Dartmoor – Ivybridge to Okehampton – The last Day and a bit

Friday 9th and Sat 10th August 2013

In which we finish our little jaunt, and my shorts are invaded. (Read On) …

Dave Stewart – Beyond The falling Hope

Well, it well and truly hammered down in the night as I lay in my tent snug and warm.
But eventually at about 6.xx something, the worst of the weather abated, I snuck out for a pee, and then back in sharpish. Twas NOT time to get up yet it was still a bit early and overcast.

I dozed off again.
Probably waking about 7.15 to 7.30.

No intention of leaving before 9.30.

The rain had stopped and with a bit of a breeze blowing, my tent was actually drier than the two nights when it did not rain.

Eventually it was time to start to pack stuff away, and then go for a wander with toilet bag in tow.
Things needed to be sorted out before we left, and a short walk to a deserted location was in order. So it did NOT help matters that a small group of ill equipped and somewhat lost Dutch people had wandered up the track looking for the waterfalls.

We directed them in the correct but opposite direction.
They fanny-ed about trying to cross a stream you could skip across, removing socks and shoes and boots and rolling up trousers and trying 101 different test routes before they finally buggered off into the distance to I could go and ablute.

Which I did.

The Beehive

On my way back from my long walk, I came across the beehive.

And then we packed our gear up, and headed up across the wild land

Not much of a track, and in places a bit tufty and boggy.
We carried on

Up Up and away

We headed over white Ridge and picked up the track along Fernworthy forest.
I say track!
Just follow the forest
Up and over we went to Teignhead Farm

Looking Out from the forest Track
Teignhead farm in the distance

Heading to Teignhead Farm
Almost there. Just the bridge to cross and then up to a rest spot and a snack

Robin heading off, for a moment alone with food

Looking across the old small holding.
We would be heading up over that hill following a kind of bit of a track maybe

We stopped at the farm for a short stop and drink and a bit of a snack.
Then it was time to head over yonder hill to try and pick up the track over to eventually arrive at Wattern tarn.

The track cuts across the field from the ruin of the old farm, and then follows for the most part a wall line.
I think it is off to the right of here that the Mire from the Hound of the Baskervilles was shot.
It did not look that bad, but then the bog yesterday didn’t look that bad until I plunged into it up to my nadgers.

We followed the track up towards Whitehorse hill, where there is a stile over the wall.
You then follow the wall along for about ½ km before heading left-ish over towards the Tor. There is a bit of a wiggle here.

It looked like rain might arrive, but it never really materialised.

From the Tor we descended to Walla brook for a spot of lunch.
There is really not much of a place to sit here, but I managed to perch on my rucksack, and grab some food  and some water from the small stream.

While we were here another couple arrived.
For some reason only known to them, the lady found it next to impossible to get across the minute stream.
She spent an age fannying around balanced on a stone in the middle forlornly looking for a way across as her legs got more and more tired.
Eventually I could stand it no longer and went over and gave her my poles, so she could use them to cross.

Once she was across OK, I skipped over in 2 steps to collect them.
Skipping back in 2 more steps via a different route on my highly dodgy knees.
We then gave them a bit of advice on the best route to where they wanted to go.
And waved goodbye.

They ignored our advice completely and headed off along the river through boggy ground.

You can take a horse to water!!!!!!!!

Robin and I then packed away and headed off up to pick up the higher track across towards Higher Tor and skirting this, over to Hound Tor.
We watched the couple in the distance as they confronted a heard of cattle and then consulted their maps repeatedly.
Hopefully they are back home by the time I write this.

A few places on route (I think)

As we approached Little Hound Tor, we went over to look at the stone circle.
This bit is very easy walking

Then it was time to head off to the never getting any bloody closer Cosdon Hill.

We walked for an age.
OK it wasn’t an age  but it seemed like an age ok

Cosden Hill Trig Point

Cosden Hill Cairn.
Which for some reason I felt Compelled to Sit on

Pack at Cosden Hill.
The one off to The Peaks when I finish this

At Cosden Hill, we met a couple who had come up to the Folk Festival.
They were camping down near Okehampton, but were going to get in a few hills in the next few days.
We had a bit of a chat.
Then they headed off down, and we turned a sharp left, and headed down over indistinct ground to look for our camping site below Higher Tor.
It was pretty easy going as long as you kept your destination in sight.

Little pink flower things on the way down.

So eventually we arrived at the river.
There appeared to be a large extended family enjoying a day out where we thought of camping.
So we stayed on our side of the river, which actually was not a half bad pitch, other than the need to have super human strength to hammer the pegs into the ground.
Not all of them
Just some.

We set up camp.
Lazed about in the sun.

I dug out the Dab radio gadget thing.
Stuck on short shorts (you really don’t want to see them…Trust Me)
And lay outside the tent on my mat listening to the cricket.

I reported in intermittently to Robin.

Then it turned a tad chilly for a while and I migrated back into my tent.

By the time I came out, Robin had vanished into the inner sanctum of his Duomid Crisp Packet.

I went out for a bit of a wander up the track to the left.
Wondering in amazement at the copious amount of sheep shit that seemed to cover the ground. By my estimate, the circumference of the Earth should double in size over the next Millennium, just based on Animal SHIT alone.

Further Up River

The Culprits of the sheep shit way

Clouds a Loomin’

Heading up the path again.
OK I was was bloody bored!!!

