Dartmoor has many long distance walking challenges. The most famous is probably the Ten Tors Challenge, where thousands of teenagers take to the moors for a weekend. But for those of us who completed the Ten Tors in all distances or are too old to participate, what’s the next Dartmoor challenge?
The All the Tors Challenge is devised to be the answer to that question. The challenge consists of visiting the 119 named tors in the OL28 open access area (see section below for more precise definition).
You can complete it as a continuous walking challenge over several days, or as a combination of many shorter walks – encouraging you to explore new areas of the moor.
Disclaimer for Dartmoor Nerds
How many tors there are on Dartmoor is a highly contentious issue. Yes, really. Counts can range to well over 300, depending on who you listen to – and what you consider to be a tor.
So, for all you Dartmoor nerds, the challenge classifies “all” as every tor within the connected component of Open Access Land that is marked on OL28 as “something” space “tor”. That’s yes to Yes Tor, no to Kestor Rocks, no to Foggintor and no to Hound Tor (in the east).
Why? Because the challenge needed to be achievable. The longest list of Dartmoor “lesser & well known rocks and outcrops” has passed 750 and seems to be growing every day. To tick them all off seems like an insurmountable task.
On top of this, the list needed to be well-defined and self-contained. By that I mean with an easily expressible set of rules/conditions and no exceptions, like the Munros or Wainwrights. For this reason the popular touristy tors on the east of the moor weren’t included because, to my surprise, it is not connected to the main open access land of Dartmoor without a long road walk. If I included this, I would also have to include many isolated tors within the national park like Brent Tor. This wasn’t in the spirit of a self-contained challenge (like Ten Tors) that I was trying to replicate.
So if it helps, think of this walk as an extension of the old Ten Tors routes – encompassing every named tor in the area of Dartmoor that the military might consider training on. Otherwise, grumble as you will 🙂