Location: Pew Tor
- Date: Wednesday 19th April
- OSGrid: SX532734 (E253200, N073400)
- Travel: 35 minutes car, 10 minutes walk
- Style: Bivvy Bags
Pew Tor hits the milestone of being night number 15. That puts it roughly somewhere between being over a quarter, but not quite a third of the way through the project. As a mini milestone we headed back onto Dartmoor for the first time in a few weeks. This location however was totally unknown to us; and we know how unknown locations had gone before…. Pew Tor, I’d never heard of it and certainly had never been there. I like to think that if the tors on Dartmoor were celebrities, King’s Tor, Sheep’s Tor, Staple Tor and the like, would be the high flying, A-list Hollywood super stars. But not Pew Tor. Pew Tor might be seen in a local theatre, putting on a performance that you hadn’t heard of and certainly never seen.
Yet what a spectacular performance it would be…
After a couple of coastal WONs, it felt like a trip back to Dartmoor was very much needed. Unfortunately, there was no Paul this week, as his newfound stardom was taking him away to other parts of the country. I joined Stu for the first time in a month as we decided where to go. You would have thought that after a few months of planning where to go, we would be pretty on it with the very basics of map reading- opening the map. Yet as always the map had other ideas and we ended buried under an avalanche of slightly waxy paper.
After a few tactical folds and a little bit of debating, Pew Tor seemed like an interesting spot. So off we sped. First up was the traditional Tesco stop. We felt our environmental impact was becoming a bit much, with a whole host of plastic cases containing croissants, fruit tarts, pain au chocolates and other pastry delights being the usual suspects. We opted for brownie filled cookies in a paper bag. Much better!
We were back on the road and heading to Pew Tor with a gentle golden glow in the air. It was sort of glow which lit up even the bits of landscape which probably shouldn’t be glowing. It reminded me of spreading butter on the perfect piece of toast, which isn’t really full toasted, but more like warm bread. The scenery was quite delightful.
We parked up at the foot of Pew Tor and started the short ascent to the summit. The evening was so clear we could see for miles around, with the landscape offering spectacular views. The grass was green and the gorse bushes a vibrant yellow, both of which were contrasting against the pastel blue sky. I couldn’t help but feel a sense of calm wash over me, with the stresses on the day evaporating on the evening breeze.
This was a great location, on a beautiful evening. All the desired ingredients for a Wild One Nighter. With so many rocks and overhangs to choose from, we spent a bit of time scrambling around, trying to find the perfect place to sleep. Of course, this had to involve an eastward facing spot to capture the morning sunrise. We even found a few letterboxes hidden in nooks and crannies.
After a bit of an explore we settled on the highest rock to survey the area. Testing out our map skills, we attempted to identify each of the surrounding tors, hills and woodlands in view. What appeared to be a really simple task, in fact, required a keen eye to pick out the changing features of the landscape. It was enjoyable.
We cooked some soup to the backdrop of a setting sun. I picked up the scolding pot, only to realise I had no where to place it down. Not impressed.
All too soon, the sun dipped below the horizon and, to a fanfare of yellows, oranges and reds, finally disappeared from sight, only to be replaced with a sky full of stars.
With the temperature rapidly plummeting, we retreated to our sleeping bags. We were in for a pretty chilly night. The cloudless sky was not offering a blanket and despite being now April, I had certainly been warmer on a Wild One Nighter. Perhaps sleeping on the bare rock of the Tor didn’t help?
The cold did however wake me at the perfect time to capture the rising sun. Peering out of my bivvy bag, I was treated to the scene below.
Morning came and with nothing but bivvys to stuff inside our bags, we could afford a bit of a lie in. I was awoken by Stu who had excitedly placed cookies and a letterbox for me to find as I crawled out of my cocoon.
It had been a very successful Wild One Nighter indeed.
Joe- This camp was just great! Everything about it I loved. I feel if you don’t have a lot of experience camping of Dartmoor, this will be a great one to do. Make sure you pick a nice day as the views from this point are truly spectacular.
- It’s April it the UK- its probably still going to be cold.
- Things cooking on a stove get hot, try not to touch them.
- If you know its not going to rain, always choose bivvy over tent. Being able to peer at the night sky, or morning sunrise to so rewarding.