Dartmoor summer walking: from Watern Tor to Shipley Bridge!
July has been an excellent walking month! I’ve had lots of ‘walking work’ to do, and even managed a couple of non-work walks – just going out onto the moor with a friend, a sandwich and a map – and seeing where the mood takes us.
Early July saw me down on the South Devon coast revising a walk from Short Walks South Devon (Crimson Publishing). It was the most beautiful hot day: the image shows the mouth of the Yealm, just downriver from Newton Ferrers and Noss Mayo. Good to get off the moor for a change!
Emma and I had a lovely Sunday walk from Kestor: out across the North Teign to Watern Tor, then back via Scorhill and the Wallabrook/Teign clapper bridges. Didn’t see anyone until we got to Scorhill stone circle. All so good for the soul!
Next it was time to work out summer 2018’s ‘Walk & Eat’ walk for the magazine: focusing on the Forest Inn at Hexworthy. A really lovely circular walk – only about 4.5 miles, but so pretty. We went through Sherberton and out onto the common, then dropped down through the old fields and buildings at Swincombe and crossed Fairy Bridge. You so quickly feel as if you’re in the middle of nowhere…
In the middle of the month I took part (with two friends) in the Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team (Plymouth) Midnight Madness walk: over 11 miles along tracks, starting at Princetown: South Hessary, Older Bridge, Leather Tor Bridge, Cross Gate, then the old railway line past Ingra Tor back to Princetown. No photos obviously, but we were treated to a cracking sunset over North Hessary as we headed south.
My last main ‘outing’ this month has been trying to work out an alternative Two Moors Way route between Ivybridge and Scorriton. That 13-mile section is the most difficult of the whole 117-mile Devon coast to coast (particularly if the weather is bad) and some people struggle to follow the route. So I’ve been thinking about coming up with a lower level option and this week spent two days walking from Holne to the Avon Dam (Day 1) and then Ivybridge to Shipley Bridge (Day 2). If you add the 1.5 mile section from Shiply Bridge to the Avon Dam the alternative route comes to just over 15 miles: all quite possible, but some fine-tuning required! It’s a really pretty route too, as the following photos show.
If you want to know more about the Two Moors Way/Devon’s Coast to Coast walk click on the link above. I’m currently working on a new edition of my Two Moors Way book, published by Cicerone Press – another great excuse to get out there and explore!