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Yar Tor

Yar Tor is a bit of a surprise. It is one of those tors that motorists pass by on their way to Dartmeet and probably few of them get out to climb up the slopes. Although it lies near to the road the scope of the tor is barely visible. It is a large tor consisting of three main piles and an extensive clitter field. Yar Tor dominates the East Dart valley as the river hurries on down to meet its partner at Dartmeet. The views from the tor over the central basin of Dartmoor are excellent. The word Yar is probably derived from Hart in the days when deer were more common on Dartmoor. As well as Yar Tor there are 2 other tors close by (Corndon and Sharp) - both of which afford excellent views over different parts of the moor. This area is rich in prehistory. On Yar Tor Down there are extensive remains of an Bronze Age reave settlement, and at Corndon there are three big cairns.
There's offroad parking at SX 680733. Take the southern track down to Yar Tor Down that takes you to the remains of the reaves and the settlements. Then contour northwards around the down, cross the road and climb up to Yar Tor through the overgrown clitter field. Admire the views from the tor then proceed NE to Corndon Tor, crossing the Sherwell road as you go. Admire more views from Corndon then head south to Sharp Tor, crossing the Dartmeet road as you go. Admire more views from sharp Tor and then head back along the track (no crossing roads here) that takes you back to the car park.
An easy walk because you are never far from the main road. However, the views from the different tors are among the best that Dartmoor has to offer. A bit of clitter climbing involved but no wet ground or army areas.

 

The track that leads southwards from the car park (SX 680733) towards Yar Tor Down.
One of the Bronze Age reaves that lie along the southern slopes of Yar Tor Down. In the background is Sharp Tor.
The south view from the edge of Yar Tor Down. You can clearly see the track of one of the reaves, while in the background over the river valley lies Combestone Tor. Ryders Hill is on the horizon.
A letter box on the southern slope of Yar Tor.
The SE view from Yar Tor. The silhouette of Sharp Tor is unmistakable. In the hazy background lies the lowlands of Totnes area of Devon.
The view over Dartmeet from Yar Tor. You can just see the ribbon of road as it descends down the steep hill. On the horizon is Skir Hill.
The well structured cairn at Yar Tor (SX 678739).
One of the piles of Yar Tor.
The clitter field NW of Yar Tor with the East Dart valley lying behind. The trees in the mid distance are those of the Brake plantation while in the background lies the bigger wood of Bellever. In the trees lies the old farmhouse of Babeny.
A precariously balanced slap of granite at Yar Tor.
The north view over Corndon Down from the southmost cairn of Corndon Tor (SX 685742). You can't make it out from this picture but there are two large cairns on the down below. On the horizon lies Hameldown.
A closer look at the cairn. There's a structure within the pile of stones, but somehow I doubt that it's the original cairn.
Another look at the Bronze age cairn of Corndon Tor (SX 685742).
The main stack of Corndon Tor.
This is what Yar Tor looks like from Corndon Tor. The road leading down to Sherwell runs between them.
A memorial cross at SX 683738. This commemorates Evelyn Cave-Penney who died in Palestine in 1918. The inscription includes the appropriate phrase "look up and lift up your heads". In the background is Sharp Tor.
Looking north from Sharp Tor - SX 686730. Corndon Tor is on the horizon.
The stunning SE view from sharp Tor over the wooded Dart valley. The noise of the flowing river hundreds of feet below is loud.
The northerly view from Sharp Tor. Corndon is on the horizon.
The steep easterly side of Sharp Tor. There's clouds rolling up from the southern moor.
A closer look at the looming heavy weather over Holne Moor. We'd better get back to the car.
Looking back at Sharp Tor before the rain hits us.
 


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