Nine members joined this walk of just over eight miles to Ducks Pool Letterbox.

The cold wind was against the walkers all day and with the difficult terrain for much of the route this was not an easy walk. There was also a little drizzle during the afternoon.

They started out on a good stone track to join Devonport Leat and made their way to the abandoned Nun’s Cross Farm for a coffee stop before turning on to rough, boggy open moorland with no path and few obvious landmarks.

To follow the route on this remote area of moorland was not easy and the leader was reliant upon GPS for some sections. They passed near to the ancient Childe’s Tomb Cross on the edge Fox Tor Mire.

Legend has it that Childe, a wealthy Saxon lord, became trapped on the moor in a violent winter storm when out hunting. In order to stay alive he disembowelled his horse and crept inside the carcass hoping to keep warm. Sadly for him, this didn’t work as he froze to death inside the horse.

At Ducks Pool Letterbox, is a memorial to William Crossing (1847-1928), author of many inspiring books on Dartmoor.

The first Letterbox was placed here in 1938. The box and site were restored in 2000 by the Dartmoor National Park. Using clues and grid references from a catalogue, individuals and groups walk the moors finding remotely placed letterboxes. Inside this box are two yellow rubber ducks on which are recorded numerous names and the dates of visits by letterboxers together with a memorial book signed by visitors.

A rubber stamp is used by letterboxers as proof of their visit.

After lunch, the group continued to yomp across Great Gnats Head until they reached the easier walking of Abbot’s Way and made their way to Eylesbarrow tin mine which had been active during the first half of the 19th century.

In its earlier years it was one of the most prosperous and largest tin mines in the area. The group returned along Nun’s Way passing by Siward’s Cross also known as Nun’s Cross, which has been noted in records since at least 1240.

This wayside cross marks the old monastic Maltern Way which the ramblers took to complete their walk. Although not the easiest of walks, the history and legends of the area enhanced the experience.

As ever, new walkers are always welcome. Meet at the post office in George Street, Okehampton ready to leave at 9.30am.

Next week’s walk is on Bodmin Moor. Members share cars so please be there in plenty of time so the group can leave promptly. You should be suitably attired for all weather conditions, including sturdy footwear and bring a packed lunch.