Monday, 8 August 2016

120 - High Willhays - Devon - 11th August 2015

Meldon Dam
Devon is a beautiful county with some amazing countryside and towns, it is also home to Dartmoor, a National park and huge moorland, the location of the highest point of Devon. for this trip I was accompanied by Chris G and he set off from Bournemouth arriving at our campsite on the edge of Dartmoor near the town of Okehampton in the Appledore farm campsite, a lovely and friendly campsite.

On the day of the walk we parked in a car park and headed off to find the high point, the first thing we arrived at was the Meldon Reservoir, our route took us straight across the dam and there were some impressive views both across the water and then down into the valley below. Once across the dam we started to make our way uphill, first walking up and around a smaller Longstone hill and then up Okehampton common. It was very wet and boggy underfoot and my feet were soon drenched (must buy new hiking boots). but soon we were working out way up the slopes to Yes Tor.

From Yes Tor it was a fairly flat walk to High Willhays, at 621 meters the highest point of Devon. We stopped here for some lunch and a cup of tea and then we made our way back down the slopes along a different route. from High Willhays we walked down the north east slopes and then up West Mill Tor for another short snack stop and then down the western slopes across Black Down. This whole area is used as military training grounds so there were signs of military life popping up at various times, small huts and even a railway.

High Willhays
We eventually left the moorland passing through a car park and then had to climb uphill again to an old railway line and the Meldon Viaduct, We crossed the bridge and then made our way back to the car tired and happy after a successful hill climb.

During the rest of our stay we decided to do a few more walks, one was when it was very wet and we headed off into a misty forest to try and find some shelter from the rain, it was a lovely walk and quite a spooky atmosphere. Our second walk took us down some country paths, it also featured us getting a bit lost, discovering some abandoned vehicles, having to climb our way through the soaking wet undergrowth and into a farmers field and then trying to find our way back to the car  while trying to avoid walking across anyones private property (Thanks Chris ☺).

All in all it was an excellent few days and a successful hill climb. I think this hill was my halfway point in my highest points challenge. 

Cowpat Mushroom



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