So after the long winter we started our walk in daylight again! To lead us Stella had returned after a period of recuperation. Out from the Fox and Hounds and down to the ford. Up then on a direct line to Brat Tor and then across to Doe Tor where the light was fading fast.
Next we followed the Doetor Brook stopping at Foxholes tinners hut for a break and then up to Dick's Well. By now the cloud had come in and we had some light rain. Back to the pub via Arms Tor.
A long walk of about 11 miles led by Roger. We left Scrub Tor car park and took a short diversion to the the restored tea house on Duke's drive.
Back to the forest track and up past a small reservoir
Then into the main mining area still with many disused mine buildings
and the huge spoil tip of arsenic tailings where nothing ever grows!
From here for most of the walk we followed the line of the original railway track which was used to transport copper and arsenic to Morewellham Quay. Past the new tourist attraction of 'Surfing in the Trees'
For our lunch break we spent a little time looking for Chimney Rock which looks out to Gunnislake
After lunch for a while we continued towards Morwellham before returning.
Much more information and photographs about the mining activities here
It was much colder than expected in a fairly strong wind. We headed down from the car park over the leat and and the little bridge over the River Meavy. Steep at first up to Cramber Tor, then to Hart Tor. Along the rifle range to Devil's Bridge and up to the railway track. After a while we cut down to the railway track below Swell Tor and then over the top of Leedon Tor to the cars.
Off then to The Rock. On the walk John, Jon, Tony, Anne, Keith, Sue, Charles and Mike
A beautiful warm spring day with no wind and dry under foot and perfect conditions for a Dartmoor walk. We left Four Winds and took the track which goes up to Little Mis Tor and then on to Great Mis Tor - you can probably see more Tors from here than anywhere else on the moor.
To our left the ridge of Staple Tors and Roos Tor
Spectacular views from Great Mis Tor..........
Towards Great Links Tor in the north....
....and Sharpitor, Leather Tor and King Tor in the south...
....towards White Tor with Gibbet hill behind.
Then along the ridge towards North Hessary Tor.
Looking back to Great Mis Tor with White Tor to the left and futher back.
Down to Foggintor quarry where some of us had absailed before. Today it was the turn of young trainee soldiers - seemed like we were in the middle of a battle as they ran past.....
Then they absailed down into the quarry much, much faster than I ever did.
One poor lad didn't perform as well as he should so as a punishment he was made to lie in the pool of water and crawl out across the mud!
Then they ran through the quarry this time climbing up on the other side to repeat the whole exercise again.
Next we walked across to the old railway track and over to King Tor then down to the stream and back to the cars for lunch in the Dartmoor Inn at Merrivale.
On the walk today Terry, Roger, Paul, Charlie, Brian and Bud in the pub.
Well we didn't go where I thought we would. On a clear moonlight night we strode out along the railway line and after a while we turned left and went down to the main road, over this and up round the back of Black Tor. Next down to the stream for a break. A stroll up the hill to Hart Tor and then the decision was taken to go directly to South Hessary Tor right through the middle of the boggy bit. By now the cloud had come in and the wind had picked up. At this point we seemed to split up as some tried to avoid the wetter part of the bog and then just as we all came together our leader took a turn to the right, meanwhile some of us went straight on South Hessary Tor. Then we waited and waited for the others to catch us up, apparently they had got into a bit of a muddle before finally finding the track and joining us. On then to the Prince of Wales
On the walk tonight John, Jon, Irving, Pete, Tom and Keith
A longer walk today in near perfect walking conditions. Hazy sunshine, cool breeze and much drier underfoot. We set out towards the Ice Works and past Sourton Tors to join the Rattlebrook track.
It was at this point that the saga of the gloves started - Carol had one missing.
A short diversion from the track by the bridge over the Lyd and up through Tiger Marsh to the B17 crash site memorial.
Finally, a man who had been on many missions found what he had been looking for. It was here all along. The problem was not his navigation but the fact that he had been given incorrect information about where he should be looking.
Back down to the track and up along and round and across to Great Links Tor.....
We stopped here, out of the wind and in the warm sunshine for our picnic looking out across towards Higher and Lower Dunna Goat.
Next down and across to Widgery Cross on Brat Tor (or even Bray Tor). Then down the steep track to the Ford
In the distance the sound of gunfire coming from Willsworthy ranges and the red flags on Doe Tor and Hare Tor
Here then the saga of the gloves continued. Colin was now one missing. The good news was that we could still make one good pair because it was opposite hands that had gone, although they probably wouldn't match.
Back now along the track beside Great Nodden to start a search for Carol's missing glove but it was in vain.
Not long after this Colin discovered that he hadn't really lost his glove after all - it was in his sleeve! So now we had one complete pair and one half a pair. But, then a stroke of luck, a glove was found on the ground. It didn't match the original but it provide Carol with a pair.
From here we went down under Sourton Tors and to the cars.
On the walk today Colin, Amber, Terry, Rosemary, Carol, Roger and Charlie
So, just after leaving the cars we stopped for a brief moment to 'Paws' on the newly repaired Norsworthy Bridge. Repaired presumably after the sides had been demolished by lorries removing the stricken larch trees. The good news is that there are also new signs each side of the bridge warning that the bridge is narrow so this shouldn't happen again.
From here we went into what appeared to be Fairyland with a toadstool and small chair constructed from whole a tree trunk by a very clever plastic tree surgeon who had made good the deformities of the normal tree lines of tall trunk and branches.
After this we went up past Lower Lowery where the ruined former farm now has metal railing gates to keep out the unwanted. However, if they were clever and fit enough they could still get in by scaling the walls and going in over the top where the roof used to be.
Up then to the old railway track and along to Burrator rocks for a break - much colder up here in the wind. Next, down to the road to see the artificial waterfall below the leat and down past Burrator lodge where the old road used to go where the reservoir is now. Back to the cars along the side of the reservoir and off to the Royal Oak
On a dull morning in a bitterly cold wind we set off to Nun's Cross Farm along the track. Soon we were next to Nun's (or Siward's) Cross. This was the easy cross to find.
Out around Nun's Cross Farm and up across the hill.
This time we were looking for a much smaller cross - some of us had been here before but it wasn't easy find. So we wandered this way and then that way, down a bit and up a bit and eventually we found it.
Across then to the Eylesbarrow track and down towards Gutter Tor. At this point we changed from our planned route and across the rougher moorland and down into Deancombe. By now the skies had brightened up and in the valley bottom out of the wind it felt much warmer.
Now up the steeper bit towards Combshead Tor and over to the Stone Row......
.....and then to Nun's Cross where we were met by Bud - his first walk with his group for a while!
A gentle walk back to the cars and a pleasant lunch in the Prince of Wales.
On today's walk Charlie, Brian, Terry, Rosemary, Roger, Carol and Bud