Friday, December 15th 2017

A Letterbox walk!! At last!!

Eager as ever to get out Dartmoor Letterboxing, as well as visiting somewhere slightly different, I've been building up to this one since the Meet.
A charity walk - sited in aid of the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust - was out around Bellever Tor and Lakehead Hill.  A unique area given: i) the interaction between conifers and granite in the landscape, ii) a wealth of bronze age antiquities of which many are incredibly well preserved and, iii) a location in the middle of the Moor with 360-degree views of higher, surrounding peaks.

I began my walk, as the highly detailed charity walk instructions prescribed: at Postbridge.  I was not alone at the car park.  Within moments though, I was, as the only other car owner walked their dog through the Forestry Commission gate, and drove away.  So I was in no doubt that the forest paths would be peaceful, my Letterboxing undisturbed and deer sightings would be probable.

Conditions were favourable, though the going underfoot was a bit wet.  The air was dry and crisp.  The wind northerly and brisk.  I wandered up to Kraps Ring feeling very positive.

The route takes a path straight over Lakehead Hill - I consider this a rather neglected place on Dartmoor by Letterboxers.  Plantations and trees have almost claimed the whole hill, but what holds them at bay is the large quantity of kistvaens, settlements, stone rows and circles found here.  It is well explored, preserved and protected, which is good to see.
Beyond Lakehead Hill, I came across the ancient Lych Way, running from Bellever to Lydford.  One of Dartmoor's most legendary of long distance paths.  My route didn't follow it, but headed straight on to Bellever Tor's Western flanks.  I had no time to visit the summit as I last did back in 2010.  Instead I stuck rigidly to the charity walk's notes, and made for the wall which separated Bellever from Laughter Tor.  It was a cracking walk really, which led you into the forest on occasions.  Combined with the curious Wintry light - enhanced by an oncoming rain shower (as I encountered) meant that although the spruce plantation is relatively artificial, the walker could form a real connection with the forest.  A real connection with the terrain between the trees too.  Deep water filled ruts, brambles and ants too!

On my return towards the car, I spotted a pair of deer outside the forest.  I noticed them before they noticed me - which rarely happens.  They leapt off as I reached for my camera, having watched them for a few seconds.  I took a series of forestry tracks and found myself back at the car.  Chilled in more than one way.  Peace and solitude certainly found.  Plus 11 boxes.  Distance walked unknown.

You can do this charity walk too!  The charity walk clues are available by sending a cheque for £2.50 (payable to Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust) plus an S.A.E to Paul Rendell, The Coach House, Tramlines, Okehampton, Devon. EX20 1EH

Plus remember to check out Paul Rendell's website:


Popular posts from this blog

Hampshire letterboxing

The Caves & Tunnels of Dartmoor

A new addition