Starting the New Year on a High!

From Cherry Bird

Where better to make a positive start to the new year than on Exmoor? On New Year’s day our “elite” group of hardy walkers enjoyed a 10-mile circular walk that took us over some of the best scenery that Exmoor offers, with weather that was remarkably clement for the time of year. From Webber’s post we worked our way through woodland up to Dunkery Beacon, with its 360-degree views, then walked westwards along the ridge path, towards ancient burial mounds, or barrows. It was a trifle breezy and we were glad to drop down to the shelter of Dickie’s path and on to the historic 13th century church at Stoke Pero. Fortified by picnic lunches we proceeded down into the beautiful Horner Wood, the trees bereft of leaves and somehow other worldly in their winter shapes, some draped in pale lichens. A bridge broken by falling tree a sign of storm drama that happened when we humans were tucked up at home. Some steep climbs and then a long descent on paths carpeted with crunchy beech and chestnut leaves took us down to the picturesque village of Luccombe, with its traditional thatched cottages and a church so much larger than you would expect for a small settlement – a sign of times when it may have been more important. Then there was the final unremitting haul up the beech-clad combe to Webber’s Post, as the winter afternoon light began to fade and cups of tea beckoned.

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