Black Hill (East Dartmoor), Haytor Vale, Dartmoor National Park

Black Hill (East Dartmoor), Haytor Vale, Dartmoor National Park

For a National Park with a reputation for being bleak, it's unsurprising that there are a couple of Black Hills on Dartmoor. The remote, rough-cut Black Hill on the north plateau is covered with a thick layer of peat and deserves its name. The Black Hill near Manaton, Lustleigh and Bovey Tracey is set within an inviting, heavily wooded landscape far from the bleak stereotype. It's very easily accessible and offers stunning views of some of the National Park's most famous tors.

We've positioned Black Hill on Google maps so zoom in on the 'Satellite' setting to see its location. Topped with a large cairn, Black Hill is situated between the East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve and Haytor Rocks area. To the north, you'll see Lustleigh Cleave and to the north west Hayne Down. To the west is Hound Tor (East Dartmoor) and south Haytor Rocks. To the east, you'll see the Devon coastline and rolling hills that back onto the English Riviera.

You can walk to Black Hill from all directions.

From the north. There's a large parking area on Trendlebere Down in the upper section of the East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve. Paths run up the moorland to Black Hill. It's a short, sharp climb to the big cairn at the top. Alternatively, walk in from Manaton. There's a car park next to the church. Follow the skinny country lanes and then path south to Leighon before climbing to the summit cairn. This route is clearly visible on the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map.

From the east. There's parking at the bottom of Yarner Wood. It's fun to walk west through the woods to the edge of the high moorland at North Lodge. Paths rise to the summit cairn. To shorten the walk, start from one of the parking places by the road that runs along Haytor Down above Yarner Wood.

From the south. Perhaps the best route is from the car parking area at Haytor Rocks. Wander up to Haytor Rocks and then follow the wide grass paths to Smallacombe Rocks and then Black Hill.

From the west. Last, you can walk in from the large car park by Hound Tor. Head up to Hound Tor. Drop down to Hound Tor Abandoned Medieval Settlement (English Heritage). A path descends to a clapper bridge over Becka Brook before climbing through pretty woods to the foot of Black Hill. It's a stiff walk to the top.