Black Down, Okehampton, Dartmoor National Park

Black Down, Okehampton, Dartmoor National Park

Black Down is on the edge of open access moorland below the highest ground in Dartmoor National Park and southern England. Yes Tor and High Willhays rise to the south. The British Army's Okehampton Camp sprawls out across private land to the north and north east. The down is criss-crossed by army tracks and paths and lies within the Okehampton Firing Range so google or bing 'Dartmoor firing times' before you go. Black Down provides great views across Mid Devon to Exmoor National Park. It also offers less well known routes up to Yes Tor, High Willhays and West Mill Tor.

We've positioned Black Down on Google maps so zoom in on the 'Satellite' setting to see its location.

There's limited parking on Black Down just south of Okehampton Camp. You can also wander up from the large car parking area at Meldon Aplite Quarries near Meldon Viaduct. For a stiff walk, head up from Okehampton direct or on a circular walk using the Granite Way. Refer to the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map for detail as there are many paths you can take.

We'd recommend visiting Black Down as the starting point for a yomp up to the top of Yes Tor. Relatively few people use this route as the ascent is long but the views are extraordinary. Head for Okehampton Camp. The army ring road stretches out in front of you by the Range Warden's hut. Take the right hand road and drive towards West Mill Tor. You see a small parking area on the left hand side of the road. Follow the army track up onto Black Down and then down to the ford at Red-a-ven Brook. It's then a long slog up to the top.

You can do the same walk starting from the large car parking area at Meldon Aplite Quarries near Meldon Viaduct. From the car park, follow the track that rises north of Red-a-ven Brook to Black Down. Drop down to the abovementioned ford and then head up to the summit. We wouldn't recommend walking directly south east from Meldon Aplite Quarries to Yes Tor as it can get very boggy on that side of Yes Tor.