Strenuous, 85 km / 52.8 miles, 2500 m total ascent
This walk enters the following Military Firing Ranges: Merrivale Okehampton Willsworthy
THIS PAGE: UNDER DEVELOPMENT
Start/ Finish: Princetown Car Park (SX 589 734) Walk Format: Multi-Day Circular
Walk Theme: Boundary
The idea for this ‘walk’ originally came from King Henry III who in 1240 ordered that Dartmoor Forest, owned by his brother, Richard of Cornwall, should be confirmed by a boundary perambulation. The King wanted to establish a definite boundary line between the ‘forest’ (the King’s private hunting land) and the ‘commoners’ land’. So, The Sheriff of Devon and twelve knights, starting from Cosdon Beacon, rode around, and listed 32 waypoints as the forest boundary. This is your opportunity to follow in their hoof-steps on what is arguably Dartmoor’s ‘Greatest Walk’!
This walk can be accomplished as a series of walks or as a multi-day camping/ B & B experience. It offers some of the very best landscapes and ‘items of interest’ that Dartmoor can offer. There are a number of ‘versions’ of this walk and as always with history we can’t be certain of the exact route or of all of the locations visited. You are welcome to ‘modify’ this adventure through your own research and indeed the route suggested below also provides a few alternative route choices. This walk ventures into the more remote parts of the High Moor and so good navigation skills will be required, especially in poor weather. The terrain is mostly open moorland and can get quite tussocky in places. There are some tracks and paths to follow but they are infrequent. A couple of minor stream/ river crossings are necessary, although in heavy rain these can become impassable or even dangerous. Some places can get quite wet and boggy and there are some marshes up there – so do navigate with care! This walk does enter the Firing Ranges and so it is essential to check the Firing Schedule and Firing Range Areas and as it is a multi-day walk then the wild camping accessibility needs to be confirmed. There are a few options for refreshment (pubs, cafes and ice creams etc.) along this route! Some of these are highlighted in the Route Description Table (below). It is rather surprising that such a long walk only has five Dartmoor 365 Squares as ‘official’ WayPoints i.e. Great Mis Tor (L6), Limsboro’ Cairn (J6), Rattlebrook (G6) – although you do get to visit both the Foot and the Head!, Cullever Steps (C9) and Nun’s Cross (P9). However, a number of additional 365 Squares/ Dartefacts are either met directly on this walk or are within easy reach of ‘collection’ along the way. These ‘extras’ are mentioned in the Route Description Table.
All numbered items are ‘official’ waypoints, 365 items in bold.
|1. Start: Princetown|
Leave Princetown Car Park by the NW track to the moors. Continue NW up the slope to the Transmitter on North Hessary tor. Descend the NW track to Rundlestone.
Take the NW track to the open moors heading towards Great Mis Tor. Beyond the wall/ fence can be quite boggy in places.
|3. Great Mis Tor (365, L6)|
Walk NE down the shoulder of the slope and then N to Greena Ball. From here drop down to the river and then cross at Dead Lake Foot. Follow this stream up the slope heading NE at the top towards Cocks Hill and on to White Barrow.
|4. White Barrow|
After arriving at this fairly indistinct Prehistoric Cairn head N.
|5. Limsboro' Cairn (365, J6)
From here head NE then N towards Western Red Lake (365, I6) Head. Crossing Amicombe Brook will depend on the flow. The usual crossing point of the Amicombe Brook in this area is at Sandy Ford near to Fur Tor Brook Foot confluence. Although even on good days this can involve wading and wet feet!
|6. Rattlebrook Foot (365, Rattlebrook, G6)|
Wherever you chose to cross Amicombe Brook now make your way to the confluence of the Amicombe Brook and Rattlebrook Foot. From there walk N upstream for a short distance to cross to the W side of the Rattlebrook at Dead Lake Foot Ford. The W side of the Rattlebrook has a track and it is less boggy than the E side of this stream. There is a small ford at Bleak House if you wish to cross over to visit this old Peat Captain's House. Continue N to Rattlebrook Head on the W side of this river.
|7. Rattlebrook Head (365, Rattlebrook, G6)|
Head NE to Stenga Tor. This section has hardly any track and can get extremely boggy in places.
|8. Stenga Tor|
Drop straight down the slope E to Sandy Ford.
|9. Sandy Ford|
This is a good location for the first night camp. In the morning head N up the steep slope to Fordsland Ledge and then on to Yes Tor via High Willhays.
|10. Yes Tor
Enjoy the commanding views before heading NE to Cullever Steps, along military tracks and roads.
|11. Cullever Steps (365, C9)|
Follow Irishman's Wall E over Belstone Tor Ridge and then ascend the W Flank of Cosdon Hill.
|12. Cosdon Beacon|
Head S until White Moor Stone Circle and then continue SW, staying high on to Hound Tor.
|13. Hound Tor|
Head S to Watern Tor
|14. Watern Tor||15. Hewlake Foot|
|16. Long Stone||17. Heath Stone||18. Chagford Common||19. King's Oven||20. Wallabrook Head|
|21. Wallabrook Foot||22. Dartmeet||23. Week Ford||24. Drylake Foot||25. Boundary Stone on Sandyway|
|26. Ryder's Hill||27. West Wallabrook Head||28. West Wallabrook Foot||29. Redlake Foot||30. Erme Head Ford|
|31. Eylesbarrow Cairn||32. Nun's Cross (365, P9)||Finish: Princetown|
Blog article describing my ‘1240 Perambulation Adventure’ – coming soon!!
GPX Track Download:
1240 Perambulation GPX Track (not yet available).
The following ‘Dartefacts to visit’ lists just the suggested Start/Finish Car Park and the ‘official’ 32 Perambulation Waypoints as detailed in the Route Description Table (above). There are of course many other Dartefacts to be found en route:
Map showing ALL Dartefacts in the Grid Squares visited on this walk (link not yet created).