Present: Claire (organiser), Alan, Si, Bruce, Maika, Sarah, Adriana, Belinda, Richard N

Location: Runnage Farm bunkhouse, Postbridge

Our accommodation for the weekend was in the relatively luxurious centrally heated Granary Bunkhouse at Runnage Farm near Postbridge. With a fairly traffic-free journey down the A303, it meant most of us could sample the food and beer on offer at the local pub in Postbridge, before settling down to a night of good conversation and good wine (and the usual suspect liqueur) round the large farmhouse table in the bunkhouse living room (with the odd shriek coming from the opposite barn where a group of teachers appeared to be having a fancy dress party). The only outrageous activity we indulged in was marking up our OS maps with Saturday’s route, using the highlighter pen that Bruce had thoughtfully brought along.

Saturday, as expected, dawned rather wet and gloomy, but we were raring to go with our highlighted maps at the ready. Our starting point was from the village of Widecombe in the Moor, from where we headed up onto Hamel Down and huddled in a medieval hut at the ancient site of Grimspound for a flask of coffee. Then it was another huddle near Jay’s Grave for lunch, after which we passed by a giant’s chair, (yes, seriously) and headed up to Hound Tor for a scramble. Haytor was next, followed by Saddle Tor and Rippon Tor, before the rain and bogs got the better of us and we retreated at speed back along the road to the pub in Widecombe for hot drinks and a warm by the fire. There was much talk in the pub about the impending “bomb” of a storm which was due to hit the West Country late Sunday, and we made a mental note to not linger around too long the next day.

A rather soggy drinks stop (Sarah)

A rather large chair (Claire)

Back at the bunkhouse, after hot showers, we indulged in a rather sumptuous meal, courtesy of Sarah and Claire who had catered for the expected 12 rather than the final 9. Lasagne of both the meat and veg variety, salad and garlic bread were devoured, followed by a trio of puddings as nobody seemed able to choose just one. We just couldn’t find room though for Richard’s large marrow.

An unexpected sunny start to Sunday, saw us setting off across fields and bogs with a rather ominous black cloud heading towards us. After the fastest gear faff ever, the rest of our walk was accompanied by a mix of torrential downpours, and glorious sunny intervals. All 9 braved the huge stepping stones at Laughter Hole over the raging East Dart River. Then after a brief lunch stop during one of the sunny spells, it was back to Postbridge for cream teas all round, before setting off for the journey home to beat the arrival of the “bomb”.

Leaving the bunkhouse (Claire)

Fastest gear faff ever (Claire)

Mild trepidation (Bruce)

Claire White

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