Walk 1260 - printer friendly version
Haytor Rocks & Hound Tor Walk
Author - Lou Johnson
Length - 7.5 miles / 12.2 km
Ascent - 1405 feet / 426 metres
Grade - moderate
Start - OS grid reference SX754764
Lat 50.574015 + Long -3.7609957
Postcode TQ13 9XT (approx. location only)
The south-eastern sector of Dartmoor displays many of the characteristics associated with this National Park. Moorland, woodland, cultivated farmland and rocky summits provide an interesting scenic mix and this walk combines these essential elements with the remains of a medieval village and an interesting example of our industrial heritage.
The start is the small car park below Saddle Tor (Grid ref. SX754764) located on the B3387 from Bovey Tracey to Widdecombe in the Moor road. At times this area can be very busy with visitors but most stay within sight of their cars and for much of the walk you will be able to enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside. From the car park walk up towards the col immediately to the right of Saddle Tor and turn right onto the clear path leading northeast to Haytor Rocks.
Haytor Rocks consists of two distinct tors. The highest, the first tor you reach, can be climbed using steps and grab irons whilst the lower tor is more of a challenge. Keeping the lower tor on your right continue in a northeasterly direction towards Haytor Quarries. Keep the boundary fence on your left and join the trackbed of the disused Haytor Tramway with its granite rails. Follow this to the first junction. Turn left and continue following the tramway through a shallow cutting and past a small lake on your right. Ignore the tramway track descending right into Holwell Quarry and continue along the 'main line' to where the rails end. Turn right here up a clear path to the summit rocks of Holwell Tor from where there is an excellent view of Becka Brook Valley and the surrounding countryside.
Retrace you steps along the 'main line' until just before the small lake. Fork left here and follow the clear path top the summit of Smallacombe Rocks. The view south from here is especially good. Continue on the path and descend to join a bridleway that crosses a small clapper bridge over Becka Brook. The bridleway climbs alongside a wood to enter open country. Ahead you can see the summit of Hound Tor. Follow the path past the remains of the Medieval Village of Hundatona to reach the summit where you will discover two separate towers of weathered granite.
Continue between the two towers to face the car park below. Turn left and follow the path that heads for Haytor Rocks that can be seen on the skyline ahead. This path continues with Greator Rocks on your left to reach a gate. Follow the onward path signed 'Haytor Down' which leads you down to cross Becka Brook. The next section requires some careful navigation with the path quite indistinct in places. After crossing the Brook head up the slope ahead and take the first clear path on your right. This runs parallel to the Brook heading southwest. There is a boggy section that is best avoided by going left before continuing to a gate in a wall (Grid ref. 747769). The path is much clearer now and you continue past the remains of Emsworthy Farm to reach a waymarked path signed 'Saddle Tor'. Follow this path onto the summit of Saddle Tor with the car park in view below.