughts on “Longaford Tor, Rough Tor and Wistmans Wood

      • Interestingly, I see in Oliver Rackham’s History of the Countryside book the suggestion that air pollution from Plymouth might have actually helped preserve the wood in that it keeps oak mites at bay?

        Liked by 2 people

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