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Explore Devon

Devon is the only county in the UK with two separate coastlines, one to the north and one to the south. This county is a favourite holiday destination with people from all over Britain, some of whom visit year after year. Much of this is due to Devon’s stunning coast and warm sunny weather, but there’s more to Devon than seaside and sun.

Situated in the south-west of England, between Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset, Devon was once known as a dark land of mines and mysterious moorland. The original Celtic people who lived here were known as ‘the deep ones’ and they lived a harsh life in the steep valleys of Devon.

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Princetown to Great Mis Tor

Ever since I first visited Dartmoor on my motorbike, back in 1990 I was always fascinated by the tall TV transmitter visible for miles and miles around. For the residents of Princetown this monument to modern communication has stood looming over the town since the mast and TV transmitter station came into operation on 7 August 1956.

Princetown TV Mast

A look on my trusty OS Explorer Map of Dartmoor showed a path running north-west from Princetown to Great Mis Tor, seemed to me like the basis of a great circular walk,

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Basic Equipment for Hiking Moorland

This is a basic list of what you should have/wear when hiking. The list will evolve!

A plan. Check how much daylight you will have, your route, your fitness, are the MOD firing ranges closed to the public, check the weather forecast but the weather can be VERY wet and VERY VERY windy on Dartmoor. Equivalent of being out to sea.

Have a plan b for when you need to get off of the moor and onto safer terrain quickly. Plan food stops, never walk tired and hungry. Shelter behind tors / strong walls if the weather becomes severe.

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Princetown to Leather Tor Bridge #Walk1000Miles

Did your new year dawn with a fantastic list of New Year resolutions? As 2016 began here in Plymouth Devon I made my usual list of resolutions;

  • Eat healthily in conjunction with slightly less delicious chocolate
  • Hike more miles in new places
  • Hike old places to see the new changes
  • Set myself a challenge to beat

It was the last bullet point item that I was struggling with; I could try to beat my daily best, a reasonable 40.8 miles hiked on a humid day in June 2015.

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Widgery Cross Dartmoor Landscape

Dartmoor’s weather can be something of a mystery, promising brooding clouds but delivering piercing sunbeams. The moorland landscape delivers the same pictorial promises; mist hidden crosses and tors rising high above brightly illuminated pasture.

Dartmoor Inn – Widgery Cross

For this mid winter walk I parked just off the main A386 road near the village of Lydford, a small lane runs eastwards from beside the Dartmoor Inn to a gated moorland car park.

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Dartmoor Hail and Sunbeams

Autumn on Dartmoor brings a noticeable change in the weather. Waterproof coats are essential kit and as I discovered on this walk protection from hail is also needed!

I had hiked this route before but as with any natural landscape every minute of every day is different. The colour tones of the ground, the angle of the sunbeams in the sky. The intensity of the hail showers! You will never walk the same mile in the same footsteps.

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Yes Tor and High Willhays – Dartmoor High Walks

Large red words on the OS Map spell out a warning to hikers and tourists alike: Danger Area restricted access. I had this notion that the northern landscape of Dartmoor was a fenced off landscape, uninviting to hikers. Littered with UXBs and danger!

Meldon Dam, Okehampton Devon

There is a large car park at Meldon Dam, with toilets and a map of the area.

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Wistman’s Wood to Bellever Tor

Dartmoor in Devon has several large areas of forest and one location that caught my attention was Wistman’s Wood, one of only three remote high-altitude oakwoods. A friend had read about the wood and suggested a walk. I’m not one to turn down a hike to a quirky location, that’s for certain.

Two Bridges to Wistman’s Wood

My OS Map showed a car park at Two Bridges, located at the edge of a small disused quarry. The weather was typical Dartmoor,

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Red Lake China Clay Walk

As I walk more and more of Dartmoor National Park in Devon, my curiosity, my sense of adventure draws me deeper into the vast expanse. It is so easy in fact to get off the beaten track that you are spoilt for choice.

Sheepstor to Plym Ford – Dartmoor Walks

I parked in the scout hut car park at the foot of Gutter Tor,

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The Daymark – Kingswear Coast Walk

Living in South Devon I am spoilt for choice when it comes to stunning walks and scenery. I can head to Dartmoor and hike the wilderness or I can head to the South West Coast Path and witness the power of nature.


Both options never fail to impress and each offer their own escape in the country moments. On this walk I headed to the coast and discovered some fascinating maritime history.

Coleton Camp – Kingswear Devon

Heading away from the bustling fishing port of Brixham and towards Kingswear you pass close to the National Trust property of Coleton Fishacre,

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Sheepstor Ditsworthy Warren – Dartmoor Circular Walk

I had read about another magnificent stone row in the Sheepstor area of Dartmoor and planned a circular walk to explore. I parked at the foot of Gutter Tor, you will see the car-park marked on the OS Map, by the old scout hut nestling in some trees.


The car park does get busy as it is located at the beginning of a well-defined moorland track / bridle path which offers the hiker a multitude of moderate walks in several directions. Monk’s Way, Abbot’s Way and more.

