Take A Pasty Up A Tor

#30DaysWild No 3. We think we’ll try to share as many wild things to do in our part of Devon as possible this year. So here’s another. Visit the bakeries in Okehampton then take your pasties up onto Dartmoor. Even better, find a trig point and take in the view!

The North part of Dartmoor is the wildest section, with rugged paths and untamed skylines. So one of our favourite lunches out is not in a Devon pub but on top of a tor. From Wheatland Farm it’s only 13 miles to Okehampton, the town on the northern edge of Dartmoor, and a gateway to the moor. Belstone is another good starting point for a Dartmoor day, and if you’re feeling fit you can even cycle there and back (about 15 miles either way) – have a look at our Wheatland Farm Big Bike Out video. Its getting a bit old now, or rather we are, but nothing much else has changed since we made it in 2012.

But if you’re planning a big stomp on the north moor, especially from Okehampton, do check the Dartmoor firing times before you set out, because this area is used as a military training range. If you get there, and the red flags are flying, keep out of the marked exclusion areas. Borrow a map from the stock in the conservatory at Wheatland Farm, or ask us for some ideas of where to go.

If you turn left at the traffic lights on Fore Street in Okehampton, then and follow signs towards the old station and then on, you’ll climb up out of the town and onto the moor. The road takes you first to the army camp. Cross the cattle grid and drive out on the moor road. It becomes obvious how far you can go. Most people park at the Rowtor parking area (it’s marked on Google Maps if you need that).

And there you are. Rowtor is the closest tor, but it’s not that far to the high points of Yes Tor and High Willhays. One time we were out on Dartmoor with children, having a pasty in the shelter of a rock, we were very politely asked by someone in uniform if we would mind moving a little further away. The officer had a team of soldiers about to assault the tor, or so he said. But the younger members of our group heard it as ‘insult the tor’, and that’s become the standing joke. At least it’s a family friendly activity. So get your insults ready, and head to Dartmoor.

Previously on #30DaysWild

This time last year: we were welcoming a day of rain after a record breaking hot May. In 2021 it’s rather the other way around!

#30DaysWild this time in 2019: Meadow Brown butterflies were emerging, but we hadn’t seen any Common Blues. 2020’s Meadow Browns had been around for a week or so already, and we saw Common Blues as early as 9 May. Skippers are out, we were seeing red admirals and a good handful of small tortoiseshell butterflies. Not so in 2021 – things are much later at Wheatland Farm.

#30DaysWild this time in 2018: Southern Marsh Orchids were coming into bloom. In 2020 it was first of June we found them.

#30DaysWild in 2017: We went exploring the Exe Estuary by bike – still highly recommended as a day out if you’re staying at Wheatland Farm!