Yesterday Tim Clayton and I did a circular walk from Widgery Cross. It was the perfect day for it with blue sky and crystal clear air. The view from Sharp Tor was incredible with the North Coast clearly visible, along with the GCHQ Satellite dishes at Lower Sharpnose Point near Bude.
Despite the wonderful views, the walk wasn’t entirely a success as we became victims of Dartmoor’s wild nature and the boggy terrain frequently forced us to where we didn’t want to be. All went well to start with and we reached the deserted Doe Tor Farm without a problem. From there we climbed up beside Walla brook to the summit of Sharp Tor where we stopped and admired the view. From there we headed to Chat Tor at which point things went wrong. There was no obvious path from here so we headed cross-country to Great Links Tor. Tim soon discovered the danger involved in doing this after sinking down to his knee in a hole hidden under the reeds. Luckily no injury was sustained and we made it to Great Links at a greatly reduced pace, testing every footstep on the way. We stopped for lunch, sheltered from the wind beneath the Trig Point.
From Great Links we dropped down to the North on to an old Railtrack bed which we followed East to its end at some disused peat cutting works. From there the planned walk took us to Hunt Tor which we managed despite taking a long time to find a small path across the boggy ground. From here we should have walked to Woodcock hill and on to Corn Ridge but the path forced us back to the Railtrack well to the West of where we wanted to be. As this track was our route back to Widgery, we admitted defeat and headed for home.
I will go back and do this walk again as the challenge remains incomplete. It’s certainly a route for good weather after a long dry period as the ground in the saddles between Tors is bad enough in these conditions and I should imagine, treacherous at other times. Just remains to thanks Tim for his company, I thoroughly enjoyed it even if we didn’t do the walk as planned.