EIGHT ramblers set off for a seven mile walk from Prewley Moor on Sunday. The first part of their route followed the Granite Way towards Sourton church, where they left the cycle track to emerge onto moorland below Sourton Tors.

They followed a well-defined path, before turning left and beginning a steep ascent, with the spectacular Deep Valley to their right. This was a good point for a coffee stop, with far-reaching countryside views. The group then made a gradual ascent across Combe Down towards the King Way, an ancient track originally created to carry the King’s mail from London to Plymouth.

A deep, stony path then led up to Corn Ridge and, from there, to Branscombe’s Loaf, so called because, in the 13th century, Bishop Branscombe was crossing the moor with his servant, returning to Exeter from a visit to his far-flung flock.

A stranger appeared and offered them sustenance, in the form of some bread and cheese. The sharp-eyed servant spotted cloven hooves under the stranger’s long black cloak and dashed the food from his master’s hand. The loaf flew in one direction, the cheese in another and turned into two outcrops of rock.

After admiring the views across the West Okement valley to Yes Tor and High Willhays, the group proceeded downhill to Shelstone Tor. At this point, the rain began, and they were forced to shelter under overhanging rocks while they ate their lunch.

Heading down towards Vellake Corner, on terrain that became increasingly steep, the ramblers crossed the river at the weir, where the peaty-brown water was rushing at a spectacular rate. There followed contrastingly level route around the north-west side of Meldon Reservoir. Much discussion ensued here, as the recent drought had caused water levels to fall, exposing many interesting features never seen before.

The group crossed (the now dry) Meldon Dam, swinging left to follow the well-defined footpath over South Down, on the opposite side of the reservoir. This eventually joined the West Devon Way and the newly formed Dartmoor Way. The walk ended with a descent over Prewley Moor, back to the cars.

As ever, new walkers are always welcome. You should be suitably attired for all weather conditions, including sturdy footwear and bring a packed lunch.

Meet at the post office in George Street, Okehampton on Sundays ready to leave at 9.30am.

Next week’s walk is from Houndtor. Members share cars so please be there in plenty of time so the group can leave promptly. Car drivers with spare seats are encouraged to meet at the post office to offer lifts to non-drivers.

Due to an unfortunate incident, the group was unable to complete what should have been an enjoyable walk of 8.5 miles from Widecombe on Sunday August 28.

Eight members set out climbing up towards Bonehill passing Bell Tor along the way. The gorse and heather was beautiful again.

As they were heading up to Chinkwell Tor for a coffee stop one member walking along the path just feet from the gorse was startled by a hissing adder strike.

Fortunately, the adder wasn’t close enough to hit its target but some of the group did get a rare opportunity to admire the beautiful markings. A few pictures were taken before it turned for a final threatening hiss before slithering away to safety.

The walk came to an end on a steep stony downhill path off the moor. Had the walk not been cut short, they would have continued towards Hameldown Tor and Hameldown Beacon using the Two Moors Way for much of the walk.

It is hoped the walk will go on the programme again. Members of the Rambling Club were very grateful for the assistance of local people, Dartmoor Rescue and the ambulance service.