Meldon Reservoir - Brat Tor - Meldon Reservoir

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Fine views are a feature of this walk and they begin as soon as you leave the car park with sight of the first tor on the route, Sourton Tors, in the distance above Meldon Reservoir. This first part of the walk has an interesting contrast, with views of the busy A30 less than a kilometre away to your right and open moorland to your left. Soon you leave the fields and the A30 behind and climb to Sourton Tors across an open grassy plain. The views from the top are extensive and on a fine day stretch across to Cornwall and Bodmin Moor. Soon after Sourton Tors you make use of the disused railway line that used to serve a peat works, as you make your way around Great Nodden. The keen among you may deviate from the route here to go over the top for more fine views, rejoining on the other side.

The ascent to Widgery Cross on the summit of Brat Tor is steep, but pause and admire more views as they open up behind you and you will soon be on top. The granite cross was erected on the instruction of William Widgery in 1887, to commemorate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee. The next objective is the impressive Great Links Tor and the route is across open ground with little in the way of paths, but the going is fairly easy. More open ground follows as you make your way to the nature reserve at Black-a-tor-Copse on the West Okement River. Parts of the route here can be very wet in places, particularly the peat path to Kitty Tor, and the descent to the river is steep in places and without paths. Remember to keep to the left of the range marker-poles if the range is live.

The gnarled oak tress of the copse are an unusual sight on modern Dartmoor and perhaps have only survived being eaten by browsing animals because they emerge from a tight jumble of moss-covered boulders. This spot is situated in an impressive and remote valley bottom and is hard to leave on a sunny day.

After crossing the river with hopefully dry feet, it is a final short pull up to Black Tor. From here the route back to Meldon Reservoir opens up in front of you and provides a pleasant stroll on easy ground to round off the day.

England - South West England - Devon - Dartmoor


Great Views, Hills or Fells, Lake/Loch, Moor, River, Toilets

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