Walking Weekend - Dartmoor

12 – 14th May 2006

The youngest FOW members first event! I have to say that Adam was the most well behaved of all the members - not sure for how much longer though! He was able to learn a few useful phrases….like what exactly to say when you step in a bog up to your knee!

The weekend began slightly apprehensively as it clashed with the infamous ‘Ten Tors.’ However, this turned out not to be a problem as we only saw a few groups on Saturday morning and then all was quiet. The weather was fantastic for walking, not too hot and not too cold but just right! Goldilocks weather apparently (did Simon tell me that?).

The Pengelly Caves Centre suited the group well as there was plenty room to spread out. Those who wanted early nights (did anyone go to bed early?!?) and those who preferred early starts (Adam!) could take the slightly quieter parts of the hut.

On the Saturday we travelled out to Postbridge, in the middle of Dartmoor, to begin our walk. Some of the group decided on a slightly shorter walk today but the rest of us headed north past the beehive hut and stone circles before entering the woods. Slightly concerning was the guard on the gate to the forest but we made it safely through. A couple of Dartmoor ponies provided the amusement for lunch. Circled round the forest and joined the two moors way going south after lunch. Arrived at a pub and had a drink there (would’ve been rude not to). The Warren House Inn is in the middle of nowhere with a fire that has been burning non-stop since 1845 apparently!! After a drink (well, most people had a drink – I just threw mine around!) the group split again – a shorter walk to the cars following the road or a more rounded version through some more woods and then through Pizwell. By the time we got back to the hut we were all grateful for the huge amount of dinner that was then served. After eating dinner there was still enough pasta for us all again and I’ve never seen such a massive crumble! Most unusually for a FOW event there was dessert left over for breakfast the next day. Although you had to move quick as chocolate cake has an ability to disappear within minutes. Some of the more intrepid members set out to find a pub in Buckfastleigh. With only an hour until closing time (if that exists in villages!) and the bare minimum of directions (we struggled initially to even get out of the car park!), we set off into the darkness.

After cleaning the hut we set off for a slightly shorter walk closer to base. Venford reservoir was the starting point and the group walked together for the first hour before splitting into two smaller groups. Saw lots of army action as helicopters airlifted various bits of kit off Tors. Off the hills by about 4pm and time for home feeling slightly more scratched, sunburnt and tired than two days ago but having had a great weekend.

Review by Allie

Last updated 31st May 2006 by Spanna.