Dartmoor National Park, Devon, England
- Location: Dartmoor National Park, Devon, England
- Categories: Spring / Summer / Autumn / Winter / Human continental / Tundra / Highland / Foothill / Lowland / Plain / Marsh / Rural / Lake
- Duration: 2 Hours
- Distance: 4 Miles
Walking the trail:
- Summary: A short 4 mile adventure from Princetown to see the abandoned pits and ruins around Foggintor Quarry, set within beautiful rural Dartmoor countryside.
Who loves epic long distance trails? I certainly do. However I also like the simple small walks that take you to cool places of interest that you can spend hours exploring and enjoying.
This is just one of those walks. Having decided I wanted to do some wild camping over the May Bank holiday weekend I decided that Dartmoor and Foggintor Quarry was the place to go, having already been there a few
times during my many Dartmoor adventures. It’s an incredibly scenic spot to pitch up tent, and if you’re lucky with the weather you can witness a pretty fantastic sunset and sunrise. (I wasn’t so lucky with the sunrise)
I didn’t actually arrive at the quarry until 7.30pm but didn’t take long to pitch the tent up in a nice flat clearing just underneath some really cool old ruins. Then it was time to grab the camera and hip flask (obviously loaded with Talisker 10 year aged malt) and run around like an excited kid knowing the evening was going to be something rather special. Dartmoor is a rather magical place for me, it’s hard to explain why I love it so much, it just reminds me that whatever is going on in your bubble that the world and life is just pretty darn amazing. Even more so when the landscape is being lit up with such an incredible sunset glow in front of me.
The reason I love this particular Dartmoor landmark so much is that it’s got a bit of everything. An interesting quarry, old industrial ruined buildings, superb views of Kings Tor, Great Staple Tor and interesting wildlife. (birds, sheep, horses, cattle)
The quarry was used to provide granite for famous landmarks such as Nelsons Column and London Bridge and operated from the early 1800s until being decommissioned in 1938. It would have seen up to 400 people working within the quarry at its peak. Since then nature has reclaimed the quarry for itself. Great care must be taken when exploring the site as it is an unmanaged area with no official paths around or within. 100ft drops are located around many of its edges and when the fog does roles in it is dangerous. Please take care if visiting.
To get to the quarry could not be easier. It’s just a 2 mile flat and easy walk from Princeton’s main carpark located at PL20 6QF. (£2 parking for the day) From here you head westwards between the Fire Station and Dartmoor Brewery and pick up the Dartmoor Way trail. (signposted) This then brings you right around the west side of the quarry to the industrial ruins. From here you can head eastwards into the quarry. There’s other ways to go cross country to get to the top of the quarry if you’ve got an OL28 OS map and compass. The walk can easily be extended to include Kings Tor and the Merrivale Stone Rows which are North West of the Quarry. These can be seen on the OS Map and are definitely worth a look if you want to extend your adventures.
If you do wild camp there then it’s always good to know Princetown isn’t too far to return. My favourite thing after camping there is to head to Fox Tor Café and have one of their pretty delicious breakfasts . Ok I admit that’s not true wild camping but I’m a sucker for a good coffee in the morning! I work too hard to deny myself such pleasures ha-ha!
Hope you enjoy if you visit. Definitely one of Dartmoor’s highlights for sure.
If you have any questions please feel free to ask.