Another warm day ahead for the 16 ramblers who convened for Chairman Jim’s walk from Postbridge. Although initially cloudy, it was always warm and later in the day the sun arrived, toasting us nicely on the return leg. Jim was ably assisted by young Ellie and Jacob today, patiently waiting for the more seniors in the group to traverse styles, paths and gates, with the occasional loud call from Jim at the back, turn left/right etc. Team work!
We set off from Postbridge, turning right towards Bellever Forest and along the road, over the lovely Bellever Bridge with the ancient clapper to our right – with it’s infamous central stone missing – but where did it go many asked?
A tea stop was enjoyed further along the river and Barry’s Big Day celebrated with chocolate treats, made by Sal of course.
A steep climb now and some contemplation over the stepping stones at Laughter Hole. Jim made the decision to avoid these, with the potentially boggy ground in that area, and take the higher path towards Babeny.
Lunch at a lovely spot by the water was welcome as we descended from the ridge and before we walked on to Babeny Riding Stables, soon to close for public rides we hear.
Babeny, like Pizwell, is an ancient tenement, granted grazing rights on Dartmoor, originating back to the 13th Century when the region was referred to as ‘The Forest of Dartmoor’, predominantly reserved for the Kings of England for hunting.
We picked up the Two Moors way soon after this and headed across open ground towards Cator, initially through a magnificent avenue of old beech trees, then across Cator Common with due respect for cows and their calves on this occasion. This is usually a very wet and boggy area but today the ground was fairly dry and even cracked in places.
A left turn towards Pizwell now, but not before a welcome drink stop near the stream and a paddling opportunity for some.
From Pizwell the pleasant track took us across field and through gorse towards Postbridge again, where the classic picture had to be taken on the ancient clapper bridge over the East Dart River. First recorded in the 14th century, the bridge is believed to have been built in the 13th century to enable pack horses to cross the river, carrying tin to the stannary town of Tavistock. Now a Grade II listed structure, it is still complete, and stands alongside the ‘modern’ road bridge, another Grade II listed, built in the 1780s
Refreshments in the form of ice-creams at Postbridge and then drinks at The Warren House Inn completed a lovely 9 mile walk on this glorious summer day on the South Moor.