This page carries reports of some of our past walks and other events, submitted in each case by a member who was there on the day. Formerly we showed only recent outings, but after requests from members who enjoy looking back further, the page is now being allowed to grow, new entries being added at the top.
One of our number takes a video camera with him on some of his walks, and after long hours spent editing the footage, he uploads the highlights to YouTube. Any walk for which we have such a film includes a link in its description, which will take you to a video around twenty minutes in length. The work is of extremely high quality, but the author has asked to hear of any suggestions for improvement, and you can reach him by e-mail at this address.
Recently, we've also been receiving short video clips shot by other members, using an ordinary compact camera - these can be viewed directly from the page without recourse to YouTube, and although they are not of the same quality as the longer videos, can still make interesting viewing.
Reports with just a still photo or two are equally welcome, and can be submitted by anyone who has a camera. We'll be happy to put your notes into words if necessary, so to help us keep this page fresh, please e-mail your memories of your day out and your photos to us at this address.
Some folks believe that bluebells only grow in wooded areas, but Dartmoor completely disproves this theory. Almost half the world's bluebells are found in the UK, and they are relatively rare in the rest of the world.
This video shows huge expanses of them around Holwell Lawn, Emsworthy and Lustleigh Cleave, and runs for just over 20 minutes.
Most of us know enough about nature to say "Look at those snowdrops!" - but how many of us will have to wonder "But what's that other strange plant?"
To find out, watch this 10 minute video of the scenery enjoyed on a February A walk, which went via Lustleigh.
Norman led ten “A” walkers from the sea at Dawlish to Teignmouth golf course, on Wednesday 30th January 2019. By the time the top of the hill was reached, snow was falling and the golf course was completely covered – time for a team photo.
Snow continued to fall as we found a lunch stop, where the men bagged a tree each to enjoy their sandwiches!
By the time we reached the apparently haunted 13th century Lidwell Chapel, the snow had stopped and the fields were green. Early in the 14th century the chapel was home to a monk, who chose to supplement his income by luring in travellers who he then robbed, murdered and disposed of by tossing them into the well. Fortunately we escaped unscathed!
Back in the autumn of 2018, about fifty of us set off by coach for a holiday on the Isle of Wight. Video footage was shot at the time, and you can watch it here. The work is split into several parts, each covering either one or two days.
To fill the screen on your computer or tablet, look for a symbol in the picture, showing arrows pointing away from each other, and click or tap on it - to get back to normal display, tap or click again in the same place, or look for an X, probably above the picture.
Part 1 covers our first day, including our journey to the island with a lunch stop at Salisbury, and lasts a little over 5 minutes.
For most of the remaining days, there was a choice of walks of varying distances, and Part 2 shows one of the longer walks which took place on our second day. This runs for about 15 minutes.
Both of our third day's walks ended up at Carisbrooke Castle, which is one of the Island's major tourist attractions. This section also lasts about 15 minutes.
Our fourth day was a rest day as far as walks were concerned, the main event being a coach trip to Osborne House. Some of our steam buffs also paid a visit to the Island's heritage railway, so this section is a little longer, at almost 20 minutes.
Most of Part 5 covers one of the three routes from Alum Bay to Yarmouth, which were on offer for our last full day's walking. It also features a brief look around the dinner tables at our hotel, during the distribution of prizes for the quiz which had helped to pass the hours of our outward journey. Lastly comes a reminder of our long wait at Cowes for the return crossing of The Solent, after early morning fog had thrown the ferry timetable into confusion. All told, a final 20 minutes or so of viewing.
Christmas Day 2018 fell on a Tuesday, which isn't normally a B Walk day, but rather than leave us all to sit at home, Ron and Jenny laid on a walk from Newton Abbot to Haccombe, and brought their friend Pam along from Exeter to swell our numbers. The assembled company, some with seasonal decorations, set off in misty drizzle, hoping that the weather would improve as the walk progressed.
The going was somewhat muddy, but the sun did eventually break through the mist and we were treated to a vista of hamlet cottages with rosy stone walls, set amongst the Winter landscape. We also saw catkins, and shoots of Spring bulbs breaking through - not bad for December!
