Saturday, May 11, 2013

Day 04 - Widecombe to Chagford- 18km

I started the day with a relaxed breakfast in my B&B at the Manor Cottage chatting with the landlady Diana and then set off on today's walk about 10am. It was drizzling and sunny at the same time which was odd. So I put on my cagoule and set off. But I had to walk past the church so decided to stop in there and see if it was open. These walking breaks are always as much a flirtation with blisters as they are with God so I thought it a nice idea to get some God time!

The church of St Pancras in Widecome is known as the 'Cathedral of the Moors' in recognition of its 120 foot tower and relatively large capacity for such a small village. The church was originally built in the fourteenth century, but has been enlarged over the following two centuries, partly on the proceeds of the local tin mining trade. Inside, the ceiling is decorated with a large number of decorative roof bosses. In 1638 it was stuck by ball lightning killing several of the congregation and leading to modern-day stories of ghosts in the town. I sat there for about a half an hour enjoying the peace and quiet until a clutch of tourists came clattering in and started flashing cameras and chatting in whispers. I though maybe it was time to set off on the day's walk. 

It was to be a mostly moorland walk taking in Hamel Down Beacon (517m), Broad Barrow (532m), Hameldown Tor (529m), Hookney Tor (497m),  Chagford Common and a good soaking about a third of the way along. I could see the storm coming but thought for a while it was going to follow the valley and leave me in peace. It didn't. I'm getting quite quick at converting from fair weather to waterproof mode now. 

So the walk was a fairly uneventful up and down with fine views over the moors arriving in Chagford to a really lovely room in the Globe Inn looking out directly onto the tower of the church of St Michael the Arch Angel. Dinner and beer to come, all wonderfully in-house! Lovely. 

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