A walk in the rain around Princetown
Princetown to North Hessary Tor, Merrivale and the Dartmoor Way
(Photos/words © urban75, May 2007)
Despite the endless onslaught of rain from start to finish and freezing weather, we gamely managed to complete an eleven mile hike, enjoying ample alcoholic rewards in the pub on our return!
A group of die-hard walkers assemble outside the bunkhouse. Not all would make the journey!
A rainy view of Princetown as we set off. It was so cold we had to buy gloves from the visitor centre!
The walk started with a steep climb up South Hessary Tor to reach the site of the mast.
Built by the BBC in the early 1950s, the mast stands 198 (643 ft) tall.
The wind was howling at the summit, with the rain pelting in horizontally.
We briefly sheltered inside the entrance to the TV mast building and I took a shine to its Ye Olde Wooden Door with Ye Olde Knocker. The stone carving was pretty good too.
Standing in the rain.
The weather was do bad over the next three miles or so to Merrivale that several of our party threw in the towel and headed back to the warmth of the pub.
The rain was coming down so strongly that I couldn't even take any pictures as there was no shelter over the exposed moor.
Thankfully - at just the right time - a pub came into view, and we headed into the Dartmoor Inn for warmth, beer and food. Lovely!
We rested here for 45 mins or so in the hope that our clothes might dry out.
The pub had a bit of a fascination with jugs with hundreds of the things dangling from the roof.
Looking north of the pub with Merrivale Quarry in the background. The quarry opened in 1876 and closed as recently as 2003.
Old stone bridge.
Looking back at Merrivale during one of the very few moments it stopped ruddy raining.
We then headed south through a very pretty wooded valley.
The route through the valley was incredibly green and covered in moss.
Back on to open moor, and heading up to Ingra Tor to pick up the route of the abandoned Princetown Railway.
By this time, the rain had gone up to 'eleven' and taking pictures became a risky business with the water being blown in from all angles.
After several miles on the exposed and windy track, we were delighted to see some shelter ahead.
We enjoyed a chocolate and stewed tea break under the bridge. As you can see, we were just a tad wet at this point.
Climbing towards Princetown.
Back on the march, past open moorland.
With a landscape this big and barren, the old railway journey must have been fantastic, especially in winter.
Looking across the moors towards Yelverton
Yes! The hardy travellers return to base!
« Devon photos home Princetown old station »