From Sampford Spiney we strolled on down to The Ward Bridge for a picnic by the River Walkham. Dotty was incredibly fast and opportunistic and stole half of my sandwich from under my nose. My Syd just looked envious.
Colour coordinated! Sampford Spiney is a beautiful hamlet, however you pronounce it...
Look at that blue sky! Cheryl, Susan and Cath standing on Pew Tor.
Susan and Cheryl reach the first ford, Vixen Tor just peeking up in the background centre. Instead of walking around the Tors and down to the road, we went over Feather and Pew Tors and then down to the road. Much more interesting and spectacular panoramic views all round.
Having sussed out the Merrivale Route with the family on Mother's Day (see the post on 17.03.07), I took the Book Club members (Cath, Susan, Cheryl, Dawn and Mon and not forgetting your trusty trail blaze, me!) on the same path yesterday, with some refinements. Showers were forecast, but it was hot, hot, hot and hazy.
At Sampford Spiney (I always thought it was 'Spinny' but Mon corrected me - and she was right! - bit like reading 'Polite notice' as 'Police notice'.) We saw lots of alpacas again - the "Sampford Manor alpacas". The llama from Terri my secret pal, was very interested in his relatives.
The hedgerows are still full of violets and primroses, with bluebells just starting to open up. Couple of weeks and the woods around here will be awash with them. I'll post some pics when they are.
These moss covered trees adorn the hedgerow coming down to the river.
After the picnic we strolled up hill back to the moors and Sweltor Quarries. Then, instead of walking along the Railway line like we did on Mother's Day, we took the footpath straight across the valley floor. The afternoon became increasingly hazy so I didn't take many pics. Here are some Dartmoor ponies with the Quarries in the background.
From the old disused railway line, we walked down to cross the river again then up to the famous Merrivale antiquities - several standing stones, burial chambers and three long stone rows. What was it all for? When in doubt, blame the Druids. (For a more informative link, see the Mother's day Walk post). S'cuse Syd's bum in the bottom left of the pic. The final stroll up the road was a bit of a drag. If you ever decide to do this circuit, be advised to park somewhere near the Dartmoor Inn and then do this bit at the beginning, not the end.
Following the walk, we drove back to the Warren House Inn where we had a traditional cream tea - inspired choice! So, do you put the cream on the scone first? Or the jam? 5 of us put the cream on first (nyah nyah DH!) and only Mon put the jam on first. The former is apparently the Devonshire way - the Cornish put their jam on first. Whatever - t'was a brilliant end to a good day's walk. Now I really must get 'Persuasion' finished before the next Book Club meeting at Mon's...