Black Lane Peat Pass, Princetown, Dartmoor National Park

Black Lane Peat Pass, Princetown, Dartmoor National Park

The name Black Lane Peat Pass suggests a tidy, sunken road with high, black peat walls offering easy passage through difficult terrain. Whilst this might once have been the case, and there are still such peat passes on the north moor, if you walk Black Lane Peat Pass today you'll experience an uneven, sunken stretch of moorland that's boggy and tussocky. There are peat hags but the first time we walked it we had no idea it was Black Lane Peat Pass *as marked on the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map*. At the bottom of the pass is the extraordinary Fox Tor Girt. At the top of the lane is a tall post that's unmissable in the vast, flat landscape.

Black Lane Peat Pass is part of the North-South (Track) Ancient Travel Route. We've positioned it on Google maps so zoom in on the 'Satellite' setting to see its location.

To visit, we'd recommend walking to Fox Tor from one of the parking areas on the Princetown to Whiteworks road. Leave your car and walk to Nun's Cross Farm. Follow Devonport Leat east to a farm wall that runs south of Foxtor Mires. Take the track on the south side of the farm wall to Fox Tor. From there, walk around the western side of For Tor Girt and you'll be at one end of Black Lane Peat Pass.

If you're a confident walker we'd recommend continuing south to the River Erme. This path is marked on the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map but in reality it's a yomp across intimidating, boggy moorland. At the River Erme, you pick up what's referred to as the Abbot's Way on that Ordnance Survey map. Follow this to Plym Ford and then back to Nun's Cross Farm. Wander back to your car. Again, it's boggy, remote moorland so only do this if you are an experienced and confident walker.

Note that the Harvey British Mountain Map 'Dartmoor' map has the Black Lane Peat Pass south of the position marked on the OS map. More information is provided by the Harvey map's editor Eric Hemery in the 'North-South Track' chapter of his book 'Walking Dartmoor's Ancient Tracks: A Guide To 28 Routes'. On the ground, you'll see two posts at either end of Blacklane Mire. According to Hemery, these posts indicate Black Lane Peat Pass. We'd suggest you stick to the OS version and follow the green path on that map to avoid the mire. It's a very boggy place up there anyway.