Dartmoor's Highest Points Circular Walk (High Willhays/Yes Tor), Okehampton, Dartmoor National Park

Dartmoor's Highest Points Circular Walk (High Willhays/Yes Tor), Okehampton, Dartmoor National Park

Walking/Dartmoor's highest ground

This walk takes in Dartmoor's highest points High Willhays and Yes Tor, a National Nature Reserve and a stunning river valley.

 

Start at Meldon Reservoir

Start at the car park by Meldon Reservoir. Climb the steps by the public toilets, turn left and wander across the reservoir dam. There are super views down the Lower West Okement Valley to Meldon Viaduct which is part of the Granite Way. On the far side of the dam, go through the gate to your left and head straight up Longstone Hill until you reach the army track. It's a steep start to the walk and gets the blood pumping.

Yes Tor and High Willhays are close together on a high moorland plateau. It's very easy to bag both peaks in one walk.

After a spell of dry weather, you can walk directly to Yes Tor and High Willhays. To begin, you wander across relatively flat moorland and then it's a fairly stiff climb to the plateau on which Yes Tor and High Willhays sit. Yes Tor is the mass of rock to the north of the plateau topped by an army hut and flag pole. You'll see a number of isolated rocky outcrops at the southern end of the plateau. Head for the one topped by a big cairn. This is High Willhays. An army track links the two.

After a spell of wet weather, it gets very boggy on the flat moorland section to which we referred above so it's best to walk south from Longstone Hill to Black Tor (North Dartmoor). You follow a good army track. Black Tor is another series of rocky outcrops. From the first outcrop, yomp east across rising moorland to Yes Tor and then follow the aforementioned army track to High Willhays.

The views from the top of High Willhays are amazing. Highlights include Fur Tor to the south, Great Links Tor to the south west and the big view over the Tamar AONB into Cornwall to the west.

From High Willhays, drop down to the cairns and army huts on Fordsland Ledge. Carry on down the steep slope to the bottom of the valley. You then follow the West Okement River north west into Black-a-Tor Copse National Nature Reserve.

At the far end of the National Nature Reserve, where there's an information board, you can either climb moorland to the first rocky outcrop at Black Tor and retrace your steps to the dam wall or continue down the valley to the end of Meldon Resevoir. A good path hugs the eastern side of the reservoir to the dam. Cross the dam and walk up to the car park.