What better way to celebrate turning 30 during lockdown than with a hike? I’m so glad this time around we have use of our local National Park, so Emily and I took the time between our other birthday plans to go and visit somewhere that promised 2 waterfalls and a Tor. Quite the punch for a small area and a very special walk! Parking on the B road between Yelverton and Princetown we found our spot and headed out.
Mystery winter funghi
Passing numerous strange looking fungi in quite boggy conditions we crossed a stone wall before heading down into a small valley that joins the River Meavy. Walking over the little viaduct we reached the bottom of Raddick Hill, with the long manmade falls for Devonport leat roaring past us. It is quite the sight to see, carved into the hill and staggered over many steps to create a relentless waterfall. Not the prettiest, but definitely a symbol of humanity’s mastery of the environment.
Devonport Leat carved into the hillside
Climbing up the hill, following the bank of the waterfall, we experienced all weather in the space of 20 minutes. Cloud turned to rain, pouring down in sheets that soaked us through before clearing to blue skies and sunshine. Even this brief interlude disappeared soon after, leaving us overcast and as we were before. Dartmoor at winter is beautiful but it always pays to be prepared for all weather!
Roaring cascades rushing past
Leaving this waterfall we made the short journey north along the Meavy to the exquisite Black Tor Falls – the real hidden gem of the area. A natural waterfall with three major courses, this beauty is in a secluded spot to the east of Black Tor and gets very little traffic despite how relatively easy it is to get to.
The secluded Black Tor falls – stunning
For me it was extra special as it was a first time visit of somewhere I have been meaning to check out for quite some time. Taking Emily to these harder to find places is so rewarding, as she totally gets the thrill and sense of reward from finding them. Spending my birthday with her hunting this out was as good a 30th as I could have asked for all, things considered!
View from atop the valley
After soaking in the views, and making a mental note of the exact location for easy finding next time we end up in the area, we climbed out of the valley. Our final destination awaited: the eponymous Black Tor. One of five tors on Dartmoor called Black Tor, this one is perhaps most famous for the floating logan stone in it’s northern cluster. We took in the views for a bit, sharing the space with Dartmoor ponies before the weather threatened to pour down again. We dashed across the common, back to our car, and headed home. Birthday hike complete.
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Black Tor – another one bagged!