By: Blonde One
Cold East Cross to Buckland Beacon
This Dartmoor Bimble has to be the easiest walk on Dartmoor but is well worth doing. It starts at Cold East Cross SX 741743 which is a much nicer place than it sounds. There are lovely views and if you know where to look, you can see the Dartmoor Christmas Tree. The car park is on the Ashburton/Widecombe road but you can drive up from Bovey Tracey if you prefer and take in the Haytor views on the way (turn left at the Hemsworthy Gate cattle grid).
I like to start this walk at the boundary stone that you can see about 100m NW of the car park. From this boundary stone, find the path that goes SW and follow it. You will see more boundary stones on the way. After about 500m, the path meets a stone wall which you follow until you see the tor at Buckland Beacon.
If you have youngsters with you, they will have a lovely time here as the rocks are great for exploring – there are some holes that small people would fit through and there are lots of Dartmoor letter boxes. The adults will be happily entertained by the views – you can see the sea, the river Dart snaking through the valley and Ryder’s Hill on South Dartmoor.
Don’t forget to find the Ten Commandments Stones – these were carved in 1928 by order of the then Lord of Buckland Manor and are quite impressive. The Legendary Dartmoor website has some excellent information about the stones. http://www.legendarydartmoor.co.uk/ten_command.htm Let us know if you see Moses there as we haven’t spotted him yet!
Once you have enjoyed all that Buckland Beacon has to offer, you can either head back to the car park the way you came or you can go through the gate and cut down to the East across Welstor Common to the lane. There is an interesting pool and building which are marked on the map for you to find on the way back.