I wandered around locally for a while and then decided, what with Robin vanished into the inner sanctum of his tent, to go for a bit of a wander to the right.
Probable destination Belstone.

I headed orf.. Fording the river and then following the stream for a while.
Eventually hacking my way through bracken to get back to the upper path.
That being the main one.

Enough of our camping spot already!

I eventually walked to what was almost Belstone.
Finding this fine tractor on route.

I had a deep need to find a pub, but overcame the urge and headed back.

By the time I was on my way back, the weather had improved again.
I came back via the river route initially but then headed up to the upper track.

Down by the river.
Nit sure what it was

Back at the camp site.

By the time I got back it was time for food, and maybe another wee dram of the Malt. ( As you do )

I cannot remember much else about the evening.
It was a nice camp spot, but sadly lacking in a suitable hostelry and beer.

Eventually at some point I must have gone to sleep.


At some point I got up.
It was a bit overcast, but had the making of a nice day.

By the time we arrived at Belstone it was getting a lot warmer.
There were cows wandering along the main road.

We did NOT stop at the Pub.

I mention that for Mr Sloman.
Just walked on by.

I know, I know, I KNOW!!!!

And we headed out of town.

By the time we had left town, it was waaaayyyy tooooo hot for trousers.

We stopped and it was time to go back into shorts.
Which a bit later in the day, may NOT have been the best idea…

Read On……………………….

On the way to the Okement River

We followed the track out and then turned right and followed the route t=round, dropping down to cross a bridge that crossed the Okement River

Looking Down to the Bridge

There is a kind of path down.
But really it is just a case of get down.

The little bridge


View from the bridge

Crossing the bridge, there is a delightful walk along the river.
It reminded me in places of the Blue door walk from the rocks of Solitude on the way into Edzell in Scotland

Very similar erosion and path.

Eventually we left the river and headed along under the Viaduct towards the OLD Okehampton railway Station.

Climbing up some steep steps, we came out almost at the station.
Just needing to go round the corner.

It is no longer an actual mainline station, but they do run steam trains from there which is rather fine.

We stopped at the cafe and ordered some food.
Robin had an ALL WEEK BREAKFAST, and I had some Tea and Scones.

Now it may have been the Jam on the scones.
It may have been the Aloa Vera ( In joke )
It may have been just plain bad luck.


As we were eating our food I felt something tickling in the leg of my shorts.

I scratched it away with my hand and was stung twice on my finger by a WASP.

God only knows what Fucking Purpose Wasps have in the world.
They fall only one step behind Horseflies on the British “What is the fucking point” scale, and I got bitten by one of those bastards as well, on day 1.

Anyway, it could have been worse.


Shame the bastard got away though…

I have claimed revenge over the summer on the rest of his extended species though. I can tell you that.

We finished our tea, and with throbbing digit, we made our way into town to catch the bus to Exeter St David Station and then the train back to Paddington.

Robin had splashed out on a 1st Class ticket, for the return journey.
I had booked cattle class.

We went our separate ways (temporarily).

I settled in on the journey, in a cabin full of moire wheezing sickly bastards that probably never ever ventured out of the air conditioned oblivion that they worked in.

Robin texted me.

I spoke to the guard and for a meagre £10 or something like that I upgraded to Plutocrat Class, and comfy seats, and waiter service.

OH YES… AND SOME IGNORANT TWAT with a Mohican haircut, trophy wife, noisy brats and a dog. To be honest the dog was well behaved.
No idea who he was.
Some musical nonentity, or Wendyballer probably.

At some point they got off.


We carried on to Paddington

We said goodbye

And I headed home.

It had been a fine trip to Dartmoor.
I had not for some reason been there since I was about 7.

I know not why.

It is a really lovely place.
Heaps of wild camping.
Lovely scenery.
Good walking.


As long as you go there when the MOD are not pinging shells and bullets in all directions, a mighty good place.

I will definitely be going back at some point.

8 thoughts on “Dartmoor – Ivybridge to Okehampton – The last Day and a bit

  1. All looks very pretty. Very pretty indeed. I enlarged the photo of your tent to check out the pegs you were using. I think they are blue ones. Good choice. They are the best.

  2. A nice trip and an excellent report with (as ever) very good photographs. I reckon that Folk Festival could have been South Zeal, close to Sticklepath on the edge of Dartmoor. It's usually the 2nd weekend in August.
    Dartmoor is A Good Place for backpacking – wild camping is allowed. At least SOME bit of England is showing some common sense.

  3. Andy is highly recommended as a walking companion as he attracts all the insects and is much more effective and cheaper than using bug repellant 🙂

  4. Yes.
    When I eventually got my head around how the route coincided with the maps. I stopped panicking.
    Why are you torturing Wendy so, with her new rear guy lines?
    Shouldn't they be coming out in line with the pole arch?
    You're currently stressing her central section – the belly of the girl – in a very unfriendly fashion!
    Nice walk, mate!

  5. Good point on the guys. And the reason is…..
    Because that is how Sean attached them and if they are tensioned sideways they rip 😦
    As it happens, they ripped anyway in the peaks without any wind, because there was too little tape hemmed in.
    I am going to take them all off and then re-sow them back on myself (Lucy), since she made the tents they used in the Himalayas. Then seam seal them and over tape them. Hopefully they will pull out sideways as on the 2C plus the extra one centrally from the back, as I wanted them too, when I asked Sean.

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