Wednesday 28th January - Bellever from Dunnabridge Pound

We were in the same area as yesterday but approached it from Dunnabridge Pound.  The weather conditions were very different, clear skies and cool.
Out along the track and then off towards the Standing Stone. On to Laughter Tor with a short diversion to find the stone across which is now lying sideways in the wall. Down to the track and on to Bellever where we had a very civilised coffee break at one of the picnic tables.
From here it was out to the road through Bellever then up the steep and rocky track and back into the woods. A loop around and up to Bellever Tor where we met members of the Dartmoor Rescue Group who were walking in the opposite direction. Very cool on top of the tor.
It was then down the slippery path to the gate at the bottom just as the moon magically appeared over the top of Laughter Tor. 
A short walk back to the cars. Onto the very busy Prince of Wales. With Tom, Jon, Mike and Stella.

Tuesday 26th January - Bellever

Very wet and very windy was the order for the day. Starting from the pay and display car park in Bellever.

Out along the track which leads to Laughter Hole House.

Through the woods....

...and as we came out of the woods we turned left to go down to the East Dart. Very boggy underfoot in places.

Eventually we arrived at the stepping stones. The plan had been to come across from the other direction.  Jon, Terry and some of the dogs went across.

Brenda told us a story about slugs and we stopped for coffee.

Olive panicked and got stuck on the stepping stones on the way back from the other side.  Bill had to go to her rescue.

Then up the proper track and back to where we had been an hour before.  We took the same track out of the woods but this time we turned right to go up to Laughter Tor. The rain was heavy and accompanied by a strong wind.
Looking across to Bellever Tor

So down and around and back into the woods. Out the other side and up to Bellever Tor and finally back to the cars.
Lunch was in the East Dart Hotel at Postbridge. Not my favourite place, but we received a warm welcome, the food was ok and delivered efficiently.  The wood burner looked warm and cosy but it wasn't giving out any heat! 
With Brenda, Stella, Ann, Jane, Ann (on her first walk with us), Jon, Roger, Terry, Charlie and Bill.

Tuesday 19th January - Hound Tor and Bowerman's Nose

Cool and crisp, hardly any wind, sunshine and a frost - perfect conditions for our walk today which started at the car park just below Hound Tor.
We followed the road a short distance to Jay's Grave. A lady who committed suicide in the 18th-century. There are always fresh flowers on the grave, but it is not known who places them there.
We took the footpath over the edge of Swine Down. This is Hound Tor (with Hay Tor in the distance).

Our next destination was Bowerman's Nose which can be seen on the left of the photo with Hayne Down Tors on the right.

The magnificent Bowerman's Nose - Easdon Tor in the distance on the right

A group photo (just for a change).

Up over the edge of the tor.

The misty silhouetted landscape with Hay Tor on the left and Hound Tor on the right.

A short coffee break on top and then we took the path down through the woods to Hayne Cross where we followed the road for a little while before taking the footpath across to Leighon and then down to the little bridge which goes across Becka Brook. A steep climb up and back to the open moor with this view across to Hound Tor

Through the mediaeval village...

... and then finally up to Hound Tor.
 Lunch was in the New Inn. Cosy and busy it was to. With Terry, Charlie, Bill, Jon, Colin, Amber, Brenda, Anne and Jane.

Tuesday 12th January - Fingle Bridge

A longer drive than usual across to Fingle Bridge. A dull day but a bit cooler than it has been.
We took the steep path up through Charles Wood.

The view down the valley of the River Teign. We got almost to the top and then took a recently opened path...

...through Hannicombe Wood

...and followed it gently down all the way back to the river.
A short coffee break by the bridge and then it was back up again to the path which runs just below Castle Drogo.

At the point where the footpath from Castle Drogo joins a path we were on their was some art on display. The images hanging on the tree in the photograph are those of the Drew family who lived in Castle Drogo.

Along the path to Sharp Tor.....

.... with the spectacular views across the valley.

And, then gently down..... the pub for lunch. With Terry, Jon, Bill, Jane, Stella, Brenda, Roger, Dianne, Charlie, Colin and Amber

Tuesday 5th January - Around Headon China Clay Works

We started from Tolchmoor Gate. A fine morning but very wet underfoot. The first stop was at Crownhill Tor.

Then around the edge of one of the huge china clay quarries.  This is looking directly into the Headon China Clay quarry and.....

...this is a zoomed in view.

It was then a short walk to very recently re-opened (September 2015) Hermadon Tungsten and  Tin quarry which is expected to operational for at least 10 years.

The giant trucks wait for their turn to go up the hill to collect their load. Behind is the new processing plant.

A wider view.  The quarry is operated by Wolf Minerals and there is a video of the project here

We continued around the china clay quarry to the mica dams and one of the small reservoirs used in extracting the clay.

Jon spotted this - Orange Peel Fungus.

Near this is another part of the quarry.  Now operated by Tarmac to extract sand and aggregate from quarry waste.

Another view with a huge pile of sand at the end.

 A short walk to Broomage Farm which dates from the 13th Century.

Lunch was at the Farmyard Café Wotter. Very different. Basic but excellent value for money.

With Jon, Stella, Brenda, Charlie, Terry, Phil, Jane, Amber and Collin