Bennet's Cross - Hookney Tor - Vitifer Mine Complex - Bennet's Cross

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Bennet's Cross, Birch Tor, Two Moors Way to Hookney Tor, Grimspound, Headland Warren - Chaw Gully - Triple Stone Row - Vitifer Mine complex - Bennet's Cross

Dartmoor has a vast amount to offer the walker: wild open spaces, artefacts from the Bronze Age, right through to recent history and some classic walks, such as the Two Moors Way. This walk of only just over five miles, gives you the opportunity of walking back into the living history of Dartmoor, right back into the Bronze Age in fact, with Grimspound, nestling underneath Hookney Tor. It is ready to fascinate you with a magnificent, almost circular enclosure as well as remnants of the many huts which were located within that compound. What were the people like, what did they do 2,500 years ago? Although we've no real idea, the range of stone circles and stone rows indicate that they had a religion, but of what form? After Grimspound you are led up to one of the rare triple stone rows on Dartmoor and in good condition as well.

Immediately after that, you are also given the chance to walk into perhaps the deepest man-made mining cutting on Dartmoor (called a gert in Dartmoor parlance). It fascinated the Victorians over 100 years ago, who created fables about it. The gert you will be shown is called Chaw Gully and there is even the Legend of Chaw Gully and the story of a man who attempted to climb down into a mine shaft after a treasure. At the bottom he found that his escape rope had been untied and dropped down beside him by the resident Raven of the Gully, a majestic black bird who guarded the gully. Ravens can still be seen in remote spots in the area. You may be lucky and see the descendent of the Raven.

The walk also leads you to two impressive tors in Birch Tor and Hookney Tor, both of which are located on high points offering tremendous views. What more then? Well, there are old mine buildings at the old Vitifer Mine and Birch Tor mine areas. Production stopped over 100 years ago, but the artefacts remain if you can find them.

In the autumn the area has a wonderful massed display of purple heather in bloom, a really wonderful and unforgettable show. For part of the walk you will find yourself on the Two Moors Way, so you can say, tongue in cheek, that you’ve walked The Two Moors Way; well anyway a mile of the 120-mile Dartmoor / Exmoor Route.

This is a walk to enjoy and not rush, which is why I suggest that you allocate a full three hours or more for this 5.5 mile walk back into Dartmoor history.

England - South West England - Devon - Countryside


Birds, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Pub, Wildlife
7/10/2011 - alex mcgivern

A great walk with good views and interesting items to explore, lovely area at Vitifer Mine to sit down for a tea. This is also a good walk to practice your compass skills, if like me you do not get a chance to very often. You can see most of the tracks so that gives you confidence when using the compass. Then I would recommend walk 55 for some more practice.

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Distance away
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30.5 Miles