Cut Hill, Postbridge, Dartmoor National Park

Cut Hill, Postbridge, Dartmoor National Park

A visit to Cut Hill and nearby Fur Tor is a must for anyone with a passion for Dartmoor. This is the most remote area in southern England and it's a joy to visit so we'd very much recommend a day trip to the summit.

Cut Hill, as the name suggests, is a dome of rough cut moorland in the heart of the National Park's high north plateau. On its top, in an exposed peat landscape, surrounded by peat hags, is the relatively recently discovered Cut Hill Stone Row. Fur Tor is about a kilometre to the west. The highest ground in Dartmoor at Yes Tor and High Willhays is magnificent to the north west. We've positioned Cut Hill on Google maps so zoom in on the 'Satellite' setting to see its location.

Because Cut Hill is situated in the heart of the National Park, you can walk to it from all directions. However, some routes are exceptionally difficult or even impossible after spells of bad weather. We describe potential routes below and outline possible problems.


Recommended route to Cut Hill for the first time

To visit for the first time, we'd recommend walking from Postbridge and following, roughly speaking, the East Dart River to Cut Hill Water. You then follow the North West Passage Peat Pass to the southern flank of Cut Hill before looping to its top with its exposed peat landscape. Again, whilst there are plenty of other routes to Cut Hill, this is arguably the easiest for a first visit. Start at the large car parking area by the Postbridge National Park Visitor Centre. Behind the visitor centre is access to Drift Lane. This good path takes you towards Roundy Park Settlement. From there, follow the line of the farm wall up to Broad Down. There, you'll see the East Dart River and Sandy Hole Pass ahead of you. Walk down the northern flank of Broad Down to the East Dart River Waterfall. A track runs up the western side of the river through Sandy Hole Pass to Cut Hill Water. Cross this area of boggy moorland and you'll see the distinctive red and white poles of the British Army's Merrivale/Okehampton Ranges running up the side of Cut Hill. These take you to the North West Passage Peat Pass and then to Cut Hill itself.


Routes and directions to Cut Hill from the east

From the east. To walk in from the east, start at one of the car parking areas in Fernworthy Forest. Head out of the forest to Sittaford Tor. From there, you have to cross the barrier of the East Dart River. After a spell of dry weather, it's easy to hop across the river at the East Dart River Waterfall. This is impassable after rain. Further up the river you can cross at Kit Rocks. The river here is skinnier so it is usually passable after rain. If you still have problems, walk further up the side of the river and it becomes narrow enough to jump over. To get to Kit Rocks, avoid Broad Marsh and come in via Statt's House from Sittaford Tor. Note that from Sittaford Tor, you can also wander up to Quintin's Man and walk the moorland north of the Teign Head to cross the East Dart River near its source. This whole area is boggy after wet weather and can be very difficult going. If you don't mind the cold, it's fun to cross in winter when the moorland is frozen. We've turned back on this eastern route to Cut Hill on a number of occasions because the terrain has been too boggy and river levels too high.


Routes and directions to Cut Hill from the west

From the west. On the western side of the moors, up the road from Mary Tavy, is a car parking area at Lanehead. You can follow the north bank of the River Tavy through the cleave to Sandy Ford where the River Tavy meets Amicombe Brook below Fur Tor. You then yomp up the hill to Fur Tor and then Cut Hill. It's boggy around Sandy Ford and we've also had to turn back here when the water levels have been high. An alternative route takes you over the good footbridge at Standon Steps and then up across Standon Down to Fur Tor and Cut Hill. The terrain is boggy and difficult and you have to cross a number of skinny streams. Last, you can walk in from the small car parking area by Bagga Tor and wander up to Lynch Tor. From there, it's a yomp across moorland to the skinny upper section of the River Tavy. Both Fur Tor and Cut Hill are ahead.


Routes and directions to Cut Hill from the north

From the north. If you're heading up to Dartmoor's high north plateau from Okehampton or Belstone, you can head for Cranmere Pool and then follow the broad ridge over Black Hill to Cut Hill. It's very difficult walking even after a sustained spell of dry weather.


Routes and directions to Cut Hill from the south

From the south. After a spell of dry weather, you can wander across the moorland between the sources of the West Dart River, River Tavy and River Cowsic via Devil's Tor and Beardown Man Standing Stone. Even after a period of sunny weather, it's boggy and difficult walking. Start from the car parking areas at either Holming Beam and Two Bridges and head for Lydford Tor before yomping across moorland to Devil's Tor and Beardown Man Standing Stone.


Clearly, there are other routes one can follow to the top of Cut Hill. For example, you can walk the old North-South (track) marked on the Harvey British Mountain Map 'Dartmoor' map that takes you through a peat pass on the northern flank of Cut Hill. Study the Harvey map for detail. All routes are big walks but the effort to get to the Cut Hill and Fur Tor area is well worth it.