On Friday 10th March Kent Weald Walkers travelled to Dartmoor to have a weekend of great scenery and walking.
We all arrived on the Friday some via the scenic route to a nice evening of sitting in the lounge and discussing the next day’s walk.
The next morning, we all woke up to good weather and amazing views over Dartmoor from the cottage. The group where going to walk from Princetown; which is famous for the prison which holds 600 prisoners at one time! Some of us where a little undecided on how far we wanted to walk but we all set off.
This seemed to be the weekend when the world of D of E descended on Dartmoor with lots of groups completing their walks. We had a small incline which then gave us 360 degrees’ views truly beautiful. We all got distracted with the ponies and missed our path but luckily had not gone too far. We then had to make a decision longer walk or shorter walk. Sue persuaded all of us to carry on! We found us a great spot for lunch at the top of a hill to munch lunch and just take in the great scenery.
On finding a stream, Sue decided she wanted to go paddling! We were amazed she stayed in the water for 5 minutes it was freezing…!
Through the walk, we had very boggy bits as well as dry bits so a huge thanks to Sue for reminding us to take our gaiters, they were a life saver. We returned just as it started to cloud over and got back to the cars very weary but also very pleased that we had walked approximately 11 miles, a great discussion point that evening on how long it was actually.
Sunday, we woke up to a little rain. We decided to split and some of decided to climb to Easdon Tor 360 degree views from a very windy trig point. We descended to the weather coming in and by the time we reached the cottage it was quite wet.
Julia Constable – Kent Weald Walker
The more intrepid of us travelled to Two Bridges on Sunday where we headed for Wistman’s Wood nature reserve, ancient stunted oak woodland hanging with lichen and set among moss covered boulders, definitely home to fairies on a good day or trolls and goblins on a wet, windy day like ours was turning out to be.
We continued onwards but then had that classic walking experience when the lovely large bridleway on the map turns out not to exist, in this case due to a river being in the way! Undeterred we proceeded to wade through said river which was over boot height but not knees luckily (We assured Ramona we would be ok to do this as Sally and I had both taught Water Safety even if we weren’t fully trained in river crossings, this being above our pay grade) and then climbed a steep hill to Lydford Tor.
By the time we reached this the weather had cleared a little so we managed to find a sheltered spot for lunch. We did have a discussion as to whether to break out the new county shelter but decided against it as a picture of three leaders being blown across the army shooting range holding on to a giant orange parachute was conjured up.
We then headed to Beardown Tors where foolishly I let go of the map, after I had retrieved it I realized mainly by the look on Ramona’s face that haring off across boulders on top of a Tor after a map during a howling gale was not a good idea, still no harm done.
Our journey home was slightly less eventful although it did involve another paddle for me, this time in a manmade leat whilst we tried to decide if some very tall spindly trees could really creak that much and bend over that far without breaking! Finally Sally & I up ending a sheep which was on its back waving its legs in the air, sorry but sheep are so stupid!
Back to the car and off to the cottage to recount our stories to anyone who would listen over a cup of tea and a slice of homemade cake.
Sue Morris – Walking Adviser
A great weekend of friends, walking and a very nice glass of wine.
Kent Weald Walkers welcome any leaders, unit helpers and adult members of Girlguiding Kent Weald for a walk on the second Saturday of every month. Watch out for details in Weekly News or email Sue Morris firstname.lastname@example.org.