Dartmoor has over 160 tors. Considering there are so many, it’s likely you’ll want to know which of them to visit when you come on holiday. The National Park covers 368 square miles, running roughly 20 miles North to South and East to West. Scattered across the wild landscape are numerous granite outcrops, otherwise known as tors. Many are famous. Below we cover Dartmoor’s famous tors and the best times to visit.
Comprised of a set of striking granite outcrops, Great Staple Tor sits on the western side of Dartmoor. Just a 10-minute drive from Langstone Manor Park, this tor is a few miles walk across the open moor from Merrivale.
Views from the peak of Great Staple Tor take in Roos Tor to the north and the Tamar Valley, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the west. A shorter walk than the twos tor walks noted below, Great Staple Tor is no more than 2 miles from the Rees Jeffreys Car park outside Merrivale. The area is a favourite of photographers keen on capturing images of the dramatic granite rock piles. Late Spring to early Autumn is perfect for wandering on Dartmoor. Be sure to take a map and compass as it’s easy to become lost in this wild landscape.
Sitting 621 metres (2,039 ft) above sea level is High Willhays Tor – Dartmoor’s tallest peak. The northwestern area of Dartmoor attracts walkers with the promise of stunning views. High Willhays Tor connects to Yes Tor – Dartmoor’s second-highest peak – via a walkable ridgeline. The spine with the two tors makes up part of a circular walk encompassing a National Nature Reserve and stunning valley.
The exposed landscape calls for good weather when attempting the demanding 7½ mile walk. Even in the height of summer, the weather is changeable on Dartmoor. Walkers attempting the circular route will need to equip themselves with compass, map and sturdy shoes.
Not quite as high as Yes Tor or High Willhays Tor, but just as magnificent in its own right is Fur Tor. After a gentle trek alongside the River Tavy, Fur Tor requires a steep climb across hard ground to reach the peak. Breath-taking views across Tavy Cleave Valley to Hare Tor await those who reach the summit. Fur Tor can only be reached on foot, making it one of Dartmoor’s most remote peaks.
Walkers can begin the 8mile trek from the small village of Willsworthy. During the 1920s the moor around Willsworthy was commandeered for rifle, grenade and field firing ranges. It pays to check for military exercises before setting out.
Dartmoor National Park is full of unique flora and fauna. The famous tors are just another of the many reasons to come and visit through the warmer and drier months of the year.