NEW BRIDGE DOWNSTREAM AND UP TO CORNDON TOR
START POINT NEW BRIDGE CP GRID REF: 711708

Paul Williams offered the 10 mile walk described below on 14th Nov and it attracted 31 ramblers, the most we have ever had out on a Wednesday.

All were strong walkers and although there were a few stiles early on, there were not enough of them to get us over stretched out.

Paul indicated there were a couple of 'good old climbs' in it and he wasn't wrong, both before lunch though.

At 10 AM the car park at NewBridge was very full with cars from the many walkers who had arrived for the day out.

 

 

An outline of the route we took is given below.

outline
This route shows how we first went down the Dart before the long climb up towards the moors and then up to Corndon Tor.

This outline should be looked at in conjunction with a 1:25000 map of the area such as the Ordnance Survey Dartmoor Outdoor Leisure map no 28.

We had 3 walkers who hadn't walked with us before among the 31. We seem to be getting one or two new people out on every walk.

After the customary briefing and announcements, we were soon on our way, leaving the car park and heading down to the river just south of the lovely old New Bridge over the Dart.

The river was certainly flowing well, sure signs that Dartmoor is getting plenty of rain.

 

We turned north and headed under the bridge and for he next mile or so we followed the line of the river downstream. This is a well known areas for canoeist as there is some interesting white water along this stretch of the river, no canoeists around today though.

There is a clear path to the west of the river and we followed this down for approaching a mile before going onto a road which ran parallel to the river for a short while at a point on the OS map marked as Lower Lodge. After a couple of hundred yards of steep uphill we followed a footpath up through woods at the point where the narrow road swung sharp east. We passed several large stacked sections of tree trunks at the start of the section.

The footpath ran alongside a swift flowing stream before we left the wood and made our way via three fields out onto a narrow road.

Turning due north we walked along this narrow road to the area called Spitchwick Manor and Farm.

We entered another field and followed a footpath initially ESE and after a hundred yards NE heading towards a hamlet called Lower Town, of about a dozen or so houses/ farms. We came out to a road and the first of the 'steep old climbs' Paul had mentioned, this one along a narrow road leading up to Leusdon.

It felt a long way but in reality it was no more than 600 yards of a steep uphill heave.

We passed a hotel and then to our right Leusdon Church.

Thankfully soon after that we emerged out to the top of the hill and a triangle of grass at Leusdon bordered by roads. It was an ideal spot for our morning break and after the climb was needed.

 

Ten minutes later we were on our way again now heading generally north west towards Ponsworthy just under a mile further on.

We were soon at the hamlet of Ponsworthy and a signpost with the name of Forder Bridge.

There was a gate bearing the symbol MW and we were on the Two Moors Way, heading due north up alongside the West Webburn River.

 

The 2 MW route here was alongside the river for a mile or so and it was a poor track with lots of rocks, stones and tree trunks to get across, quite hard going really and slippery in places with the light rain we were experiencing.

With the river flowing downstream as we headed upstream it was, despite the difficult track, nevertheless quite a pleasant riverside section of the walk.

 

 

After a just less than a mile beside the West Webburn we came upon an old wooden bridge as we were at a hamlet call Jordan. We came to a T junction at Jordan and swung due west along another footpath with the river now to the south of us.

The going improved and soon we were on grassland again and we could see the moors high up to the west of us, Corndon Down looked a long way up.

 

 

Yes that's where we intended to go, another steep old climb of 500 ft was beckoning, but not until we had walked north for a few hundred yards to reach a road heading east west at Shallowford.

We turned left and headed west down to and over the river via Shallowford Bridge. The long old climb now began in earnest. We headed south west up the road and then onto the moor continuing to head south west for the steep climb up and onto the top of Corndon Down.

A look at the OS map shows how close the contour lines are, a steep climb to give us an appetite for lunch.

We reached the top and were rewarded with splendid views at a height of 410 metres. We came upon two large cairns and tucked in alongside the easterly one to enjoy lunch and the views.

We had certainly earned our lunch break.

 

After the break we headed south up to the highest point of the day Corndon Tor at about 430 metres.

It was all downhill from here, but not before some of the group decided to stand on the top of the Tor.

From Corndon Tor we headed across west towards the next Tor, that of Yar Tor.

 

En route we had to cross a narrow moorland road and just before reaching the road we passed a stone cross with a remembrance day poppy wreath on it.

The cross had been erected as a memorial to a nineteen year old who had bee killed in Palestine during the first world war.

 

 

Yar Tor is only a couple hundred yards west of the road and we were soon there.

From Yar Tor and more brilliant views we headed south down through short gorse and heather towards a car park at Yartor Down.

Paul took the group from there directly south east towards Sharp Tor.

He showed his masochistic leanings by taking them down into a steep valley for another steep old climb directly up to Sharp Tor, the final Tor we would visit on this walk.

I admit to contouring around the head of the valley to arrive at Sharp Tor without the steep descent and ascent on the pretext of taking some photographs of course.

Off to the east we could see both Bel Tor and Mel Tor.

We descended from Sharp Tor east, walked up a narrow road until the boundary of a field system and then turned south east to walk along the side of a dry stone wall until we met a track between hedges, we were on the 2 MW route for the second time of the walk.

We followed the stony track down with hedges to each side and came out from the track to emerge on a nice wide path called Dr. Blackall's Drive.

The doctor had constructed the drive to allow him to drive his horse and carriage along to enjoy the stupendous views it afforded.

We passed by Mel Tor and followed the drive as it made it's way around Aish Tor.

The views down to the wooded valley through which the Dart flowed were brilliant and the Autumnal colours were quite breathtaking.

Just where the path swung north east by an enclosed area we stopped for our afternoon break. We then had a good old steep descent south down through dead bracken and then onto a track which led steeply down to Deadmans Corner just above the Dart.

The rest of the walk was along a level easy path which turned north east and paralleled the Dart back to New Bridge Car Park and our cars once again.

We were back at the cars before 3 PM and it had indeed been a good varied walk of 10 miles, as indicated on our programme.

Thanks were given to Paul and his wife Betty in recceing and setting this walk up for us. I could see just why it had attracted so many walkers, very varied and attractive it was. We were soon on our way to all parts of Devon and even back to Cornwall for some after such a good day out.