Steeperton Tor, Belstone, Dartmoor National Park

Steeperton Tor, Belstone, Dartmoor National Park

Some Dartmoor tors, like Hound Tor and Great Staple Tor, attract huge numbers of visitors owing to their extraordinary granite structures. Vast rocky outcrops, these tors are well known, and much photographed, shapes in the landscape. Other equally impressive tors lack the outcrops but occupy sublime locations.

Steeperton Tor, to the north of the National Park near Belstone, has one of the best locations. Situated at the top of a huge natural ampitheatre of moorland that curls around the flat surface of Taw Plain, Steeperton Tor tops a triangular spur of land cut on either side by a fast flowing river and stream. Stood on its summit, next to the army hut, moorland sweeps from Dartmoor's north plateau down to Mid Devon and then Exmoor National Park on the horizon.

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


Recommended route to Steeperton Tor for the first time

As is the case with most Dartmoor tors, you can walk in from all directions. To visit for the first time, we'd recommend approaching from the moorland village Belstone which is located just off the A30 Exeter to Okehampton road. Walking from Belstone, you get the classic view of the triangular Steeperton Tor rising at the far end of Taw Marsh.

Start at the car parking area at the entrance to the village. Walk past the pretty houses out onto Belstone Great Green. You'll see The Tors Inn pub garden and the church tower to your right. Follow the tarmac road south along the side of Great Green. It dips, bends and climbs to a gate that leads out onto the moor. Head up to Belstone Ridge and and walk past Belstone Tors and Higher Tor to Oke Tor. Beyond Oke Tor, an army road drops to a ford in Steeperton Gorge. Cross the River Taw at the ford and loop up to the top of Steeperton Tor. This route is easy after a spell of dry weather. After rain, when the Taw is in spate, it can be tricky crossing the ford and river.

After a period of rain, we'd recommend crossing the River Taw near Belstone at the western end of Belstone Cleave. Follow the path that climbs the flank of Cosdon Hill. This path trends east and then north up the spine of the hill to Cosdon Beacon as marked on the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map. From the beacon, a wide grass track descends to Little Hound Tor and Hound Tor before continuing to Wild Tor. From there, you can walk around the top of Steeperton Brook and summit the tor. This route avoids any swollen waterways on the high moor. 

There are many other routes.


Routes and directions to Steeperton Tor from the north

From the north. In additon to walking in from Belstone along Belstone Ridge, you can also wander up Taw Plain on either side of the River Taw. An army road takes you a long way up the western side of the River Taw and then turns into a grass track. The track runs along the contour of steep moorland below Oke Tor. You come to a wall at the bottom of Steeperton Gorge and the track runs on either side of that wall, to the west of the river, until you get to the ford. The river in Steeperton Gorge is narrow. At any point, you can hop across and go direct to the summit of Steeperton Tor. It's steep! The same army road splits over a ford and runs east of the Taw. Again, it turns into a grassy track and leads to Steeperton Brook. Hop over the narrow waterway and yomp up the steep, tussocky north face of Steeperton Tor. Last, from Belstone, you can cross the Taw at the western end of Belstone Cleave and follow the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map footpath over the plateau Queenie Meads to White Hill. You then either ford Small Brook and yomp up over Metheral Hill or follow the grass track to the Little Hound Tor area before fording Steeperton Brook just east of Steeperton Tor.


Routes and directions to Steeperton Tor from the east

From the east. To walk in from the Chagford area, start at Batworthy Corner. Head for Scorhill Stone Circle and continue north until you hit a wide grass track that rises west to White Moor Stone and White Moor Stone Circle. Wander down to the ford at Steeperton Brook and ascend to the top of Steeperton Tor. From the north east, you can also walk in from South Zeal past Cosdon (The Cemetery) Stone Row on the east flank of Cosdon Hill to Little Hound Tor. This route takes you past Raybarrow Pool so be careful.


Routes and directions to Steeperton Tor from the west

From the west. Follow the army road from Okehampton Camp up to Okement Hill. These loop back around to the ford below Steeperton Tor. The walking is very easy but it's a long way.


Routes and directions to Steeperton Tor from the south

From the south. If you're walking the north moor from Postbridge, it's easy to wander down from Hangingstone Hill to Steeperton Tor. From the south west, you can walk in from Ockerton Court/Cranmere Pool. From the south east, it's a straightforward walk from Sittaford Tor.


We've walked the above routes with young kids so they're all relatively easy. If you can get up there in snow, it's a magical experience. Note that Steeperton Tor is on the border of the army firing range. If you see red flags and flares and hear machine gun fire and artillery shells slamming the moor then keep on the eastern side of the boundary!