Whiteworks - Swincombe - Blackey Tor - Peat Cott

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Whiteworks - Swincombe - Conchies Road - Blackey Tor - Blackbrook River - Bull Park - Peat Cottages

Whiteworks is about two miles east of Princetown and is right in the middle of open moorland. Starting a Dartmoor walk from Whiteworks means that you are well into the moor virtually as soon as you leave the car.

As with any Dartmoor walk, you really do need a map and compass and be able to walk on a compass bearing. Clear footpaths are sometimes in evidence, but often you are walking across rough moorland without too many distinguishing features. Another element of Dartmoor walking is river, brook and bog crossing and as you might expect, you will be doing a little of that too on this walk.

A good description of this route is 'a walk around Royal Hill'. A look at the map of the area will show just how apt a description that is. Royal Hill is a very wide, low hill with no steep sides. There is a small tor called Royal Tor on top, unnamed on the OS maps and therefore not well-known. Royal Hill is bounded by the Blackbrook River to the north, the small River Strane to the west and south and the Swincombe River to the east. All three rivers are themselves feeder rivers for the best known river on Dartmoor, the Dart; and you will see all three of them during this walk.

In essence this walk is an anticlockwise perambulation of Royal Hill, keeping close to the base of the hill. Inevitably there are river crossings but because of the lie of the land only one river as such is traversed, the smallest of the three, the Strane, which has its source in the miry bog to the west of the hill. During the walk you pass across a number of tributary brooks; a quick count gives four, see if you can find them on the OS map.

Once you are beyond Whiteworks then the south and east side of Royal Hill is typical wide open moor with some tussocky grass. There are tracks to follow until you take a detour down to the shortest stone row on Dartmoor which overlooks the river Swincombe. Leaving the Swincombe you continue north, passing by a kistvaen, on your perambulation. When you meet the old Ashburton to Tavistock packhorse trail you follow it west to beyond Cholake Head. From there you descend north west by Blackey Tor and down for a walk beside the Blackabrook river. Leaving the river you return via tracks through Bull Park, across using a bridleway to the little hamlet of Peat Cot with its tiny Wesleyan Chapel and so back to the car park again.

The only way out is via Princetown along the narrow road. The road was built to provide access to the tin mines at Whiteworks but now it proves very useful road getting walkers deep into the heart of Southern Dartmoor.

England - South West England - Devon - Dartmoor

Features

Ancient Monument, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Industrial Archaeology, Moor, Mostly Flat, River, Waterfall, Wildlife

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