For a walk put together in 5 minutes before we walked out of the door this morning it was not a bad a effort…though I say it myself! There was firing up on the Moor today so any walk would have to stick to the edges. Given our experience here and here I guess that was no bad thing.
We parked in the car park just outside Belstone before wandering through the village and on to Belstone Cleave, a steep valley cut by the River Taw as it runs off the Moor. We pass a group of bedraggled teenagers climbing very slowly up out of the valley, each carrying an outrageously large rucksack…someone needs to tell them that Universities don’t actually care whether they’ve done DoE or not.
The River is full and the footpaths muddy. No surprise given the amount of rain over the last few days. At one point we take a bridge across the river to avoid the ubiquitous dog walkers, missing the route back further on. Now were on the ‘wrong side’ of the river. It seems to bother me more than Sue…it’s not the walk I’d planned! Still, we push on and end up in Sticklepath and South Zeal. From here the route steadily climbs to Ramsley Hill and some stunning views back towards Okehampton and, in the opposite direction, to the Moor. A brief lunch and we’re walking back. The return follows the road for a couple of miles. This is enforced by my obsession with circular routes. Had I been more flexible we’d have just retraced our steps. This obsession returns when we reach Sticklepath. We walk along the opposite bank of the Taw before cutting across at the bridge we’d missed earlier. Now my OCD tendencies are working overtime! We follow the lane through Skaigh and we’re back in Belstone by mid afternoon… after a 7.5 mile ‘figure of eight’ walk. Next time we’ll do it properly!
Belstone picture gallery (more pictures on Flickr):
Distance: 7.5 miles ; Difficulty: Moderate
Postcode for Satnav: EX20 1RB