Sunday, 1 April 2012

Somewhere In Between

Most of my latest long runs have been in and around the northern 'fen' of Dartmoor bounded by Fur Tor and Cut Hill to the north and including the heads of the Rivers Walkham, West Dart, Cowsic and Tavy. The running can be heavy going with long, tussocky dry grass and boggy bits divided by streams cut deep into the peat. Having got there though, the big skies and relatively flat aspect lend it no small measure of atmosphere. Even on a busy Ten Tors training day there was only me and Spook to disturb the peace.

Parking at Four Winds car park where I would later pick my son up after his overnight training walk, we set off into a snipey easterly up to Great Mis Tor. From there we dropped down to the Walkham and followed the Prison Leat and peat track to Walkham Head. This is where the fen fun really starts and we weaved through the bog following the infant Tavy to its head. This is were I was glad I plumped for a pair of Walsh PBs as I would otherwise have gone for a burton.

We got to the peaty grotto of North Tavy Head in about an hour and a half. In my book this disqualifies it from being 'remote' but there's no shortage of atmosphere. The sound of the water trickling down from the fen above through a series of peaty wash basins was difficult to leave but I was cooling quickly.

We followed the Tavy to Tavy Hole where it was time for a munch on a banana and a photo stop.

From here we headed over to Lynch Tor (again, top marks for Walshies) which was packed with Ten Tors teams. A quick blast to Cock's Hill and down to the Walkham again before the haul up to Great Mis Tor and back down to the car park.

With perfect timing, my hugely rucksacked and wind-tanned son arrived five minutes later so it was home in time for tea and cakes. Huzzah!

A bit of wonderfulness from the Bushmeister. Enjoy.


  1. Was out running on the Gargunnock Hills today and I think they must be a lot like Dartmoor - tussocky grass, peat bogs and wee streams. All the boggy bits make the dry grassy bits even more special to run on, if you're lucky enough to find some.

  2. More blue skies. What has happened to all the Dartmoor drizzle?

  3. Hi Ali - your hills look quite similar. Bet they're stunning in all that snow.
    Hi Steve - it can't make its mind up at the moment - hoping for a bit more snow before too long!

  4. aha! now i know where you get four winds from (not that i thought it could be from another source ;)
    your blog sounds like a harry potter set list!

  5. Folks who know me said '4 Winds? how apt...'
    No idea what they're on about.