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Burrator – Down Tor Stone Row

My quest to hike Dartmoor and discover its less than hidden prehistoric past was going well. A scan of my OS Explorer Map and the internet revealed a beautiful stone row and circle not far from Burrator Reservoir, a location I knew well.

Down Tor Dartmoor

I parked at the eastern edge of Burrator Reservoir, at the Norsworthy Bridge car park. A busy corner on the reservoir with walks in many directions for people of all abilities. A well-worn path led onto the moor. The map confirmed this was the route to take.

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The Grey Wethers Stone Circles

I’ve never been to Stonehenge, I have driven the A303 a multitude of times on trips to the West Country. My reason for never visiting is the location. A busy noisy holiday traffic route only a short distance away, fences keeping people from doing harm to the stones.


Coach loads of people arriving by the hour on sunny weekends. An amazing icon but the location is all man-made wrong. Dartmoor on the other hand is addressing that issue for me and very well too.

Postbridge Dartmoor Devon

The village of Postbridge is a popular starting point for walks on the moors,

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Start Point – South West Coast Path

Devon is more than just cream teas and Dartmoor, it has some of the most dramatic coastline in England. I felt like walking to a lighthouse so I did some research online and found that Start Point Lighthouse was right on a dramatic section of the South West Coast path.

Hallsands Lost Village

I drove to the tiny village of Hallsands, made famous by the destruction in January 1917 of the village, caused by coastal erosion from shingle dredging in the late 1800s for many years.

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Huntingdon Warren Clapper Bridge – Dartmoor Walks

You’ll read it and hear it over and over again; do not walk Dartmoor without a proper map. With that in mind my first few walks were along well-defined tracks in a straight line. There and back. My reason for a lack of map was simple, I wasn’t planning on visiting Dartmoor or indeed living in Devon; life changes and a map was on order.

Walking Ancient Dartmoor

The many streams, rivers and leats make the moor a very wet place, even after a dry July and early August.

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Burrator Reservoir – Dartmoor Walks

Continuing my gentle introduction to Dartmoor I took a trip to Burrator Dam and Reservoir near Yelverton, Devon. The weatherman promised sunshine and that’s what I was greeted with as I parked for free at the side of the road, near the dam itself.

Having lived near the South Downs in Sussex for several years I was unsure what to expect from a dam and reservoir; seems a silly thing to type but most of the reservoirs in the South East are man-made giant ponds. 

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Hookney Tor – Dartmoor Walks

I wanted to walk a short distance but take in a spectacular view of Dartmoor from a tor. I had driven from Postbridge to Moretonhampstead before and knew of lanes that turned south towards Widecombe-in-the-Moor.


With the sun low in the sky as it was late afternoon in August I set off to find a vantage point to stretch my legs and as always take photos and video.

Hookney Tor and Grimspound

Driving along east of Postbridge I spotted a side turning on my right that lead eventually to Widecombe-in-the-Moor,

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Avon Dam Reservoir – Dartmoor Devon

You may have noticed a change in scenery if you follow me on various social media platforms, yes myself and my Border Collie ‘Dave’ have moved for a while to Devon.

Welcome to Dartmoor Devon

I’ve visited Dartmoor on several occasions over the years but just like the South Downs National Park,

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Maps For All Devices

Recent Comments

  • rolag on The Grey Wethers Stone CirclesI love this page. Thank you for sharing your experiences of the beauty of the land in a most unique place.
  • Keisha Charles on Amberley Circular WalkHi What's the nearest train station to this walk? I live in brixton
  • Chris Newham on Steyning Super Bowl WalkHello Gary (or any other reader who can help). Your wonderful article suggests you might be able to help me. My mother, who used to be a long term resident
  • Tim Benham on South Downs Churchill Tank – Sleeping GiantMy son and I saw ur posts which helped us find the tank today... was splendid.... whilst there 5 other people turned up to see it... she still draws a
  • Nina French on Escape The South Downs WayHi Malcolm. Just wanted to say thanks for the guidance on the wonderful Kithurst Hill to Burpham and back walk. Did it today with Asterix the Beagle on a glorious
  • M art in hayes on 15 Litre Hydration Rucksack – Gear ReviewCan I fit a bigger rucksack over the top of this,whilst walking,sorry if this is a stupid question,I do carry water with me as I am a long distance walker.
  • Sharolyn Craft on Border Collie Dave – Chapter 8I lived your story. We rescued a Border Collie after our last one died. She taught herself how to be my husband’s Service Dog both snuffing to make sure his
  • Malcolm Oakley on Border Collie Dave – Chapter 9Hello Sophie, thank you for reading Dave's adventures, hope you are enjoying the insight into our life changes!
  • Sophie on Border Collie Dave – Chapter 9Great post! I love Dave - I'm glad you both had a great time walking out on Dartmoor. It's always so lovely there when the sun comes out. I hope
  • Malcolm Oakley on South Downs Churchill Tank – Sleeping GiantThank you for your comment. It's a beautiful location up by the tank, glad you enjoyed it.
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