Name: Baskerville or Myths and Legends Tours
Distance: 16 miles & 11 miles
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Features: High moorland, mires, hut circles, Princetown prison & Postbridge village; Widecombe, Hound Tor, Bowerman's Nose
Conan Doyle’s most famous novel The Hound of the Baskervilles is not just set on Dartmoor – Dartmoor is the star of the story just as much as Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson. The Baskerville tour introduces you to the places that inspired the key parts: the mire, the prison, the hut circles, and of course the spectacular high moorland scenery itself. It starts in Princetown, where Conan Doyle stayed while writing the book and doing his research, and heads first down a very quiet lane that ends at Whiteworks. Here lies Fox Tor Mire, the inspiration for Grimpen Mire, and it’s possible to walk out past the ruined tin workings and crumbling walls and get the feel of this extraordinary, atmospheric environment. Up above the mire, we visit Nuns Cross Farm, the eerie lonely house that was the inspiration for Stapedon's home. Returning to Princetown, we take the road to Postbridge, cycling past the looming Dartmoor Prison and then across wide open moor with magnificent views all around. Postbridge was the basis for the hamlet of Grimpen - a high moorland settlement with just a few buildings set amongst enclosed fields.
The Myths and Legends tour starts close to Ashburton and goes through an area rich in folklore. We cycle through the village of Widecombe where the devil claimed Jan Reynolds, a notorious gambler who had sold his soul a year earlier. We visit Jay's Grave and hear about the heartbroken ghost that haunts this quiet lane. We climb up to Bowerman's Nose to hear about the witches who turned this hunter into a pillar of stone, and then cycle on to Hound Tor with its fearsome black dog legends which inspired Conan Doyle to write his masterpiece. Finally, we cycle past Blackslade Mire along the same route as the headless horseman...