Dartmoor cover 954 Square Miles of space in Devon, South West England and is considered one of the UK's finest National Parks and is not only a popular tourist destination, but also used by the British Army as a firing range for the last 200 years. The area is know for it's "Tors" (Hills Topped with an OutCrops of Bedrock) and in the past we have reviewed our tour of both Yes Tor and Hillways Tor which are considered to be the tallest peaks in area at around 2,000 ft.
Whilst we could not possibly claim to have walked across the whole area during our trip, we did a three days trip to see some of the famous parts of this area to find out what they are really like. The Dartmoor bogs are famous for two things, Tors with their own Ten Tors Challenge where up to 5,000 people each year take part in a walk of up to 100Km and Bogs, mainly due the fact that more rain falls on this area of the National Park that anywhere else.
Our walk started when we headed south from the eastern side of Dart Lake firstly through a conifer plantation and then into the presence of Laughter Hole Farm which looks a lot like it has never been updated since it was first built. The idea was that we were going to walk from Dart Lake down to the beautiful Clapper Bridge in Postbridge which is a medieval-era river-crossing made by laying huge slabs of granite over columns of smaller rock that have been stacked in the water nearly two hundred years ago. This walk is not that long and should really only take us five or six hours, but will give a great opportunity to see both the Bogs and this Neolithic area of Dartmoor that has been freckled with this kind of proof of earlier habitation.
Yes Tor – Dartmoor, Devon
One of the best walks in the UK right now is the walk to Yes Tor which is the second highest point of Dartmoor in the South West, UK. The highest point is measured at 619 Meters or 2,031 ft above Sea level which makes it second highest to the nearby High WillHays. One point to make right from the beginning, you need to make sure that the British Army is not using this area to shoot on when you're planning a walk as they do tend to use this area as a firing range.
For our walk up Yes Tor we had to try it twice as the first time we arrived only to find there were terrible storms battering the area which made walking impossible. On our second try we arrived early in the morning to find dense hill fog which would make the early part of our walk quite dangerous, however we were promised that this fog would quickly burn away with the sun out meaning that we would be able to see the stunning wildness of the location . You have a number of choices on where to start your walk, however we chose to start on the Meldon Reservoirs shore side of the mountain as this was just about to bloom with golden yellowish plants and with the woods lying before us made the first part of our walk very enjoyable.
With the Sun now high and the sky and the fog quickly disappearing, it looked like it was going to be a bright blue sky day which seemed perfect for our walk, but also for the group and group of kids that we saw touring about the mountain probably doing their Duke pf Edinburgh award. Once we had reached the top of Yes Tor, we quickly realised that High Will Hays had a better viewing platform as it seem to contact less Radio Masts and more importantly less walkers. Hill Will Hays feels a lot more remote with the scenery extending to the Devon coastline.
The walk back down the mountain is quite easy and there are a number of sights you should be keeping a look out for before hitting one of the local bars for a well earning lunch.
The UK Walks are some of the best walks across the UK that any one can do with limited resources. You dont need to have specailist equipment or even be very fit. You must, however, want to be outside in the countryside.