Winter walking on Dartmoor

It's the perfect time of year to start some winter walking on Dartmoor. The evenings are slowly getting longer, the weather is warming up and the impression that spring is just around the corner is tangible.
winter walking on dartmoor

In the wilds of Dartmoor, energy is being stored in the ground for spring’s rebirth, and there’s still plenty of wildlife and plant life around to watch slowly coming back to life again after winter’s hibernation. It’s the perfect time to hear out for some winter walking on Dartmoor, breathing in that fresh, crisp air.

Last week I took advantage of the only decent bit of weather we’d had in a while to adventure out to do some winter walking on Dartmoor. There was a fresh breeze and wrapping up warm was essential, but the sun was shining, so it made the hike even more enjoyable and it felt like the ideal tonic after weeks of low cloud and rain.

Starting near Haytor, I followed this beautiful walk on the Countryfile website: https://www.countryfile.com/go-outdoors/walks/hound-tor-devon/

It covers a few tors, and it’s a great shout if you want to show someone the ‘greatest hits’ of Dartmoor’s stunning wild landscape.

Although Hound Tor is one of the most famous tors on Dartmoor, it’s likely to be an awful lot quieter this time of year.

The story goes that it was created when a mighty hunter called Bowerman interrupted a coven of witches with his pack of hounds. The witches responded by turning the hunter and his hounds to stone. A mile away, in the direction of Manaton village, you can still see an rock outcrop known as Bowerman’s Nose. Hound Tor is reportedly the site that inspired Arthur Conan Doyle to write The Hound of the Baskervilles.

The walk includes a variety of landscapes, from forest vales and hidden valleys to some of the most interesting tors. One of my favourite bits was the Medieval village next to Hound Tour, comprised of a number of 13th century stone longhouses. More information about the village can be found here: http://english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/hound-tor-deserted-medieval-village/ (well worth a walk to for this alone!)

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