Beardown Man is a pillar of granite standing over 11' (3.5m) above ground. It was erected over 4,000 years ago, but it's purpose can only be a matter for speculation. The name man comes not from the shape of the pillar, but from the Celtic word maen meaning stone.
There are only 12 standing stones or menhirs left on the open moors in Dartmoor and Beardown Man is one of the remotest of all. It is also the highest on Dartmoor at 1,778' (542m) and the second tallest.
This walk takes you from The Cherrybrook, past Littaford and Longaford Tors, across the West Dart River at the weir and skirts Beardown Tor before arriving at Lydford Tor. From here Beardown Man is still one mile (1.6km) away across the most remote part of the route. Although you will be right on the top of the high moor, this a very flat plateau and the moor is likely to be very wet.
After visiting Beardown Man, this walk returns to Lydford Tor, before making a tour of the three Beardown Tors and then descends to Two Bridges to cross back over the West Dart River.
Before returning to The Cherrybrook, you climb up Crockern Tor, which not only is the legendary home of the ancient pagan God of Dartmoor, Old crockern, but was also the venue for Devon's Stannary Parliament. The Stannary Parliaments (there was another for Cornwall) were the tin miners' own parliaments with their own set of laws which generally overruled the English Laws. These parliaments date back to the 12th century and Devon's Parliament last met in 1748.
This is a longish walk of 8.7 miles (14km) and 5 hours should be allowed to complete it. Beardown Man is situated in a remote part of Dartmoor and the surrounding moor will be wet at all times of the year. In bad weather conditions, map and compass are essential for this walk.
This walk can be shortened by returning from Beardown Man the way you came, omitting the Beardown Tors, Two Bridges and Crockern Tor. This will shorten the walk to 7.4 miles (11.9km), taking about 4 hours 15 minutes.