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This legendary walk to the granite column of Bowerman’s Nose in Dartmoor National Park was the inspiration behind The Hound of the Baskervilles Sherlock Holmes novel.
Carpark: Haytor National park information centre car park – Illsington, Newton Abbot, TQ13 9XS
Dartmoor is a wild, weird and wonderful place to walk – full of rocky tors, drystone walls, rolling hills, babbling streams, folded valleys, wild ponies and even wilder moors.
Bowerman’s Nose is one of the National Park’s more iconic and recognisable rock formations – a tall granite stack standing proudly near the top of Hayne Down. Legend has it the tower was formed when a group of witches turned a local hunter named Bowerman to stone, with the loose rocks scattered around the base of Bowerman’s Nose all that’s left of his faithful hunting dogs that were also cursed by the witches.
There are no necromancers, wild dogs or fictional detectives here today though – just a luscious and fascinating landscape and a walk that follows a stretch of the Two Moors Way past prehistoric hut circles, menhirs (standing stones) and stone rows. This is a longish route that also takes in Hound Tor, Jay’s Grave and Grimspound, so take plenty of food and water and don’t forget your camera!
This route was voted 57th in a 2017 ITV poll to find Britain’s Favourite Walk.
TOG VERDICT: Dartmoor is a wild, weird and wonderful place to walk – and this long circular walk takes in many of the National Park’s highlights.
Nearest Train (or tube) Station(s):
Newton Abbot, Exeter