Information And Summary
is good and easily accesible roads. The walki has plenty to offer outdoor photographers with a wide range subject matter. We follow the valley side contouring the West Dart river to Wistmans wood then climb to Longaford Tor for a very pleasant steady descent back to Crockern Tor before returning to the car park. There are oppoutunities to capture views up the valley to Wistmans Wood, the West Dart river, the wood offers a plethora of lichens and moss, and Dartmoor views from Longaford, littafor and Crockern Tor. Although the walk is only just over 4 miles long it offers photographers enough to keep you busy for most of the day typically I can spend 6hours on this walk
View Wistmans Wood and Longaford Tor in a larger map
The walk begins in the car park located on the B3357 opposite the Two Bridges hotel. The parking area is a reasonable size, but arrive early at peak times to avoid disappointment. After donning boots and rucksack leave the car park by turning north, passing through a gate where the signpost shows the way to Wistmans Wood. The beginning of the walk follows a track; although unspectacular it provides a gentle warm up and a chance to adjust the straps and buckles before transitioning to more uneven ground. After a short while the a small cottage comes into the view on the left hand side.
Continue along the track towards the cottage. On reaching the cottage take the track leading up to the right passing the stonewall around the cottage on the left. Towards The end of this wall the track bends further around to the right and passes through what looks like an old earth boundary continue along the track until it naturally fades on the open moorland. In front you should see a stone wall with an opening pass through it. The route ahead is not well defined but this is a popular Dartmoor destination and the many boot prints should provide ample clues and confirmation that you are heading in the right direction. We travel Northerly, Wistmans wood should be visible before us clinging to the side of the valley, to our left and ahead we can see the West Dart River snaking it's way through the valley. Soon we should pick up a more distinct path that will lead us to Wistmans. The wood entrance is marked by passing over a sty. Take time to read the information board before entering the wood, take special notice of any restrictions or precautions to protect the wood before proceeding.
For those on a full day out a detour can be taken after crossing over the sty. Head downhill keeping the wall on your left to the edge of the West Dart river. There are a few places along the edge of the river that provide interesting compositions, with flowing water, grasses and granite boulders. Travelling way up stream almost beyond the wood leads to an area with a few boulders and fast flowing water. Take care near the river it is very uneven underfoot and for most of the time boggy! Retrace your steps and climb back up hill to reach the wood.
(IMPORTANT!! Take great care in the wood, rocks are slippery, and unforgiving on ankles prone to sprains and breaks! Take equal care not to harm the trees and vegetation) Carry on straight ahead to towards the wood entrance. It is difficult to navigate the ground under foot is uneven and slippery, but this is nothing compare to how it used to be. Mans introduction of grazing animals has helped to keep the thick tangle of vegetation at bay. If you continue through the wood you will eventually reach a fenced area beyond which you can view the wood as it had once been. Retrace your steps to the entrance of the wood.
Our walk continues from here skirting the uphill side of the wood gradually climbing before turning uphill to reach Longaford Tor. Facing the wood turn uphill whilst heading north to keep the wood on your left. After passing the last of the trees you will see a smaller grouping of Oaks ahead and below you half way between these and the end of the main wood turn North east winding your way uphill in between boulders as your direction steadily changes from North East to Easterly to eventually bring you out on Longaford Tor, the summit to the left and its less significant cousin to your right. If you have not already stopped take a seat and pour some coffee.
From Longaford Tor we turn south heading along the top of the gentle rolling ridge above the West Dart. Along our way there are many opportunities to take in the view and photograph the Tors. Next along our route we reach Littaford Tor crossing over the top and descending towards a stonewall. Head for the Sty and cross over. To reach our next objective follow the line of the wall and keep to the top of the ridge don't be fooled by a clearer path leading down hill, following this impostor will take you away from Crockern Tor our final destination on the ridge walk. After reaching Crockern Tor turn West heading back down hill towards a Gap in a wall from here retrace your steps past the cottage and along the track back to the car park.
Photographs Taken On This Walk
The Author has produced these photographs on this walk. There are many other unique possabilities. The challenge is to go and find them. If you would like some help, want to learn about your camera or improve your landscape photography, join me on a Dartmoor Photography Workshop