Haytor Quarry Loop
The Haytor Quarry Loop is a great walking route in Dartmoor National Park that will lead you uphill across some rugged terrain for amazing views across the park. While out walking the trail, you will climb up to the rocky summit of Haytor before making your way through a historic quarry that was mined for gritstone in the early 19th Century. This is a fun walk for those who enjoy scenic views and local history.
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Route Description for Haytor Quarry Loop
While the Haytor Quarry Loop is only a short adventure, it traverses a bit of terrain that can be fairly tricky to navigate in places. This is due to a number of side paths, some well-worn and other lightly-travelled, that branch off in many directions. Luckily, there are open sightlines in nearly all directions and it is easy to keep an eye on the car park at the start of the walk, allowing you to make your way back, even if you accidentally go off on a detour. Make sure to wear comfortable walking footwear for this journey.
This route may be difficult to navigate in certain areas, but it makes up for this nuisance by offering lovely views overlooking Dartmoor National Park, as well as the opportunity to take in some local history. This area was once quarried for granite in the 19th Century and its stone was used extensively during the reconstruction of the London Bridge, making the route an interesting place to walk for history lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
From the car park, make your way to the west and cross over the road, following the path as it climbs up the hillside to the granite-covered summit of Haytor. Here, you will enjoy some beautiful views over the vast expanse of Dartmoor National Park that fans out in every direction. After taking in the views, head to the north and make your way through the quarry, enjoying the sights of the carved rock faces and scenic pond that can be found here. Follow the trail as it bends to the east to traverse the hillside before making your way downhill to meet up with a road. Follow this to the southwest to pass through the village of Haytor Vale on the return to the car park where you began your walk.
As the rock located just below the tor itself features less feldspar in its composition, it was deemed as being more desirable as a building material. As such, this area was quarried at several different times during the 19th and early 20th Centuries, with its most notable usage being the reconstruction of the London Bride and the building of the Exeter war Memorial. This last occasion was the final time that stone was quarried in the area, with the site now being protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
Frequently Asked Questions
How old is Haytor?
The rugged granite outcrops that characterize the landscape were formed over 280 million years ago, while human habitation of the site can be traced back to the Bronze Age, roughly 4000 years ago. Here, you will find burial cairns and the remains of buildings, such as round houses and longhouses.
Can you climb Haytor?
As the largest tor in Dartmoor National Park, Haytor is a popular climbing destination. Views from the summit are stunning, as they sweep across the rugged landscape in all directions.
Insider Hints for Haytor Quarry Loop
- Wear proper walking footwear for this adventure.
- There are a number of side paths along this route, so be sure to pay attention while on your walk or bring a GPS in order to stay the correct course.
- Toilets can be found near the car park.
Getting to the Haytor Quarry Loop Trailhead
To get to the trailhead for the Haytor Quarry Loop from Widecombe in the Moor, head east along B3387 for 5.5 km and make a right turn to enter the car park.
Haytor Quarry Loop Elevation Graph
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Haytor Quarry Loop Reviews
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