A visit to Dartmoor National Park in Autumn is something everyone should experience!
Dartmoor National Park in autumn is one of the UK’s treasures. Colourful, varied, interesting and full of life, the moors zing with breathtaking natural beauty as well as offer the intrepid visitor vast vistas of photo-worthy landscapes alongside minute details such as the streams, rivers, tors, animals and trees that dot the countryside.
PART 1 – The Photographic Experience
Location 1 The Huccaby Stepping Stones or Huccaby Steps
This short but interesting visit to Dartmoor was designed to visit and photograph the Huccaby Stepping Stones or Huccaby Steps as they are also known which cross the West River Dart. In summer and late spring these stones are generally, at least for the agile, easily passible but in winter and early spring, heavy rains can make this passing place impossible to navigate.
To the south and south east of the Dartmeet Stepping Stones, which is the reason they are so important to hikers and trekkers, are Combestone Tor and the Dart Gorge. To the north east is Yar Tor. If the water is too high though, you’ll need to turn back and cross the West Dart River at nearby Hexworthy Bridge, a walk of about two kilometers. It’s a bit of a detour but at least it is safe and easy.
Location 2 Sharpitor or Sharp Tor (Princetown)
There are more than 160 tors on Dartmoor and our second visit of the day, after a good meal in Princetown, was Sharp Tor or Sharpitor as it’s also known. Tors are exposed granite hilltops from the Carboniferous period but there are a handful of tors on Dartmoor that give you wonderful views in return for almost no effort and Sharpitor is definately one of them.
It’s popularity is probably associated with the fact that it is located close to a number of car parking areas on the B3212 Princetown to Yelverton road, This makes it fully accessible to anyone able to walk at least 500m or so.
Sharpitor provides what can only be descripbed as a classic Dartmoor view. In every direction there is something to wonder at including over to Burrator Reservoir and to the Plymouth area and South Devon coast in the distance. The National Park’s high south moor rises to the south east. Princetown and a cluster of fine tors are visible to the north east and north. Sharpitor (Princetown/West Dartmoor) is considered as essential Dartmoor visiting because it is assessible. You’ll also see some many of Dartmoor ponies grazing here which makes it doubly ideal for kids and families.
Reaching Sharpitor from one of the car parks consists of about 500 metres of walking and not much ascent although it does feel like you are walking up for pretty much the whole journey. I’t well worth it though for its grand views as well as for the plentiful granite rocks found here that you can clamber around on.
Once you have summeted Sharpitor you can see Leather Tor and beyond it the woods surrounding Burrator Reservoir. If you are visiting Burrator firsth head for Leather Tor and climb up which because it is slightly more difficult than Sharpitor and as such, it requires more care.
Let’s take a look at some of the images from the days outing before talking cameras and gear.
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