By: Blonde Two

Ever since our Blonde Dartmoor pilgrimage walk to visit Cranmere Pool and its bogs, I have been keen to tick off another very important square in the Dartmoor 365 book. High Willhays is Dartmoor’s highest point and, when you stand next to its summit cairn, you are almost certainly the highest person in Devon and any other counties further south than the Brecon Beacons. At 621 metres High Willhays is only 2 metres taller than its more flouncy, nearest neighbour Yes Tor (a short walk across the plateau) and is often said to look shorter (image Yes Tor trig).

When you look at the list of hills in Devon, High Willhays and Yes Tor are the only ones with summits over 600 metres, which makes them, by some definitions, mountains. I was thrilled to discover (after the event of course) that High Willhays is a Marilyn. So although I am not doing as well as B1 at collecting Munros (I only have 1 plus 3 Corbetts), I am at least (slowly) increasing my (not very impressive) count of Marilyns.

  • Kinder Scout 636 metres
  • Cleeve Hill 330 metres
  • Bredon Hill 299 metres
  • High Willhays 420 metres
  • Dunkery Beacon 519 metres
  • Selworthy Beacon 308 metres
  • Long Mynd 516 metres
  • Worcestershire Beacon 425 metres
  • Snowdon 1085 metres
  • Pen y Fan 886 metres
  • Sugar Loaf 596 metres
  • Fan Fawr 734 metres

It is at this point that I become confused, as hills in Scotlands appear to have so many different definitions. Did Marilyn ever go to Scotland? I guess we will never know!

What really matters however is that Mr B2 and I were treated to the most wonderful (if bitterly cold) weather when we were up on Dartmoor’s High Willhays plateau; a show of bright sunshine, winter blue skies and a low angled light that picked up each patch of snow and ice and cast the surrounding tors into wonderful silhouette. I am imagining it looks a bit different today.

Whether High Willhays is a mountain or not, it is a stunningly beautiful spot and I feel honoured to have seen it in weather that has defied most people.

Maybe I am the Blonde who went up a hill and came down a mountain!