The Round Dozen Tors

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This walk is on open moorland and moorland tracks; there is no road-walking on it whatsoever. It takes you across two well-known commons on Dartmoor, those of Walkhampton and Merrivale. The thrust of the walk is to take you to as many tors as possible in the area without crossing a road and a dozen tors of varying sizes are visited. This area of Dartmoor was the centre for a granite-quarrying industry over 100 years ago and some of the tors visited are now hollowed-out shells, such was the extent of the quarrying carried out. These derelict quarries have a beauty all their own and evoke thoughts of what it was like in the area all those years ago. Even though the area is remote, a railway was constructed to link Plymouth to the quarries and the line of the old railway can clearly be seen, indeed you walk along some part of it several times. There are several good uphill sections with climbs of 400 feet or more being the order of the day at least three times.

On Merrivale Common there are some superb examples of Bronze Age antiquities which are outstanding. You will see a magnificent menhir, a double stone row, in fact two of them, a stone circle and a fine example of a Dartmoor kistvaen. The highest point on the walk is at the top of North Hessary Tor, at over 1,600 feet. From this point you can see right out to the Eddystone Lighthouse on a clear day. Plymouth Sound is clearly visible, as is Caradon Hill, way down on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall.

At the end of the walk there are several good pubs relatively nearby and the Burrator Inn, just two miles away at Dousland, is open all day and has an extensive and inexpensive food selection on offer throughout the day.

In the event of fog you are advised not to embark on this walk.

England - South West England - Devon - Dartmoor


Birds, Butterflies, Flowers, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Wildlife
10/19/2021 - Cecilia Harrington

An excellent walk! I used it as an alternative to the cancelled Marie Curie 13 Tors Challenge and it didn’t disappoint. Easy to navigate with a compass and stunningly beautiful. Challenging terrain so walking sticks are useful. I measured 17.1km but then I climbed every tor! Thank you for a great walk!

7/6/2005 - Walkingworld Administrator

Administrator - Just checked the route for this on our Memory-Map download and even on this simplified set of waypoints the distance comes out at 13.9km (8.6 miles). The full GPS track is probably longer so not at all sure how Alaric has estimated the length.

7/4/2005 - Alaric Belam

Great walk, but I think it nearer 5.5 not 9.5 miles!

Walkingworld members near this walk

Distance away
8.7 Miles
20.5 Miles