This Dartmoor walk involves visiting only two Tors (Pew Tor & Heckwood Tor) but with easy stop-off distance to appreciate Feather Tor and Vixen Tor. The walk itself is not demanding on any walker, and is itself an extention of the Feather Tor and Barn Hill walk, which perhaps doesn’t go far enough for the seasoned walker.
Situated just outside Tavistock on the B3357 these Tors are small in nature yet still hold the same timeless appeal of being out on the highlands of Dartmoor. With some commanding views achieved from Pew Tor on a clear day. Pew Tor ‘s exposed rocks and stacks offer space and adventure for children and adults to explore, without the wind-exposure of the higher peaks. Certainly worthy of an early spring warm-up walk in readiness of the coming season.
The car park is large and is often frequented by Dartmoor ponies seeking treats from human guests. Although pleasant, the best advice for the good of the ponies and yourself is; don’t entertain their advances, they are wild afterall.
From the car park on the B3357 (SX 532751) stay on the south-side of the road and observe Barn Hill as the large featureless hill in front of you. Instead of climbing over Barn Hill, keep your heartbeat down and contour-walk yourself around the west-face of Barn Hill. You will walk further but the idea of this walk is to achieve as much as possible with the least amount of energy spent.
As you contour around Barn Hill apart from the far-reaching westerly views you also get to see the quite magnificent Pew Tor (SX 533735) 320m a.s.l. to the south, as it comes into view. You do come into very easy reach of Sharpie Tor (SX 535742) 313m a.s.l. but I believe for this walk it is better to concentrate on main target and find your most leisurely walk to Pew Tor. From Pew Tor, Heckwood Tor (SX 537738) 321m a.s.l. is the shallow peak 500m to the northeast, and Vixon Tor (SX 542742) 317m a.s.l. another 600m further on to the northeast. Please remember that Vixon Tor has no public-access rights.
From any point that you feel that you need to wander back to the car park, find the Grimstone & Sortridge Leat on the east-face of Barn Hill and follow northwest back to the B3357. Then follow the B3357 and follow west to the car park.
Weather: An overcast chilled spring-day, slight South-easterly. Temp. 9 deg. Route: Pew Tor – Simple and undemanding, capturing some of Dartmoors fringe Tors. Noticeable event: Spied a spring foal, Dartmoor pony. Date: 31 March 2005. Group: 2 adults and 4 children under 10. Distance: 4 km Walk time: 2hr+.