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, a destination on my way home. Dartmoor has a mixture of public car parks in the larger villages and popular tourist locations as well as smaller cut-outs along the edge of many roads.
I was fortunate to find a small parking spot close to Hookney Tor which overlooks Grimspound, a late Bronze Age settlement which consists of a set of 24 hut circles surrounded by a low stone wall.
From the tiny car park I could see the granite rocks of Hookney Tor close by to the east of my location. As it was late afternoon I wasn’t planning on walking far so the modest climb up to the summit of the tor was easily achievable with camera gear and Border Collie.
The granite piles of Hookney Tor stand some 1631 feet (497 metres) above sea level but given the height of the road, the climb is only modest by Dartmoor standards.
From this beautiful vantage point overlooking Grimspound you are transported back thousands of years. Grimspound consists of a set of 24 hut circles surrounded by a low stone wall. The area is a late Bronze Age settlement.
Very few modern man-made structures can be seen without looking very hard. The breeze was fresh and the August sunlight was kind to the landscape.
Livestock in the distance chewed the moss with rhythmic regularity and time ticked by very slowly up here. The changes are barely noticeable, only the direction of the sun and length of my shadow gave an indication of the passage of time.
I stood and listened to the breeze as my Border Collie walked the moor sniffing the new smells and looking around. We kept each other company and I would like to think he enjoyed the views (certainly the smells) as much as I did.
I love views, my walks around the South Downs always took in views, Dartmoor National Park offers views for miles when the weather is kind. Already I am having to force myself not to keep returning to the same location simply because it is stunning to look at. All of Dartmoor is stunning to look at and hopefully over the coming months I can show you much more of that beauty.
Wind and weather are shaping these granite piles all the time; people see faces, familiar shapes in the rock. Like watching the clouds above as they take on new shapes every few minutes. It just takes the granite a lot longer to achieve the same.
Tiny flashes of bright light marked the route of cars on the road from Postbridge to Moretonhampstead, barely visible to the naked eye. With the sun low and the shadows long it was time to head back to the coast of Devon for dinner. I shall return to Hookney Tor and Grimspound and walk some more of the moor.
Route: Hookney Tor.
Distance: 0.5 miles.
Hookney Tor: OS Grid Ref: SX 69538 81236