Many thanks to Trudy who got up to give me breakfast at 6.30. Andrew and Trudy at Warren Farm could not have been more helpful and welcoming during my stay.
I left at 7.35 contouring above the Exe before crossing Ellmsworth, Almsworth and Exford Commons. I climbed onto the ridge, which forms the main watershed of Exmoor, at Rowbarrows before ascending to Dunkery Beacon 519m, the highest point I reach until the Black Mountains in Wales.
The route then descends to Dunkery Gate and on to Wheddon Cross. I managed to get some tea and lunch at the village shop before climbing up onto White Moor and Lype Hill. I left the proposed route to follow a quicker, but supposedly “inferior”, trail to cross the Washford River at Kingbridge and reached the the Royal Oak at 2.00pm. As this trail was on a good track down a beautiful valley and the “superior route” would have meant beating out a trail in knee high vegetation I maintain that it was the right decision!
The one excitement of the day was when I put up a doe about 20m from the path to Roebarrow. We were both quite surprised. My one regret from my days on Exmoor is that I did not see the large herd of stags that live near Warren Farm. Andrew showed my photos of around 50 stags he had seen a week earlier.