Bench Tor Circular Walk, Holne, Dartmoor National Park

Bench Tor Circular Walk, Holne, Dartmoor National Park

Bench Tor is a rocky outcrop topping a spur of land that juts out into the Dart Gorge. The views from the tor are spectacular. You'll often see climbers on the huge, vertical wall of rock on the crag nearest the lip of the gorge. It's also a great spot to picnic. If you can, try this short walk on a bright day in Autumn when the woods lining the gorge are copper and gold.

Follow the road that runs from Ashburton to Venford Reservoir. You pass the River Dart Country Park, cross Holne Bridge and climb the road in the direction of Holne. Drive past the turning for the village. As you approach Venford Reservoir, you'll see a car park on your right before the dam wall. Start from here.

From the car park, walk north over moorland towards the first rocky outcrop that forms Bench Tor. You'll see this ahead of you. You cross a water channel and follow a wide, grass track to the outcrop. The Dart Gorge opens out east and west. Sharp Tor and Mel Tor rise on the far side of the gorge. Combestone Tor and Dartmoor's south plateau are visible behind. Wander over to the crag on the lip of the gorge. You'll see and hear the River Dart way below.

From this crag, a track runs north west down into woodland. It's a wide track that connects with a disused road that sweeps around the spur of land on which Bench Tor sits. Turn left on that disused road and you walk through beautiful woodland back towards Venford Reservoir. Venford Brook flows down the valley to your right. There are railings by the dam wall. A rough path rises to the corner of the railings. Walk a short way east and you'll connect with another wide, grass track that takes you to the car park from which you started.

Refer to the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map for detail.