Yes Tor, Okehampton, Dartmoor National Park

Yes Tor, Okehampton, Dartmoor National Park

Yes Tor is Dartmoor’s second highest peak. It's located in the north west section of Dartmoor National Park close to the gateway town Okehampton.

High Willhays, Dartmoor's highest peak, is a few minutes' walk to the south. These two peaks are situated on the highest ground in Dartmoor National Park. They are the only two mountains in southern England.

We've positioned Yes Tor on Google maps so zoom in on the 'Satellite' setting to see its location. You *must* check army firing times whilst planning your trip. Yes Tor is on the border of the Okehampton Range. This is one of three training areas used by the British Army. Red flags fly to warn you when the army is training. There's a good army website that provides information. Google or Bing Dartmoor firing times. Again, Yes Tor is within the Okehampton Range.

Given its height, Yes Tor is a very popular attraction within the National Park. We've walked to its rocky summit with a four year old so it's well within the reach of most reasonably fit people.


Recommended route to Yes Tor for the first time

To visit for the first time, we'd recommend starting from the car park at Meldon Reservoir. This is marked on the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map. Cross the dam wall. There's a metal gate to the left at the far end of the dam. Go through it and walk up the very steep flank of Longstone Hill. You'll come to an army track. Follow that south to Black Tor (North Dartmoor) and then yomp north east to Yes Tor. This avoids the potentially boggy direct route from Longstone Hill to Yes Tor although walking as the crow flies is fine after a spell of dry weather.


Other routes and directions to Yes Tor

As is the case with most tors on Dartmoor, you can walk in from all directions. Here are other routes. We've walked them all with very young kids in all weather conditions and they're all straightforward.


Routes and directions to Yes Tor from the west

Other routes from the west. Once you've crossed the dam wall, you can follow the good path that fringes the eastern side of the reservoir. You come to the bottom of the Upper West Okement Valley. Follow the north bank of the river to the beginning of Black-a-Tor Copse National Nature Reserve. Yomp up to Black Tor and continue to Yes Tor. Alternatively, walk through Black-a-Tor Copse National Nature Reserve and continue up the valley towards Lints Tor. Before Lints Tor, where streams flow down the moorland to meet the West Okement River, walk up to Fordsland Ledge and then High Willhays and Yes Tor. To reverse this route, try the Dartmoor's Highest Points Circular Walk (High Willhays/Yes Tor)

You can also walk in from the car parking area by Meldon Aplite Quarries. A road runs under Meldon Viaduct providing access to the quarry car park. Either climb south to Longstone Hill or follow the track north of Red-a-ven Brook to Black Down. Wander up to Yes Tor.


Routes and directions to Yes Tor from the east

From the east. This is the easiest approach to Yes Tor and High Willhays. Head for Okehampton. Follow the road that rises to Okehampton Camp. A network of army roads runs across this section of the moors. Just beyond Okehampton Camp, before the bridge that spans Moor Brook, turn right. There are various car parking areas along the road. Out of season, when fewer people are around, continue all the way up the road to the eastern flank of West Mill Tor. This is as far as you are allowed to drive. Leave your vehicle and walk up to West Mill Tor. Yes Tor rises beyond that. You have to cross a stream which can be a wee bit boggy. It's a reasonably steep climb to the top.

From where you left your vehicle, you can also just follow the army road up to Yes Tor. This avoids potentially boggy moorland after rain.

Alternatively, cross the bridge the spans Moor Brook and continue up to the very large car parking area below Rowtor. Follow the army road on foot south of Rowtor and east of West Mill Tor and all the way up to Yes Tor.


Routes and directions to Yes Tor from the north

From the north. Head for the Okehampton Camp area. Just beyond Okehampton Camp, before the bridge that spans Moor Brook, turn right. There are various car parking areas along the road by Black Down. Walk towards the top of Black Down and then it's a simple walk to the summit of Yes Tor.


Routes and directions to Yes Tor from the south

From the south. The approach from Dinger Tor is very easy. Dinger Tor is at the end of an army road. You can walk in from any of the car parking areas further down the moors by West Mill Tor and Rowtor.

If you're coming from the Lydford direction, head for Kitty Tor. You can cross the West Okement River at Sandy Ford (Upper West Okement Valley)and climb Fordsland Ledge to High Willhays and Yes Tor. Note that the Sandy Ford area is unpleasantly boggy after rain or a spell of wet weather. The river is also a formidable barrier when in spate.



The views from the trig point on top of Yes Tor are immense. On a clear day, you'll see Exmoor National Park to the north, the Atlantic Ocean and the large satellite dishes of GCHQ Bude to the west, the peaks of Bodmin Moor and the Cornish Alps to the south west and the English Channel south of the Tamar Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Within the boundary of the National Park, Meldon Reservoir is the west of Yes Tor. Black Tor and Black-a-Tor Copse National Nature Reserve are to the south west (note that Black-a-Tor Copse National Nature Reserve was included in part of the BBC's 'Secret Britain' series of 2010). Amicombe Hill, and in the distance, Fur Tor are to the south. Oke Tor, Steeperton Tor and the high plateau around Hangingstone Hill are visible to the east.


The area

The area offers great walking and cycling. For family-friendly cycling, try the Granite Way.

Lydford Gorge (National Trust) and Okehampton Castle (English Heritage) are nearby.