Tuesday 18th December Pew Tor

A lovely warm sunny morning.  We started from the Whitchurch Inn and took the footpath across to Middlemoor and the track up to Shorts Down where there was still some early morning mist.

Across to Cox Tor.

Then on to the leat on Plasterdown.

Next across to the edge of Pew Tor and up to...

...reflections in the quarry...

...where Sonny lost his ball on this jump - it sank and didn't come back up!

Peak Hill viewed from the quarry.

Next to the top of Pew Tor....

....for mulled wine and a mince pie.

We returned to the cars around the edge of the golf course, but there was no room in the Whitchurch Inn for us so we went to the London Inn in Horrabridge which provided an excellent lunch.

With Chris, Roger, Terry, Rosemary, Amber and Linda.

Wednesday 12th December Carols in Swelltor Quarry

A cold and starry night and we did follow the leader south over the frozen ground, across the little stream and up to the railway line before going into the sheltered quarry.  To the remains of a little hut and we sat on what was left of the walls. A great feast then took place with mulled wine, cheeses, sausage rolls and mince pies.  The voices did then sing accompanied by the man with the organ.  Eventually, we all got cold and the singing came to an end. We left the quarry and wandered over to King Tor before returning across the stream and the frozen ground.

With Stella, Mike, Kath, Pete, Helen, Ian, John and Charles

Tuesday 11th December Black Down

A beautiful cold morning with a heavy frost and clear skies - another proper winters day.  We started from the car park at Meldon and took the steep path down to the valley below...

...to the newly refurbished footbridge.

The dam high above us.

Through this much quarried valley our route was over the hill ahead.

 The Meldon viaduct was originally built in 1878 to accomodate a single railway track.

Across to Longstone Hill.

Then up the really steep part to the edge of Black Down.

Looking down on Okehampton.

To the south Rowtor, West Mill Tor and Yes Tor.

We turned north into the Okehampton Military Training  Camp and followed the foot path that runs through it.

Naval cadets undergoing training.

 With some interesting signs.

 ...complete with a Wendy House.

Then down again with the Okehampton Castles below us...

...and on to the Two Castles Trail which leeds to the Okehampton Golf course,  in the shade and still heavily frosted...

...before returning below the Meldon Viaduct...

...and up again past these trees growing out of a wall.

With Rosemary, Terry, Brian and Charlie.

Wednesday 5th December Powdermills

A proper winters day. An icy start, cold and very wet underfoot.

We started from Two Bridges and followed the track...

...towards Wistmans Wood...

Looking back to Beardown Hill....

...across to Crow Tor.

Then up to Longaford Tor and on to...

...the ridge line with views toward Fernworthy Forest...

...and Bellever Forest.

Next down to Powdermills on the Lych Way and a part of the moor I hadn't visited before.

Across to Higher White Tor and...

...down to the boggy bit.

This was seriously boggy - Helen went down to her waist and Anne went down to her knees filling her wellies with water!

But we all survived and then across to Powdermills where they made gunpowder for use in the many quarries on Dartmoor.   The buildings had very solid granite walls and light roofs so that any potential blast would leave the walls intact and take the roof off.

Much more about this fascinating place here  www.legendarydartmoor.co.uk/powder_mills.htm

Back up towards the ridge line but by a much safer path.

On to Crockern Tor....

A short walk back to the car park and on to the Prince of Wales - which was fully ready for the Christmas festivities.

With Jon, Terry, Ian, Helen, Irving and Anne