Bellever Tor Top Dartmoor Walks
Great Dartmoor walks are not hard to find if your feeling adventurous and one of my favourite Dartmoor walks is Bellever Tor. Bellever Tor is cushioned between beautiful forests and stunning scenery, high up on the moors, in absolute tranquillity.
Its suitable for almost every level of walker as you don’t have to walk far to enjoy the wonderful scenery on offer and if you are able to make it to the top of the tor you will be rewarded with stunning views of nothing but landscape. From the top of Bellever Tor you will be able to see a part of the old Lych Way which is an ancient trackway used by locals to carry their dead to the church or burial ground. People in Medieval times were expected to attend church and local ceremonies including burials, this meant miles of land had to be walked for some to get to the location of the church.
The forest itself is part of the forestry commission and is very well kept, the majority of trees you will see are Sitka Spruce, which are very tall and remind me of the French national park in the Landes Region. Cooper our energetic golden retriever loved racing along the paths and even on a sunny day managed to find some mud to jump in. Although this wasn’t great as I had him on the lead due to it being the lambing season. One point to remember is that if you are thinking of coming up to Bellever in the winter its best to bring some wellies or waterproof walking boots as the ground absorbs water like a sponge and you will regret not bringing them.
Picnics are a big Yes! when visiting Bellever Tor as there’s so much ground with fantastic views, on a sunny day it’s great. Horse riders are also very welcome although if you’re not on a bridle path you should have a permit for riding on the moors. Bellever Tor is home to lots of wildlife including birds and also plenty of Dartmoor Ponies and Dartmoor Horses. The Dartmoor ponies that graze within Bellever forest and up to Bellever Tor are purebred ponies controlled by Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust, this means all efforts must be made to ensure these ponies do not breed with others outside of Bellever, visitors should shut all gates behind them.
There are multiple routes you can walk which of course is great, some are more difficult than others though. One suggestion I make is to check out the forestry website as this has more information regarding the Bellever Tor and the many Dartmoor walks available. There is a difficulty level and even a comments section where you can get the views from other walkers. Because walking is such a big part of the National Trusts ethos and Dartmoor is such a wonderful place in as many cases as possible the National Trust try to make walking routes accessible for pushchairs and wheelchairs so that Dartmoor can be enjoyed by everyone. If your looking for an easy walking route which has disabled access there is a great one from the main car park down to the river, it is around 240 metres and is an easy route for everyone to enjoy. Other trails last around 3 miles apart from the famous Lich way which is a 12-mile walk across the moors to Lydford.
Either way you decide to take it the landscape is fantastic and any one of these wonderful Dartmoor walks will leave you feeling great. I recommend bringing your camera as the wildlife, scenery and plants are great to take photos of especially the foxgloves which are everywhere during the summer. Summer is not the only time to visit Devon have a read of our post on “Why You Should Visit Devon In The Winter”
The area of Bellever forest and Tor is full of archaeological clues, giving an insight into the past and if you’re into your ancient history you will love to see all the historic sites Bellever has to offer. Within Bellever there are stone cists, burial cairns, and field boundaries these give clues of what life was like back in the Bronze age, many tools were found during excavation in the 1890’s. Major clues into the past history of Bellever forest are many hut circles evident within the forest itself, so have a good explore of the area as they is so much up there if you’re interested in history.
Bellever Tor and forest are located higher up on the moors towards Princetown which in turn is situated closest to Plymouth. The roads are good around here being one of the main roads for getting across the moors, I believe a lot of people commute along these roads and there are some great stopping places for a photograph or cuppa. I recently discovered Bellever Tor after taking the wrong turn on the moors and ending up somewhere near Princetown, turned out to be a wonderful mistake.
Bellever Tor has its own paid car parks which I believe cost around £1 for two hours or £2 for more than two hours, a minibus is £4 for the day. If you’re looking for free parking it is limited but without sounding like two dads at a birthday party travel along the B3212 and there should be a great little spot to park up, it is small though so it fills up quick.
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