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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Exploring Dartmoor : Hound Tor

A visit to Dartmoor would be incomplete without visiting one of its numerous tors. So, on the last day of our stay in the region, we drove to Hound Tor. I had looked up tors which were easily accessible and would be suited even to a beginner like me. And Hound Tor seemed the most reliable bet. On our way to Hound Tor we drove past many other tors but Hound Tor was the most striking of all. I was glad we picked this one. We parked at the car park facility near the tor and began our climb. It was a very gentle walk up the tor, maybe half a mile along grassy paths. And then the fun began, scrambling up the rocks.

Hound Tor

It was slightly windy but as we had wrapped up warm, it was comfortable. The views from the top were amazing. The rugged and beautiful landscape of Dartmoor stretched as far as the eyes could see. The stunning countryside looked even more attractive because of the early autumn colours. We could also see the peaks of several other tors. An elderly couple who happened to be there at the same time told us about the remains of a medieval village just southeast of the tor. We did not visit the village ruins though as we were short of time.

According to some, Hound Tor could have been the inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's book 'The Hound of the Baskervilles'. Another local folklore is that hundreds and thousands of years back a huntsman called Bowerman lived on the moor. Once while he was out with his pack of dogs hunting hares, his dogs ran into a meeting of witches and overturned their cauldron thereby interrupting the ritual they were performing. Enraged one of the witches later turned Bowerman and his dogs into rock formations. The huntsman became what is now known as the Bowerman's Nose while his pack of dogs are the chain of rocks on top of Hound Tor! The rock formations on the top of Hound Tor are very suggestive. And if you have a strong imagination, your mind will bring forth images - faces of people or animals.

Hound Tor

Hound Tor

Hound Tor

Overall, it is a very beautiful tor. Had we not been in a hurry, we would have spent the day exploring the areas surrounding the tor. One more reason for us to go back to Dartmoor.

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