By: Blonde One
If you want a walk on Dartmoor that really does have everything, then Hameldown is the one for you. It’s easily accessible from the pretty village of Widecombe in the Moor yet feels remote. It is quite straightforward navigation yet feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere. The Two Moors Way follows this section and there is the very occasional, and easy to miss, marker.
Another easy to miss feature is the remains of the Hameldown Cross. This probably medieval cross is a little way off the track but worth a closer look.
Along Hameldown Ridge there are signs of more recent history with the wooden posts serving now as perches for the Dartmoor birds. During World War 2 they were erected to prevent enemy aircraft from landing. Only a few remain now, in quite poor condition as you would expect, but they are a haunting reminder of the moor’s military links. The memorial stone at the Natsworthy end of the ridge is also worth a visit. It commemorates the lives of the crew of an RAF bomber whose plane crashed in poor visibility in 1941.
All the way along the ridge are a series of burial cairns marked by well preserved stones announcing their names. From the south heading north you will pass Hameldown Beacon, Two Burrows (a burrow is another name for a cairn), Single Burrow and Broad Burrow. At the end of the ridge, before heading downhill, you will pass one final cairn at Hameldown Tor. The trig point marks the spot.
Your final reward is the very fine remains of the Bronze Age settlement of Grimspound.