Wistman’s Wood & Longaford Tor
This can be an easy 2.6 mile walk or you can extend it into a 4.6 miles walk of medium difficulty. The nearest refreshments and facilities is in Princetown, at the Two Bridges Hotel. Parking is opposite the Two Bridges Hotel in the small disused quarry car parking.
After parking in the quarry, walk along a man-made track about half a mile where the path splits. Then take the moorland path on the left to Wistman’s Wood. This is a great place to walk your dogs. The woods are 1.3 miles from the old quarry. Look out for the notice board just before the final stile. You can read some information about the woods and its Site of Special Scientific Interest.
There is a small path which runs above the woods so you can peek into their depths, but be careful of the Devil and his Wisht hounds! Legend has it that Wistman’s Wood is where the huge black hounds are kept and they range the moor on dark and misty nights looking for unwary travellers. They are led by the Devil or by the spirit of Old Crockern who lives on the nearby Crockern Tor.
As you follow this path you may hear some loud echoing booms which are nothing to be alarmed about, it is just the firing range on Beardown Tors, which is opposite you.
Carry on to the far side of the woods and have a look at the Druids Stone or Buller Stone as it was later known. There is an inscription on it from 1866 commemorating Mr Buller for removing a tree from the woods. If you are looking for a shorter walk, turn back here, otherwise continue on to the weir.
To get to the weir from here the path splits into two and if wet it is better to stick to the top path, however if it is dry take the lower route, briefly climbing a stile (and back) to the river to get a nice photo back down the valley. A marshy path follows the wall along and up to the weir.
From here head up towards Longaford Tor and Little Longaford Tor. It is possible to see Bellever forest on the other side which was the start of the Lych Way, sometimes known as the Corpse Road. This is the route the dead were taken for burial at Lydford. For Dartmoor residents, up until 1260 all burials had to take place at Lydford and for those on the eastern side of the moor, the 12 mile (19km) route started at Bellever. After 1260, permission was given by Bishop Bronescombe to allow burials at Widecombe.
The route goes from Bellever, to the side of Longaford Tor, and across the weir you have just visited, continuing towards Lydford. Longaford Tor is also easily recognised as an impressive granite pyramid. Carry on along the top towards Littaford Tors. This area is quite rocky with the remains of Bronze Age settlements scattered around. Follow the path along and down, over a stile and then you will meet the original man-made path for the half a mile back to the old quarry.
I hope you thoroughly enjoy this walk, please let me know how you get on. Tell me what you think by posting your comments below. Why don’t you Share this with your friends and family by clicking the Facebook icon or follow us on Twitter?
About the Author: Carole Langman works behind the scenes at Bowerland Cottage Holidays and Devon Dogs as the Business Manager. Her office is always a hive of activity, and with the vast amounts of work Carole has, we never really know how she gets through it all! To unwind, she loves gardening, hikes around Bowerland, travelling and writing.