The third Dartmoor Walking Festival began today with a wide range of walks and activities on offer. A group of Torbay Ramblers decided to sample the Battle Camp Tour in Okehampton and had a most enjoyable day, led and organised by Ltn Col Tony Clark, (OBE).
His knowledge and experience of not just the military, but the history of weaponry and warfare was amazing as he took us through the Camp, explaining the reasons for the buildings from Officers Mess to Stables, Victorian times to modern day. Not exactly luxurious in any era, we had to agree.
We were invited into the museum and able to handle shells from various ages of war (extremely heavy too!) and see pictures and maps across the decades.
An 8 mile walk followed, onto the moor, along the Taw Basin and over practice firing ranges, trenches and, the rare curved target railway which has some remaining cable bearings in situ. As the official summer school of the School of Gunnery, the range at Okehampton became the most important artillery range established in the late 19th Century with a set of imaginative and unique, practice range features.
A traditional Torbay Ramblers tea was taken at Belstone – it had to be done! A great day out and one which Tony Clark will repeat next Saturday, 10am, if anyone is interested. See the Dartmoor Walking Festival Booklet online https://moorlandguides.co.uk/dwf/ for times and remember your ID in case the Special Forces are around!