The Dartmoor walks

February 24, 2012
The Dartmoor walks

Rambling on (about) Dartmoor

Here’s some more detail about the planned routes for the Dartmoor break. These walks have interest and variety  and include some of the best views to be found on the Moor.

 

First up is the Railway Route as I call it which mainly follows the path of the disused  Plymouth to Princetown railway. This walk is just over 10 miles long in total but the good news is that we will have a pub stop in Princetown just after halfway ..... and, of course, the other good news is that, being on an old railway line, the walk is mostly easy-going and level. We walk beside a couple of old granite quarries, one of which provided the stone for Nelson’s Column and also parts of the old London Bridge which now resides in America. There are superb views on a clear day which constantly change as we follow the twists of the old steam line. We leave the railway for a while to climb up North Hessary Tor, passing directly under the TV mast which is such a feature of the landscape before descending into Princetown for the aforementioned pie and a pint! After our break we rejoin the railway to follow another loop which heads back towards our start point .. but we don’t want to retrace our steps too much so we divert up and over Leeden Tor to return to our cars parked on the Yelverton to Princetown road.

The second route, which I’ll call the Widecombe Wander, is a different type of walk. It is shorter than the Railway Route, being just 8 miles in length, but is a bit more strenuous. Starting at Widecombe-in-the-Moor, we immediately have a steep climb up a narrow lane and then easier gradients on the way up to Hamel Down (but don’t worry, we’ll take it easy with plenty of stops ..... I’m getting old!). There are fine panoramic views and a number of beacons and ancient sites to be seen before we reach the cairn. We then amble downhill to visit the remains of the ancient village of Grimspound, probably  the largest and best-known Bronze Age site on Dartmoor. And it is around here, maybe on the surrounding slopes, that we’ll stop for our picnic lunch, rest, and enjoy the scenery. After our break we follow a pleasant grassy path through to Natsworthy Gate where we turn to walk along a road for while before diverting up a slope and making our way along under the respective tors of Honeybags, Chinkwell and Bell. Emerging at Bonehill Rocks we finish the walk by going downhill along a road and back into Widecombe where there should be time to get a cup of tea and have a look around.

The third route, Joey’s Route, is planned for our last morning and is therefore quite short  at around 3.6 miles and easy. This walk will look at a couple of the locations used in the film War Horse. Starting at the Scout Hut we climb over Gutter Tor and then make our way to Legis Tor, crossing Ringmoor Hill (where the race with the motor car was filmed). We then drop down to the River Plym which we walk alongside for a while before taking a track to Ditsworthy Warren House – the house which was featured in the film along with the surrounding fields and slopes. The director, Steven Spielberg said "I have never before, in my long and eclectic career, been gifted with such an abundance of natural beauty as I experienced filming War Horse on Dartmoor."  After our brief flirt with Hollywood, we take the track that winds under Gutter Tor to return to the start point.

Please note

All of these walks are on the High Moor areas of Dartmoor where the views can be stunning. However bad weather and/or low cloud can have an adverse effect and the guides reserve the right to use other routes or not walk at all in the interests of the safety and comfort of the group.

 Background detail and photos for each walk will be provided at the illustrated talk on the first night of the break.

Good walking shoes/boots are essential as well as suitable clothing which will keep you warm and dry.

 

 

Walking into 2012

February 5, 2012

This is a busy time of year. In the Forest it is a prime time for conservation tasks so, along with lots of other volunteers, I’ve been doing my share of ride-clearing, pine-pulling, and hedge-laying. It’s also  taken time to get the programme of hotel walks sorted out for the coming year although I have to say, without exception, the hotel managers involved have been extremely helpful.

 

Details of the various breaks, dates and prices, can be found on the website under “Information o...


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Catch Up

November 14, 2011



My apologies for the long break in posting - mixture of tech problems + not too much to report + lack of time.
Anyway, a few things to tell you about now.....
The Autumn weekend at the Forest Park hotel went well with good weather, good food and good company as ever. I was pleased that the elusive tawny owl deigned to appear (so many times I've said, "There's an owl lives in that tree" without a single feather subsequently on view!) That's him (or her) above - a photo taken by Rick Gill on a la...


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The great pony experience - Sat 28th May

May 30, 2011
Just a short entry this, just to say what a great afternoon we had. It was only a small group but after an enjoyable walk we met up with Pete & Mandy Pidgley of the Haywards stud farm who gave us the most fantastic talk about the breed. We had the privilege of standing in a field containing several mares with their foals of less than a month old while Pete gave us an insight into the life of a Commoner and the passion (you can't call it anything else) which keeps alive this traditional way of...
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The Charity Walk Fri 13th May 2011

May 26, 2011
This walk was such a pleasure. We had 19 people in the morning and 17 in the afternoon - as it happened pretty much all from Milford Tennis Club although I had made it available to anyone. Fortunately once again we had good weather and set off through the glorious beech woods of Mark Ash. On the way to Wooson's Hill some of us had the pleasant surprise of seeing a tawny owl fly out of a tree right in front of us (just a few seconds before I was going to say "There's a tawny owl lives in a tre...
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Dartmoor ... how good was that!

April 29, 2011
This is just to record what a good time we had on Dartmoor at Easter. Big thanks go to whoever organised the weather because it was just perfect - not too hot or too cold, and it meant the views were stunning. Also huge thanks to Frank Postel and his staff at the Moorland Links Hotel for their help and hospitality. It made a big difference and Richard and I are very grateful to you all.

And of course the guests, most of whom we had met previously on Forest Park walk weekends, were once again g...
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The programme for May

April 29, 2011

We thought that it would be a good idea to arrange a few events in advance so we've started off with May and hope to add walks and talks throughout the summer.

First up is a charity walk on Fri 13th from Anderwood car park (on the road between Burley and Lyndhurst). This will go through the glorious ancient beech woods of Mark Ash and then continue through to Acres Down with its high-level views across the New Forest before coming down to the pub at Emery Down. After a pleasant stop at the pub...
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Steve's Ramblings

December 3, 2010

The Dartmoor Walks

Well, I've had a look at some potential routes for the Easter weekend. Still got to make some decisions but overall its looking pretty good!
The first route checked was from Postbridge to Dartmeet via Bellever Tor; then along the East Dart river to the Bellever Forest and back to Postbridge. A super walk of around 10 miles with a stop for lunch halfway at Dartmeet, there are some great views and some fascinating sites of ancient stone rows and circles. It is a fairly varied r...


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