Dartmoor: High Willhays via Homerton Hill Cist

Back to the north; a quick excursion from Meldon Reservoir to High Willhays, and back, bagging Black Tor, Fordsland Ledge and Yes Tor along the way.

Meldon Reservoir
Meldon Reservoir

I could not believe my luck with the weather. The Reservoir was stunning on a perfect morning with a cloudless sky. A far cry from the downpour overnight.

I followed the reservoir path to the base of Homerton Hill; as the track climbed, I decided to take a feint higher route, that had me climbing steeply on, thankfully, well drained grass.

Meldon Reservoir
Meldon Reservoir

By now, any semblance of a path had now disappeared. Reaching the top of the hill, I was thrilled to find an unmarked cist, and a very well preserved one at that!

Homerton Hill Cist and Cairn
Homerton Hill Cist and Cairn

Looking back at the view, it must have been a person of high esteem that had been buried here, overlooking what 3500 years ago would have been a wonderful valley, and not a man made reservoir. Mind you, the view is still pretty good!

Homerton Hill Cairn and Cist
Homerton Hill Cairn and Cist

I’ve always know that the route to Black Tor and higher was a boggy affair, but on this occasion, the ground was saturated more than normal.

Black Tor (West Okement)
Black Tor (West Okement)

By the time I had reached Fordsland Ledge, my boots had succumbed to the water. It actually took me two whole days to finally get them dry.

West Okement and Lints Tor from Fordsland Ledge
West Okement and Lints Tor from Fordsland Ledge

I took a quick break at High Willhays to polish of a bar of chocolate and enjoy the views and then on to Yes Tor.

Trig Point at Yes Tor
Trig point at Yes Tor

Both high points of Devon ticked off, I picked my way through the clitter on its east flank, making a beeline straight for Longstone Hill. The clitter was little trouble, but the grass here was sodden, and I must have aqua planed at least half a dozen times before I hit the comfort of an actual track.

Around Longstone Hill, and back to the car park in only a few hours, I was off to my mum’s for a well earnt Sunday roast!

Meldon Dam
Meldon Dam

Published by Moorland Walker

Paul is a backpacker, tor bagger, Bibbulmun Track End to Ender and West Ham supporter. He moved down from London to live in Okehampton in 2016, after realising he was spending most of his weekends on Dartmoor and it just made sense to make it permanent!

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