Dartmoor Walking Festival – Sue & John’s ‘Three Tors and a Beacon’

On Wednesday 29th August, Sue H and John M led a group of 22 for this Festival Walk.

Meeting at Cold East Cross, Sue duly took the roll call, imparted safety instructions and route plan and John led us we off towards Rippon Tor, the highest point on the South Moor, passing a one time Logan Stone which used to pivot naturally but was blown up by vandals n the 1970’s.

Sue pointed out Foale’s Arrishe’s on the hillside to the south, an ancient field system, arrishe being the old word for ‘fields’ and Mr Foale being the owner We also saw an interesting recumbent cross on the downward path towards Hemsworthy Gate. The views of Haytor Rock and as far as the Teign Estuary and even to Berry Head, were stunning all agreed, as the sun jostled with the clouds for dominance.

Passing Hemsworthy Gate and a incised cross, hidden in the wall but known to John, we continued our exploration of Tors, Pil Tor and Top Tor as well as Tunhill Rocks lie in this area and views of Widecombe-in-the-Moor are wonderful here. Bonehill Rocks and Honey bag Tor are also visible to the east – a few bonus tors indeed today!

Turning now, we picked up the path south and found a sunny lunch spot on Blackslade Down, near the cist, for our lunch.  We convinced ourselves the original resident wouldn’t have minded too much as we sat around it and ate.

Buckland Beacon was our next focus and we duly continued, through some drizzle it must be said, to reach that spot. The 10  Commandments on the two granite slabs having been re-inscribed recently could once again be clearly read. The original writings were done in 1928, by Mr. W.A.Clement of Exmouth, who apparently spent some months camped in the area – knowing Dartmoor, this must have been unpleasant at times to say the least. Dedication.

This completed the Beacon part of the Tor … (tour?!) and Sue duly led us back to our cars. A walk of around 6 miles thoroughly enjoyed by all and rounded off with tea and cakes at Ullacombe Farm for some.

Thank you Sue and John.