With over 1500m of climbing packed into this 40km Killer, you’ll want fresh legs and good weather before you tackle this toughie.
Starting off in North Bovey, you’re quickly off-road using the Dartmoor Way to make your way south west towards Hunter’s Tor, via Peck Farm. Be careful to keep the farm on your left as you climb the hill — the trail definitely goes round to the right. It doesn’t take long before you’ve gained height and are up on top of the Tor looking out over the valley.
The descent starts straight away and you’ll need to muster all your skill to clean it. It’s amazing to think this is bridelway — we can’t imagine too many horse riders tackle this one. It’s tight on two wheels, let alone four hooves!
You’ll be glad of the road pull round to Manaton as an excuse to recount your near misses on the descent to your buddies. The drop down to the River Bovey is another corker — basically a stony riverbed when we rode it, it gets steeper towards the bottom as it swings in and out of a tight corkscrew.
After a quick climb you’re out of the woods and onto the road before ducking back into the trees for one final tree-lined plummet before you head out onto the moors.
Skirting round to the north of Haytor Down on a RUPP is disappointing in comparison to what’s on offer to horse riders and walkers on the Down proper, but that’s life. Make your way over the rocks and up the climb towards Hound Tor following a short stretch of road, before hopping on a bridelway all the way over to the iron age remains of Grimspound.
We recommend doing the loop around Headland Warren anti-clockwise as the final drop to Headland Farm is way more fun as a descent than a climb.
It’s homeward bound now, back up to Grimspound, this tim staying north descending the narrow gulley trail through Heatherscombe.
All that remains now is the short bit of singletrack RUPP through Langdon and back towards civilisation — after the solitude of the Moors, North Bovey feels like quite the metropolis.