A bright start for 18 walkers today who set off with Karen for her walk from Bennett’s Cross. We took the path past the cross, heading east and eventually down the road to Grimspound for our early tea stop. Grimspound is a reconstructed bronze age village of some 24 hut circles and one of the most impressive ancient sites on Dartmoor. Leaving there we followed the path south at first, past the RAF Memorial on Hameldown to Natsworthy Gate, before heading towards Heathercombe.
Here we followed the Mariner’s Way, the old route taken by sailors departing one ship at Dartmouth and picking up their next at Bideford. It took us through field and farm – very dry underfoot for once – before we began the steep (but short) climb to Kings Barrow.
Welcome lunch spot at the top and a pair of glasses lost two weeks ago retrieved – bonus!
The group, refreshed and revived, then set off uphill again and headed for Hookney Tor where the views were panoramic and Grimspound could be seen in it’s entirety.
Downhill now to take the path to Challcombe medeival farm, where we met an enthusiastic photographer and twitcher seeking swallows and wheatears with his very long lens. We also heard the first cuckoo this Spring on our return through Vitifer and Gold Dagger Mineworks before the ascent back up to Bennet’s Cross. Just over ten miles completed and tea and Dartmoor Quiz enjoyed in the Warren House Inn. Maltesers won by Cathryn and her team.