ALEX TOR: So simple, so surprising, so beautiful.
We’ve driven past this several times in the past, you barely even notice it from the car – but it really is worth a visit, not only for the amazing views from the summit, but also for the incredible granite outcrops atop it. None are particularly high, but there’s almost a labyrinthine element to them once you’re up there – you could spend hours meandering between them.
Anyway, get to St Breward whichever way seems best to you – don’t forget to stop at the Old Inn on the way, or on the way back if you prefer! – then follow the road north past the pub. Once you’re going downhill, you’ll come to a hairpin bend – don’t follow it around to the left, but turn right here instead. We’ll let the map do the talking now, as it’s a bit fiddly!
View Tors, Carns and Hills – Kernow Torbagging in a larger map
You can either park at the foot of Alex Tor on it’s western side, or carry on a little and park at the eastern side – though it looks like you can go further on this road, DON’T. It’s a private road, and although it’s a great path to walk on deeper into the moor, vehicles ain’t allowed. If you see this sign on your right, you’ll know to stop!
Ascend Alex Tor, really easy cos it’s not too steep and you can’t miss the summit –you’ll first see the immense ring cairn atop it, one of the most impressive in any part of Cornwall. Once you’re there, the tor is quite “plateauxesque” and you can spend some time amongst the great outcrops. There are so many other Tors visible from here; Both Roughtor peaks, Bron Wennily, Showery Tor, Garrow Tor, Butter’s Tor… and probably more!
You can either hop back down to your car now, or… as we intended to do… head down to Stannon Stone Circle. We’d been there a few times before, but not for a while – however the cold was beginning to get to us, there was a biting north-westerly that day and we turned back within site of the circle (and instantly regretted it lol!)
However, on our way back we did stumble on a few notable ancient stones; the remains of another cairn, halfway between the “car park” and Stannon Circle; (on “Dinnever Hill”, and closer to the car, the very impressive remnants of an ancient field system. The OS map marks the extant remains as being within a modern field; but outside of those field there are still some very visible stones. Well worth a detour to see.
In short, if you want to bag a quick tor, easy to climb, with amazing views and characterful rock features (ooops, I’m slipping into estate agent mode here… wanna buy a tor?!) then Alex Tor is the one for you!
We met a few horsies on the road on the way back, so TAKE CARE! No pub for us this time, having already been to the Old Inn at St Breward… instead we stayed at the lovely Darrynane Holiday Cottages, where a certain Red Panda Rucksack was most relaxed…!
Alex Tor Details:
Food: Lunch beforehand in the Old Inn, St Breward (cheesy chips are essential for cold hiking!)