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Walking on Dartmoor

Dartmoor National Park is a wild, and at times isolated, upland area. A land of blanket bogs and grass moors dotted with fascinating tors, old stone clapper bridges, and a diverse range of wildlife. Our ancestors have left behind a fascinating treasure trove from intriguing stone rows to fascinating burial cairns. There are also the stark ruins of Dartmoor’s mining heritage, and picturesque villages and hamlets that are home to interesting old churches and cosy pubs.

The walks in this book have been carefully selected to offer both low-level short walks suitable for all abilities and challenging high open moor routes with river crossings. There is also a two-day Ten Tors style walk for those after a challenge.

Publisher: Cicerone Press Ltd

ISBN: 9781786311085

Publication Date: April 2023

The book is available from local bookshops, direct from the publisher, or from online sellers, including
Dartmoor cover
Dartmoor, a National Park since 1951, is a wild, and at times isolated, upland area tucked in the south-western corner of Devon, in South West England. Home to a diverse range of wildlife, this is a landscape dominated by an expansive high granite plateau, clothed in blanket bogs and grass moors, crowned with fascinating tors and incised by tumbling streams crossed by ancient clapper bridges.

Several millennia ago, our ancestors left behind a fascinating treasure trove, from intriguing stone rows (60 per cent of all the stone rows in England are found on Dartmoor), to fascinating stones circles and burial cairns (there’s over 1500 of them), to numerous hut circles (over 5000). But there are also the stark ruins of Dartmoor’s mining heritage, and picturesque villages and hamlets that are home to interesting old churches and cosy pubs. Oh, and there’s the odd legend or two, from infamous mires to Bowerman the Hunter, who was cast in stone for disturbing a coven of witches.

Here you can wander along tree-shaded river valleys or stand on High Willhays, which, at 621m (2039ft), is not only a mountain but also the highest point in Southern England. On a clear day there are great views out over Devon’s rural landscape from many of Dartmoor’s summits. To the west is Cornwall and Bodmin Moor, while from the more easterly tops you can see as far as Portland in Dorset.

Yes, the weather can be inclement at times, low cloud and mist can obscure the views and the high rainfall leads to numerous bogs and mires, but this climate also brings with it fascinating woodlands clothed in moss and lichen like some enchanted land. When the mist rolls in, the tors take on an other-worldly character – it was here that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle gained inspiration for his Sherlock Holmes novel The Hound of the Baskervilles. As you walk past mist-shrouded tors your pulse might start to race; was that a spectral hound you glimpsed or just your imagination running wild?

The joys of walking on Dartmoor are many. Stop a while on a craggy tor and admire the wonderful views while listening to nature’s music, from skylarks singing high above to the wind whispering over the moor. Take your time, wander past ancient sites – from stone circles to stone rows that seem to be marching over the moor – and wonder as to their purpose, or cherish the little insights gained from chatting to a farmer with years of local knowledge. But, most of all, enjoy and respect Dartmoor.
Bowerman's Nose (Walk 8)Buckland Beacon (Walk 10)Cadover Cross (Walk 19)Crow Tor (Walk 26 and 40)Fur Tor (Walk 31)Hart Tor and ponies (Walk 24)Haytor Rocks (Walk 9)High Willhays - highest point in Dartmoor (Walk 36 and 40)Hingston Hill or Down Tor cairn circle and stone row (Walk 22)Cairn cicle and cist, Hound Tor (Walk 8)Sharp Tor (Walk 13)Watern Tor and the Thurlestone (Walk 32)Wild Tor (Walk 38 and 40)Windy Post Cross (Walk 28)
Introduction covering plants, wildlife, geology, history and more
Walk 1 Drewsteignton and Fingle Bridge
Walk 2 Chagford and Meldon Hill
Walk 3 Moretonhampstead and Mardon Down
Walk 4 Trenchford and Tottiford Reservoirs and Christow
Walk 5 North Bovey and Easdon Tor
Walk 6 Challacombe, Grimspound and Water Hill
Walk 7 Lustleigh Cleave, Hunter’s Tor and River Bovey
Walk 8 Widecombe in the Moor, Hamel Down and Bowerman’s Nose
Walk 9 Hound Tor and Haytor Rocks
Walk 10 Buckland Beacon and Rippon Tor
Walk 11 The stepping stones walk
Walk 12 Dartmeet figure-of-eight
Walk 13 Dart Valley via Bench Tor and Sharp Tor
Walk 14 Ryder’s Hill and Snowdon
Walk 15 River Avon and Eastern White Barrow
Walk 16 Old tramways and Three Barrows
Walk 17 Butterdon Hill, Ugborough Beacon and Sharp Tor
Walk 18 Erme Valley and Stalldown Barrow
Walk 19 River Plym and Dewerstone Rock
Walk 20 Drizzlecombe and Gutter Tor
Walk 21 Burrator Reservoir, Meavy and Sheeps Tor
Walk 22 Down Tor, Nun’s Cross and Fox Tor
Walk 23 Leeden Tor, Sharpitor and Leather Tor
Walk 24 Devonport Leat and Black Tor
Walk 25 Great Mis Tor and Lich Way
Walk 26 Longaford Tor, Rough Tor and Beardown Tors
Walk 27 Foggintor, King’s Tor and Merrivale
Walk 28 Cox Tor, Great Staple Tor and Pew Tor
Walk 29 Peter Tavy and White Tor
Walk 30 Postbridge and Bellever Tor
Walk 31 Postbridge to Fur Tor
Walk 32 Fernworthy Reservoir, Grey Wethers and Watern Tor
Walk 33 Fernworthy Reservoir, Scorhill and Kestor Rock
Walk 34 Willsworthy, Tavy Cleave and Hare Tor
Walk 35 Great Links Tor and Widgery Cross
Walk 36 High Willhays via Yes Tor and Black-a-Tor Copse
Walk 37 Belstone, Cullever Steps and West Mill Tor
Walk 38 Steeperton Tor, Hangingstone Hill and Oke Tor
Walk 39 Cosdon Hill and Belstone Cleave
Ten Tors
Walk 40 Ten Tors two days
Walking on Dartmoor walk location map