Raybarrow Pool, Throwleigh, Dartmoor National Park

Raybarrow Pool, Throwleigh, Dartmoor National Park


Dartmoor's a great National Park for young kids. Its highest ground is easily accessible and its landscape provides few real problems if you're properly prepared. There are, however, a few places that are genuinely dangerous. We'd place Raybarrow Pool at the top of the list.

We've positioned Raybarrow Pool on Google maps so zoom in on the 'Satellite' setting to see its location. That satellite imagery also provides a pretty good insight into the nature of the moorland in this section of the National Park's north moor. It's a tangle of pools of water and waterways and waterbelly moorland that seems ready to burst.

There's a footpath running west of Raybarrow Pool that offers safe passage in this area. Refer to the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map for detail. The path itself can get boggy and has stretches of standing water (as pictured) but when you look east across Raybarrow Pool, you'll see light reflected in its many pools and waterways. Any problems, head for higher ground. A second, less well used path runs just east of Raybarrow Pool. Again, this is marked on the Ordnance Survey map. Walk around Raybarrow Pool. Avoid trying to cross it. We tend to walk the good track between Little Hound Tor and Cosdon Beacon to avoid even the western side of Raybarrow Pool.

Note that a group of teenagers had to be rescued from Raybarrow Pool in 2012 during the Ten Tors event. One contestant got stuck in the bog up to her neck.

Other places to walk around on Dartmoor include Foxtor Mires and Dinger Pool, Avon Head Mires and the mires west of Batworthy Corner. As a rule of thumb, the land around headwaters is tricky. After a spell of dry weather, it's possible to cross many of these areas. Just avoid Raybarrow Pool.