A Walk to Yes Tor and High Willhays on Dartmoor
This route takes you to the highest summits in Dartmoor. But be aware that Dartmoor is used for military training including the firing of live ammunition so closures are often in place. Before travelling you are advised to contact any of the local Tourist Information Offices. Make sure you check whether the area being visited is not subject to closure.
Please Note The concessionary path mentioned in the paragraph below has been blocked by the landowner. This closure prevents access to the northern side of the reservoir. An alternative route avoiding this closure is to cross the dam and take the first path on the right. This leads you along the southern shore of the reservoir. You will reach the southern side of the footbridge mentioned in the description below. This alternative route is through open access land and should not be subject to closure.
Start at the car park and toilets located at the northern end of Meldon reservoir. Leave the car park and cross the lane to a signed bridleway heading southwest. Follow this for a short distance and then take a turning left along a concessionary footpath. This footpath goes around the reservoir side of South Down. Nearing the western end of the reservoir turn left to cross a footbridge.
Continue along the eastern side of West Okement river for about one kilometre. As you go up the slope to your left you will see the rocks of Black Tor, which is where you are heading for. From here you will see the summit of High Willhays, lying just over a kilometre or so to the east. There are a couple of different intermittent paths but it is probably better to work your own way through the rocks.
Reaching the summit of High Willhays (the highest point is on the southernmost rocks) you have reached the highest point in England south of the Peak District. Yes Tor is roughly a kilometre north, and has a trig point and much better view. This is easily reached along a clear path.
As you leave Yes Tor, you will find that the descent is fairly straightforward with a clear path leading you down to the track towards Longstone Hill. This in turn leads you quickly back to the car park.
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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.