A winter walk in the south of Dartmoor

Post Christmas festivities we needed to get out for a walk.  Much of December and early January has been wet and grey so an incoming high pressure area suggested it might be worth getting out for a walk in some changed weather.  As seems to be the case all too often we were wrong.  We decided to walk north up the Glazebrook and 1 mile away from the car we looked at one another wondering what we were doing out.  It was grey and the visibility was around 100 metres maybe.  Feeling it was a waste of time to have come this far and not make the most of it we headed first up the West Glazebrook and then over to the East Glazebrook where we stopped for a drink.  By now the visibility was not more than 5 metres!

It was one of those rare occasions for taking out the map before moving off.  We could see that to our right there was apparently a path which should take us in roughly the direction we wanted to go – north west – and bring us out on the ridge below Three Barrows on the Redlake tramway (defunct long ago).  However paths marked on the maps of Dartmoor are not necessarily easily found on the ground particularly in bad weather.  Fortunately we found it OK and with a couple of slight variations followed it to the ridge and came out on the tramway as planned.  As the visibility was still close to zero we decided there was little point in heading north so we started following the tramway south heading back.  Within about 20 minutes the cloud base rose a little and some visibility returned.

Looking north from Hangershell Rock

We stopped off at Hangershell Rock – a frequent stopping point on evening walks and blogged here a time or two – for a bite to eat.  The view north can be seen above – far better than it was but still not brilliant.  While it was not raining we realised we had been getting wet from the mist and still were.  The ridge south forks around here and we decided to extend the walk a little by taking the western part of the ridge rather than the eastern.

North into the mist

A little further down the ridge it was obvious that the day was not going to improve greatly.  We went a little further down the ridge towards Western Beacon and then headed east going down and then up to Ugborough Beacon.

Mist mist and more mist

As can be seen the weather was actually getting worse if anything and the visibility closing in again.  However we felt we had made the most of an indifferent day and got a reasonable walk out of it.  It had been wet under foot (very), misty and certainly not warm mostly however that is fairly typical for Dartmoor (in almost any season).

We headed off Ugborough Beacon and back down to the car.  I took one last shot looking back north (& showing the Glazebrook valleys on the right of the image).  When I got back I realised I had taken another one from almost the same spot one evening in the summer and blogged it at the time.  I decided to offer both images as a contrast!