We’re massive fans of the wild expanses of the Dartmoor countryside here at the Two Moors Festival, even though our base has always been a few hours’ drive away among the Exmoor hills. It’s hardly a surprise that so many people travel to the region year in, year out to spend days walking around and about, enjoying the fresh air and fantastic views.
We reckon that more and more tourists will be making their way to Dartmoor in the future, particularly geologists and history-lovers, now that researchers from the universities of Durham and Exeter, and Stockton Riverside College have discovered that the rocky landscape of the area was formed in large part by ice during the last Ice Age – a challenge to all previously held theories on the subject.
Dartmoor is home to one of the largest areas of exposed granite in Britain (which was used to construct parts of Covent Garden, the National Gallery and the British Museum) and the world-famous Ten Tors hike. Tors themselves develop because of weathering and the removal of weathered rock, with the study authors now believing that glacier ice helped form the distinctive Dartmoor landscape.
One tor not to be missed by any walkers heading to Dartmoor is the Dewerstone, a hike that ends with some simply stunning views of the Plymouth Sound bay, fields and forests. The route is suitable for climbers of all abilities, as there are 100 different ways up the Dewerstone. You can go on a bit of an amble and just follow the path if you want to take it easy and enjoy the views, or you can really challenge yourself and give the jump from Pinnacle Buttress to the main crag a go.
The legend of Dewerstone is just as interesting as the formation of its crags, telling the tale of Dewer, a demonic hunter who chased down people who had become lost on the moor, accompanied by a pack of ghostly dogs, the Whist Hounds, and drove them to their deaths off the highest cliff on the tor – the Devil’s Rock.
If you’re planning a Devonshire holiday then this part of Dartmoor will certainly prove impressive – although you’ll have to take your chances with the weather! Let us know if you go – and send in any pictures you’ve taken for our readers’ gallery!
What’s your favourite Dartmoor tor?
- The spirit of Dartmoor in Country Life (johndavies.typepad.com)
- Pauline Lee in the Heart of Dartmoor – Open Studio (garageceramics.com)