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This walk: 2007-10-19 - Holne Moor - Venford Reservoir - dry Wheal Emma / Holne Moor leat footbridge - triple stone row (which is hard to see) - Horn's Cross - Combestone Tor - Holne Moor leat - hut circles and a reave - Luckey Tor - PUDC / RD H reservoir boundary stones - Venford Dam. Also, some heather for friends in Savannah, Georgia, USA.

This walk is from Walk 38 - "Around Holne Moor - Three Aspects of Dartmoor Water", 9.5 km / 6 miles, in "Walk Dartmoor" by Kate & Allan Hobbs ISBN 1-904946-12-7, RRP £12.99, also HERE on this web site

The walk starts at Venford Reservoir, goes through a section of reservoir woodland, climbs over the dry Wheal Emma leat to a triple stone row on Holne Moor, proceeds to Horn's Cross, down to Combestone Tor, then to Holne Moor leat, and back to the reservoir and car park. The second, shorter loop was omitted because of bad light as the day failed and taking photographs would be less successful. It was completed on 11 Feb. 2008.

Walk details below - Information about the route etc.


View from end of Venford Reservoir towards the dam. Taken from approx. SX 68440 70715


Footbridge in the reservoir woodland at SX 68348 70670


View "upsteam" from beside the footbridge


Lone tree on the way to the dry leat


Footbridge over the dry Wheal Emma leat, at SX 68055 70770, largely overgrown


View from above the reservoir, with the dam and road over it at the left


Triple stone row at SX 67455 71025, looking south-east - difficult to spot! The GPS track shows the wandering off course, going by map and compass because the wall to follow was not visible and I was avoiding the bracken.


Triple stone row looking north-west, towards the upright head stone. Very low stones and hardly visible ..... the three tracks are an indication but they are also difficult to see.


View up the slope to Horn's Cross


Horn's Cross, SX 66983 71040

Looking down on Combestone Tor, with adjacent car park, at SX 67005 71785, lacking sunshine


Combestone Tor, getting darker


As previous photo


As previous photo


View to north from Combestone Tor, towards Bellever Forest (extreme left skyline) and far hills


View from Combestone Tor to Yar Tor (left, 416 m) and Corndon Tor (right, 434 m) with slope up to Sharp Tor (right, mid-distance, 380 m)


Holne Moor leat at SX 66848 72000, with Dartmoor National Park Ranger's Land Rover in the background. They advised walking on the ground above the leat - where you can look down on it. Otherwise, you don't see it from lower down the slope.


Similar photograph to the one in the book, Walking Dartmoor (page 139), on which this walk is based, at SX 67178 71888. This spot is indicated on the second map below.


Hut circle, to right of the leat - you try getting a better view in a photo, too much bracken! At SX 67758 71698, see the circular deviation in the red track on the second map below.


Second circle, as described in the book .......... at SX 68025 71810 (again, see the deviation in the red track on the second map below)


.......... with part of the reave wall running up the hill from the circle


Looking down on Luckey Tor, SX 68480 72050 (height approx 200 m) from the leat (at approx. 310 m)


Zoomed view of Luckey Tor. Possibly so-named because it is lucky to be named at all?!


Sharp Tor, 380 m, at SX 68640 72950


The sharpest bend I have seen in a leat, at SX 67510 71465


Autumn heather, for friends in Savannah, Georgia, USA (there is no stereo version of this photo)


Boundary stone near 40 mph signs on the road near Venford Reservoir, near SX 68490 71210. From: Discover Devon web site, on the Naturally Devon walks pages, here:  

Quote: "Further along the way you’ll see Venford Reservoir, built as long ago as 1907 to provide water for Paignton. The boundary stones that you pass on Holne Moor mark the catchment area for the reservoir, and are inscribed PUDC (Paignton Urban District Council) on one side and RD/H on the other, after Richard Dawson, lord of the manor of Holne, from whom the water works purchased the land."


The other side of the stones, on the other side of the road


Looking down on the dam


Looking along the road across the dam, from SX 68600 71220


Water from the leat, tumbling down some steps into the reservoir. The area just south of the reservoir has a complicated water collection of leats and channels, on the map.


Last view, from the dam towards the end of the reservoir, as the day darkened further. It was from the far end on the left that the first photo on this page was taken.


Walk details

MAP: Blue = planned route, Red = GPS track of the actual walk

Reproduced from Dartmoor OS Explorer map 1:25 000 scale by permission of Ordnance Survey
on behalf of The Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office.
© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Licence number 100047373.
Also, Copyright © 2005, Memory-Map Europe, with permission

The roads to this walk are not too bad except that there is some single carriageway with the usual passing places, or not! From the A38 dual carriageway, turn off at Ashburton at the Plymouth side but do not go into the town (follow signs the River dart Country Park), or turn off at Buckfastleigh. From both, follow signs for Holne. There are probably signs for the reservoir although I cheated by using satellite navigation .....

The walk starts and finishes at the the  P  car park symbol on the map, to the right of the reservoir, by the START/END label (these are GPS unit labels).

The walk starts through the reservoir woodland and then heads up the hill ahead. CAUTION - this area is covered with bracken and this makes it difficult to locate walls, stone rows etc as marked on the map! The Red track above shows my deviation in this matter, partly following animal tracks and thinking I had the right wall. My 'pacing' (by pedometer, 670 m, told me when I should have reached the rows. Another compass check led me across the hill to them, but as the photos show, this triple stone row is almost invisible. Thank you, Compassworks, for the Navigator training - good practise?

The rest of the walk was straightforward although some of the ground alongside the leat was a little rough. The second loop of this walk was abandoned because the light was deteriorating along with the photographic possibilities (see the last photo). It will be completed another time.

Distance - 7.75 km / 4.8 miles
Start 11.17 am, Finish 2.15 pm, Duration 3 hr 7 min
Moving average 4.3 kph / 2.7 mph; Overall average 2.6 kph / 1.62 mph


All photographs on this web site are copyright ©2007-2016 Keith Ryan.
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