Dartmoor Tors with Restricted Access
It seems this page has garnered some attention:
Who is the Challenger rather pompously takes exception to my admittedly (so far) rather lacklustre attempt at surreptitiously visiting these tors. I wrote this page a few years ago, but I remain true to my original principle. And besides, after last weekend's trip to Predannack Airfield, I have kind of gotten a taste for trespassing!
As I understand things, the following tors have access to the public restricted by the landowners:
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This goes against everything the whole "National Park" system was founded for in the first place, and it has come about largely because the landowners are trying to safeguard themselves from lawsuits brought by amateur and clueless but litigious climbers, especially in the case of Vixen Tor.
The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 is rather long and boring to be honest, but from skimming through it, I get the idea that you are allowed to wander around wherever you choose on access land providing you don't commit criminal damage in order to gain access.
The "access land" bit is interesting. On the Ordnance Survey's 1:25,000 scale maps, access land is shown with an "AL" symbol within a purple boundary. It is not shown at all on the more popular 1:50,000 scale Landranger maps. But the CaRoWA:2000 is not quite clear enough on the subject in my opinion. If the OS's interpretation of "Access Land" is to be believed, then you can also add Standon Hill, North Hessary Tor, Beardown Tors, Hound Tor, Thornworthy Tor & Bag Tor to the list. Some of these I have already visited with no problems (North Hessary Tor, Hound Tor, Bag Tor Bel Tor), some even have public footpaths leading straight to them (North Hessary Tor,Beardown Tors), and others are just plainly ridiculous (Hound Tor for god's sake!).
I've reached the conclusion that I'm going to have a bloody good go at reaching all of these supposed "banned" tors. Obviously I won't be committing any form of criminal damage in doing so, and as a result I believe I will be acting firmly within the law.
Please use the "Contact" link if you think differently.
Ausewell Rocks: I drove past the access on Thursday 3rd April 2008 and saw the made-to-be-intimidating "no admittance" signs. Frankly, it's a 10 minute walk from there, and who is going to know? More importantly from their point of view, who is going to be aggrieved? No one.
Bagga Tor: Frankly ridiculous... done.
Bel Tor: Been there - ticked it off the list. The direct route was clearly marked as being "Private", so I walked around a bit until I found a gate that wasn't marked "Private". I hopped over it, crossed a field and found Bel Tor. No damage done, and no privacy invaded - not that I saw anyway.
Bot Tor: Obviously accessible, as this photo proves. But, I chickened out of this one.
Bullaton Rock: There is a farm access track that leads directly to this one.
Gidleigh Tor: Again, there is a track leading directly to this tor from a nearby footpath.
Longash: Longash is less than 150m from a public bridleway.
Longtimber Tor: This one has a public bridleway that runs right past it.
Raven Rock: This lies in the same piece of land as Ausewell Rocks.
Vixen Tor: This one will apparently be open again very soon.
In fact, maybe somewhat recklessly, I've even got a Google Map page showing the inaccessible tors I have... errr.... accessed!
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