Exploring Dartmoor’s Foggintor Quarry and Wild Camping Spots

The first time I visited Dartmoor, I google the best places to wild camp. A disused quarry, built in the 1800s and closed in 1906 kept popping up. A short drive from Tavistock into the moors leads you past Foggintor Quarry.

I was sceptical at first. With it being so open and close to a farm, the idea of wild camping there was a little too good to be true. But wow, what a place to stumble upon!

Although it’s been closed since the 1900’s, Foggintor Quarry still holds its beauty. From a bustling granite mine, it has transformed into this intriguing mix of history and nature. Abandoned structures surround the towering granite walls really make this spot an ideal place to pitch up camp.

I’ve added my own experience below which doesn’t do the place justice really!

Setting Up Camp at Foggintor Quarry

When it comes to camping at Foggintor Quarry, it was a very hard choice to make. It mostly depends on the weather and time of year. If it’s going to be a warm, clear day the following morning then you may want to get up high to see the panoramic sunrise views. Or if you wanted to be more discreet, then pitching next to and in between the landmarks and terrain might be a better option.

Below, I’ve noted a few spots to pitch I’ve come across.

By the Old Structures:

Pick a spot near those old structures scattered around the quarry. It’s best to use it if the weather is windy or wet. Always be respectful of the landmarks too, and no open fires to BBQs that can harm the landscapes.

Next to the Water:

If you like it calm, set up your tent close to the water within the quarry. It’s a quiet spot where you’re fully sheltered from the elements. It also gives you the security of the huge granite rocks to place your tent in front of.

On Top of the Quarry:

Want the best views for your Instagram story? Pitch your tent on top of the quarry! Yeah, it’s open, but the sunrise views are worth it. Perfect for that morning coffee too. You’ll be open to all elements but go during the warm spring or summer periods and you’ll be fine.

Rugged Landscape Setup:

For wide views and a bit of wind protection, go for a camp spot within the mini hills and landscape around the quarry. You get the full panorama with a natural windbreak. It also gives you some privacy if you’re the kind of anxious camper like me.

Dartmoor reflections at Foggintor Quarry

Surrounding Tors & walks

The best thing about camping here, apart from its incredible views and location, is the surrounding walks and tors.

Whilst we were there we found one particular one which was perfect for walking our very energetic Jack Russell. The Great Staple Tor Circular Walk is very easily accessible from your camping spot.

Starting Point and Parking:

As there’s no parking directly next to the quarry, there is an ideal spot at the end of the quarry trail. Further down the road heading towards Tavistock, you’ll pass a car park called Four Winds Car Park, set underneath big trees which are perfectly lined up to the circular walk. The best time to park there is before 9 am as it fills up very quickly with morning dog walkers and hikers.

Little Mis Tor

The Circular Route:

We chose to set off from Four Winds Car Park after we made our morning coffees. We headed northwest, following the designated trail that winds through the scenic moorland. We passed many wild cows, sheep and ponies. The sheep usually run if you get near, well they did for me with my camera, whilst the inquisitive cows and ponies tend to be more interested in you. As you continue the trail it leads you towards Swelltor Quarry, showing you reminders of Dartmoor’s industrial past. Continue south, passing King’s Tor, and then head east, approaching Great Staple Tor.

Brentor Church in Dartmoor during sunrise

As you ascend Great Staple Tor, take in the breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding moors, it was a great excuse for me to catch my breath! The route then guides you southwards, passing Roos Tor and Cramber Tor, again a greta spot to rest and make a quick tea or something to eat. Complete the circular walk by heading west, following the trail that brings you back to Four Winds Car Park.

Alternative path from Four Winds Car Park

Duration:

The Great Staple Tor Circular Walk typically takes around 2 to 2.5 hours to complete, allowing you to savor the scenery and immerse yourself in Dartmoor’s natural beauty. This duration is an estimate and may vary based on individual walking pace and the time spent exploring points of interest along the way.

Panoramic views from the circular walk

More things to do in Foggintor Quarry

There’s a lot more to see around the Foggintor Quarry area. From curious wildlife to derelict buildings, there’s plenty to capture and experience when wandering around the open moorland.

The Red Cottage Ruins

Scattered and surrounding Foggintor Quarry are the historic ruins of houses, known as the ‘Red Cottages. The cottages, which only a few walls stand today, were occupied by the workers of the quarry. They’ve weathered storms and stood the test of time, making them more than just ruins. Many people like to set up camp within or next to these ruins, as they provide excellent shelter from the elements with the added protection of the two large yew trees.

Derelict Building off the B3357

The Derelict Buildings

For all you photographers out there, Foggintor Quarry holds a lot of unique querks. Right off the main road leading past the quarry (B3357) you’ll find a very picturesque abandoned building which looks like a setting for a horror cabin in the woods film.

Wild Ponies roam the Dartmoor landscape

The Wildlife

For all you photographers out there, Foggintor Quarry holds a lot of unique querks. Right off the main road leading past the quarry (B3357) you’ll find a very picturesque abandoned building which looks like a setting for a horror cabin in the woods film.

There are many more little features of this area to explore which I’m certain you’ll love, so make sure it’s a stop on your travels!
If you’re there for a couple of days and want to explore other terrain close by, then Bellever Forest and Brentor Church is a must!

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