NEWBRIDGE TO DARTMEET AND TORS TO THE NORTH
START POINT GR: 711708

As we drove across the moor on the 1st Dec 99, those in my car wondered whether we would be seeing anything on the walk today since the mist (or cloud) was down. We arrived at Newbridge CP by the river Dart in good time and John Davey, the leader was quite surprised, and pleased, to see that 9 of us, plus Johns dog of course, had ventured out for the days exercise of up to 12 miles of walking of varied degrees of difficulty.

As you may be able to see from the map, starting at Newbridge, we went north east down the Dart, up around Leigh Tor, onto Mel Tor then dropped down to a most unusual outcrop called Luckey Tor. Then alongside the Dart, we followed the river upstream, scrambling and walking past Dartmeet and on up for about three miles in all.

The route then led us up to one of the highest Tors in the area, at Corndon Tor, before a cross moorland walk heading south, back down to Newbridge once again. There were two lung and leg testing ascents, one from the river Dart up to Mel Tor and the other up to the barrow leading on to Congdon Tor.

The car park at Newbridge is located by the side of the Dart just by a bridge. The bridge itself is very narrow and even more so at the time of writing, as urgent repair work was underway following a vehicle dislodging a large section of thr wall of the bridge After quick word from John Davey we were on our way and we made our way under the bridge right beside the river.

For once we were not heaving our way up a hill right at the start, but comfortably strolling alongside the fast running river Dart.

We were not the only ones taking exercise. A group of canoists had found some white water and were practicing their skills a few hundred yards below the bridge.

We stopped for a couple of minutes to watch their activities and then swung left and uphill away from the river.

The first of the climbs had started and those of us who had put on extra clothing, for protection against the weather, were soon wishing we hadn't in the very mild, if very damp weather, we were experiencing. It is still 10 to 12 degrees and it's December.

We climbed steeply until we came to Leigh Tor. This Tor is unusual in being one of the few to not be of granite.

As we walked by we noticed there were a group of people by the Tor taking part in some form of game play exercise, or was it real, who knows!

We continued climbing up heading just south of west, crossed a road and skirted a Tor called Aish Tor to our right. Still climbing we finally reached a defined track, part of the Two Tors Way, I understand.

The track was made and maintained by a local Doctor for his wife to use. It is named Dr Blacktone's Drive in his memory.

It made this uphill section rather easier than it otherwise would have been.

After a few hundred yards along this track we swung left and made our way up to Mel Tor.

It was still raining but not quite so steadily, time for our coffee break. After the fairly strenuous uphill section, layers of clothing came off to help those overdressed walkers to cool down.

We were off again, scrambling our way quite steeply down and into a small wet wood. We continued down until we crossed a stream.

We were then climbing and scrambling up again on the other side of a small valley. We were soon crossing fields in an attempt to find our way down to Luckey Tor. Apparently in the recce, the three muskateers had experienced difficulty in getting down to the Tor.

John Davey was forced to call in to the same farm house as he had done on the recce, to speak to the same lady who had advised him before; perhaps he had a hidden agenda.

Permission granted to cross her farm we were making our way down to the river and the Tor.

We finally emerged down to a grassy area by the river and there on our left was a splendid rocky outcrop called Luckey Tor.

Looking at the photograph perhaps it should be called Heap Big Luckey Tor since I can clearly see the Indian Chief in the picture. Can you?

Leaving the Tor we made our way across a rather boggy section and then continued up along the Dart on its Northern side, scrambling along the river bank and across many boulders, logs and other obstructions.

It was apparently about 1.5 miles to our lunch break at Dartmeet.

As we approached Dartmeet, the going got easier again and paths began to appear. We passed the point where the Dart splits into the East and West Dart and passed by the Dartmeet Bridge.

There appears to have once been a small footbridge upstream of the road bridge but there is little of the former left.

There is a large car park, toilets, a hotel and an in season tea shop and not a lot else at Dartmeet, but very popular in the summer nevertheless.

The rain had stopped and at 12.40 PM we stopped for lunch, joined by chaffinches who were obviously used to being fed.

A half an hour later and we were on our way. We continued along the river bank, avoiding the small bogs, well most of us did, others were testing the inside of their boots for damp proofing.

After about a mile of riverside walking, more or less due north from Dartmeet, we swung right and made our way across a small clapperbridge, over a small stream feeding the Dart.

We walked up to a small road and swung due east and we continued along the road for about half a mile of steady and steep climbing in places. Passing a farm called Rogues Roost Farm, we left the road and climbed even more steeply up across moor, still heading east, as we made our way to to a cairn at the top.

After a couple of stops en route to look at the scenery, not to catch our breath! we arrived at the barrow at the top and stopped for the photo opportunity.

We had glorious views of the surrounding countryside from this high vantage point at approaching 420 m. We were almost at the highest point of the day, but not quite.

We swung south across Corndown Down and picked up the Two Moors Way track. We climbed up to the final Tor to visit for the day, Corndon Tor, at 430 m just higher than the barrow across the valley.

Time for an afternoon coffee break before we started the descent back along the Two Moors Way and to our car park by the river about three miles away.

As we made our way down from the Tor to rejoin the Two Moors Way, we had splendid views ahead of us. The weather had cleared up and we had blue skies and excellent visibility, quite different from the morning weather

It was all downhill from here, literally. We could see ahead of us from right to left, Sharp, Mel and Bel Tor.

On this downhill section we were making good speed and soon we had crossed a road and were back on Dr Blackall's Drive once again. We were certainly covering the ground quickly along this easy downhill walking.

By just gone 3 PM we were off the Dr's drive and had dropped down to a path for the final half a mile to the car park.

Soon the car park at Newbridge was ahead of us and we were back to the cars again.

As ever with the ramblers, this was another good walk, fully 11 miles of varied walking and lot of good exercise for all. Thanks were given to John Davey for his easy going leadership duties for the day and we were on our way back through Two Bridges, Princetown and back to Roborough and the car share location.

Another good day was had by one and all and time for my write up before I forget it all.