12 top tors you can visit in Devon

PUBLISHED: 11:44 03 June 2020 | UPDATED: 14:00 03 June 2020

It's lovely to walk on Dartmoor's tors with your family. Photo: Chloe Swift

It's lovely to walk on Dartmoor's tors with your family. Photo: Chloe Swift

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Dartmoor National Park is known for its stunning granite outcrops, here are some of our favourites

High Willhays, the highest tor on Dartmoor, Devon. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphotoHigh Willhays, the highest tor on Dartmoor, Devon. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Dartmoor’s Highest Tors

High Willhays and Yes Tor, Okehampton

Situated on Dartmoor’s highest ground in the northwest region of the National Park, above Okehampton, High Willhays and Yes Tor are both located on the same ridgeline making them the perfect duo to tick off on the same walk. At the northern end of the ridge is Yes Tor – Dartmoor’s second highest peak, at 619 above sea level - with High Willhays, Dartmoor’s highest summit, at 621 metres above sea level, a few minutes walk to the southern end.

Walking to the top of both tors is an absolute must if you are a keen hill-walker, with the two summits offering spectacular views across large areas of South West England and down into Cornwall.

There are great views from Leather Tor on Dartmoor, Devon Photo: Greig BarclayThere are great views from Leather Tor on Dartmoor, Devon Photo: Greig Barclay

Tors/walks close by - Dartmoor’s Highest Points Circular Walk on the National Park’s highest ground, taking in High Willhays, Yes Tor, a National Nature Reserve and a stunning valley.

Dartmoor’s Most Remote Tor:

Fur Tor, Postbridge,

Ponies grazing at Leather Tor, Dartmoor National Park, Devon Photo: Greig BarclayPonies grazing at Leather Tor, Dartmoor National Park, Devon Photo: Greig Barclay

Located in the heart of the National Park’s north moor, Fur Tor is one of the most remote areas, providing a superb spot for keen walkers, and those with a passion for the great outdoors. Visit Fur Tor for some of the most staggering views, as well as a good hike across miles of open moorland.

Tors/walks close by – Fur Tor from Postbridge Circular Walk; ideal for walking-enthusiasts, this is a long walk into the most remote area of the National Park.

Dartmoor’s Most Dramatic Tors

The view from Sheeps Tor on Dartmoor, Devon Photo:Greig BarclayThe view from Sheeps Tor on Dartmoor, Devon Photo:Greig Barclay

Great Staple Tor, Tavistock

Popular with photographers, the picturesque tor is made up of a striking set of rocky-outcrops near the west border of the National Park, where high moor sweeps down to Tavistock and the Tamar Valley – Area of Outstanding Beauty.

Tors/walks close by- The Staple Tors, Merrivale

Great Links Tor, Lydford

One of the most dramatic tors on Dartmoor, a series of distinctive stacked rocks make up this striking formation, dominating the western flank of the National Park. Visible from miles around, the tor provides some of the most unspoilt views of Dartmoor’s north moor, the Tamar Valley and Cornwall.

Tors/walks close by - Little Links Tor, Lydford is a small rocky outcrop, a short walk to the west of Great Links Tor on the western side of the National Park.

Great Mis Tor, Merrivale

Great Mils Tor is a huge tor located on the western side of the National Park between Princetown and Tavistock. This cluster of beautiful granite outcrops is one of the most easily accessible of the high rocky tors.

Tors/walks close by – Little Mis Tor, Merrivale, situated south of Great Mis Tor, the satellite outcrop provides an easily accessible route.

Dartmoor’s Best Tors Overlooking Gorges & Valleys:

Sharp Tor, (Teign Gorge/north east Dartmoor), Drewsteignton

Located near the National Trust’s Castle Drogo in the Teign Gorge to the north of the Park, offering unbeatable views. This is a really accessible tor, and possibly one of the best walking routes on Dartmoor. With dramatic views across the gorge, to the castle and Dartmoor’s north moor, a must for a summer’s day out.

Tors/walks close by – Teign Gorge Circular Walk

How well do you know Dartmoor’s stone circles and where to find them?

Ger Tor, Lydford

Situated south of Hare Tor and a short drive from the National Trust’s Lydford Gorge and English Heritage’s Lydford Castle, Ger Tor is a great location to explore the moor, providing stunning views of Tavy Cleave.

Tors/walks close by – Tavy Cleave Circular Walk, taking in some jaw-dropping landscape.

Black Tor (North Dartmoor), Okehampton

One of Dartmoor’s most striking tors, Black Tor is situated above the National Park’s many river-valleys and cleaves. The tor is made up of a series of rocky outcrops, located above Black-a-Tor Copse National Nature Reserve in the Upper West Okement Valley.

Tors/walks close by – Meldon Reservoir to Black Tor

Black-a-Tor Copse National Nature Reserve, Okehampton

Dartmoor’s Best Tors Overlooking Reservoirs:

Leather Tor, Princetown

A particularly striking fin of rock, rising steeply from the surrounding moorland, Leather Tor provides the perfect spot for a scramble, as well as immense views of Burrator Reservoir and Dartmoor’s south moor.

Tors/walks close by – Leather Tor Circular Walk has to be one of south Dartmoor’s most beautiful walks, starting at Sharpitor, walk to the summit, enjoying views across Burrator Reservoir.

Sheeps Tor, Yelverton

This picturesque tor dominates the eastern side of Burrator Reservoir, topped by vast rocky outcrops and crags that are popular with climbers. Sheeps Tor features spectacular 360-degree views across the reservoir and surrounding moorland, with Leather Tor visible in the distance. It provides a superb walk, from the reservoir – a great spot to explore before climbing up to the summit.

Tors/walks close by – Beechcroft Plantation offers the ideal spot for a picnic with views, on the exposed banks of the reservoir.

Following the Burrator and Sheeps Tor Circular Walk will take you around the reservoir and up to the top of the tor for a picturesque hike.

Dartmoor’s Best Tors For Picnics

Haytor Rocks, Haytor Vale

Undoubtedly, the Park’s most famous tor, owing to its location on the eastern fringe of Dartmoor, it is an easily accessible tor. Perfect for picnicking with its wide grass tracks, and surrounding open space, leading to the granite outcrops. Without forgetting the bonus of large car parking areas, spaced along the B3387 as it rises along the moor.

Tors/walks close by – Haytor Rocks to Hound Tor Circular Walk. Particularly impressive in the spring when the bluebells carpet Hound Tor Down, also during autumn when the colours turn. The route also passes through a number of historic and prehistoric sites.

Hound Tor (East Dartmoor), Manaton

Hound Tor is one of Dartmoor’s most alluring tors, with a number of fascinating historic and prehistoric sites. Located in the east section of the National Park, across the valley from Haytor Rocks. Another great spot to set up a picnic, brilliantly accessible, with many walking routes beyond the tor, passing through the ancient ruins. There is also a car park north west of the granite outcrops, where you can walk directly to the tor and surrounding area.

Tors/walks close by - Haytor Rocks to the south east and Honeybag Tor and Chinkwell Tor to the south west, also Hamel Down and Widecombe in the Moor. To the south you will see Saddle Tor and Rippon Tor, to the north are Hayne Down and Bowderman’s Nose.

What is a tor?

Dartmoor’s tors are rocky granite outcrops created by erosion. Some 65% of Dartmoor is made of granite – rock which was created around 295 million years ago. There are over 160 tors on Dartmoor. Tors are where the granite rock that is underneath Dartmoor shows through.

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