Westbury Walkers spent a pleasant weekend staying in Simonsbath, in the heart of Exmoor.
The weather was ideal as the 16-strong group set off on the Saturday morning after breakfast, for a fine 10 mile linear walk to Lynmouth, led by Aleesha and dog Bramble.
Most of the day was spent walking on high ground affording stunning views of the moor and distant coastline.
Deer could be seen and the group walked by a fine herd of Highland cattle. Part of the route was on the Two Moors Way where at one point a stream had to be crossed by way of some rather slippery rocks. One member ended up in the water, happily suffering no more than a soaking and some embarrassment.
The walkers descended into the valley that leads down to Watersmeet, then on to Lynmouth, where there was time tea before catching minibuses back to the hotel. Beautiful steep sided wooded valleys were a feature of this section of the walk.
The following day the group set off on a slightly shorter walk led by Paul and this time a dog called Penny. This took them them over the wilder parts of the moor with extensive areas of rough and boggy terrain that were quite challenging to negotiate.
En route, Paul entertained everyone with tales of vicars and farmers disappearing without trace. It was a route not to be undertaken in wet and misty conditions since there were few obvious tracks to follow. There were no mishaps until almost at the end when one member toppled over deep in stinking mud, but a wash down and change of clothes soon restored her good humour.
Although only eight miles in length, this walk was very demanding and felt considerably longer.
The regular monthly walk took place on a beautiful sunny summer’s morning with white fluffy clouds and a lovely warm breeze to keep one cool, and 15 walkers gathered in Mere for a 10 mile walk led by David Barker.
The grass had grown very tall in many fields and farmers were out cutting and gathering.
Walking around the southern edge of Common Wood with a view to the west of American bison in an English field, the walkers continued through fields to reach a Woodland Trust area and around the southern corner of Hang Wood to reach Martha’s Lane, then turning on to the road to Upton before going left onto Cleeve Hill for a well-earned lunch stop in the sunshine. Then it was on to West Knoyle to follow the Monarch’s Way back to Mere.