After our lunch stop at Haccombe Church, where chocolates and mince pies were offered around, we set off on our return journey, and could just make out the Teign estuary and Bishopsteignton through the mist as we climbed the hill past the picturesque Wren cottage. The route dipped down into Coffinswell, then along the ridge back to Aller - an easy walk of just 5½ miles, followed by drinks at The Barn Owl and then home for our Christmas Dinners.
The weather forecast for Remembrance Sunday 2018 included the threat of showers, on top of recent heavy rain, but eleven “A” walkers managed to dodge it all, and enjoyed Charles D's circular walk from Princetown.
The views were particularly impressive from Cramber Tor, where John Hooper took this terrific photo.
Despite all that storm Callum could throw at us on a Sunday in October, eight doughty "A" walkers set off from Broadsands in the rain. We walked along the coast to Churston Cove, managing to avoid slipping on all the fallen leaves, tree roots and wet limestone.
Following a coffee break, the rain stopped - hurrah! Wendy led us through Churston Ferrers and on to Greenway, where we enjoyed stunning views of the River Dart, the coast and Dartmoor with the sun trying to peep through.
The tide was out far enough for us to walk along the shore at Old Mill Farm, on to Galmpton Creek and then the village of Galmpton. A splendid walk of 8.5 miles including the coast, fields and the River Dart; made special by the excellent views.
Newton Abbot Ramblers having set off on their first walk one day in 1978, we celebrated our 40th anniversary in 2018.
Following the formal business at our AGM, a video showing excerpts from past years' outings was shown, and you can watch it here.
To fill the screen on your computer or tablet, look for a symbol in the picture opposite, showing arrows pointing away from each other, and click or tap on it - to get back to normal display, tap or click again in the same place, or look for an X, probably above the picture.
Our Tuesday A Group had their 40th Anniversary Celebration walk in mid-June, led by Caroline Colville. The route took in much familiar rambling territory, commencing at Hound Tor car park, which can be seen in the background as thirty or so walkers tackle the initial climb towards the top of Hound Tor.
Later, the walk reached Hayne Down, where Jamie related the legend surrounding Bowerman's Nose, reputedly named after a huntsman who lived on the moor about a thousand years ago. When chasing a hare, he and his dogs ran into a coven of witches, overturning their cauldron and disrupting their ceremony. Next time he was hunting, one of the witches turned herself into a hare and led him and his hounds into a mire. As a final punishment, she turned them all to stone.
The final destination was Ullacombe Farm Café, where a few other members were waiting to join in the post-walk tea, coffee and cake.
There was a choice of either carrot cake or chocolate cake, expertly prepared and decorated by the Café staff.
On their May outing, our C group celebrated the 40th Anniversary of Newton Abbot Ramblers. It was a perfect day for thirteen walkers, who covered a mile and a half before returning to the Passage House Inn.
Another three members joined us for lunch, and to round off the meal we all enjoyed the special cake that Laurie had baked for us.
Towards the end of March, Len led a dry and sunny B walk from Cold East Cross. Before we set off, our resident wood-carver Tom presented Gill and Paul with a plaque commemorating the “Muddiest Walk” of a very muddy walking season. This was their Bridford walk in February, which features further down this page. Competition had been stiff, but heavy rain and recent forestry operations made the Bridford walk a clear winner!
At the beginning of March 2018, several walks had to be cancelled due to snow, ice and dire stay-at-home warnings, but on one such occasion nine of our B walkers took up a member's suggestion of meeting at a pub for a natter instead. We started arriving at The Sloop in Kingskerswell soon after 11am to find the place still closed, despite an advertised opening time of 10.
John's rattling of door handles produced the information that a staff meeting would soon end, and we were finally admitted around 11:30. Some re-arrangement of the furniture made it possible for all of us to sit together, so we could get the drinks in and start putting the world to rights. Hunger eventually became an issue, and most of us ended up buying generous portions of Sunday roast dinner at £5 a time.
37 intrepid walkers turned out for Gill and Paul’s B walk from Bridford around Hennock Lakes. It was a beautiful sunny day with a biting wind, but the weather didn’t give any clues as to the underfoot conditions which awaited us. The route had been recced a week before, and was then only slightly boggy, but by the time we all turned up the heavy rain and forestry operations had resulted in wall to wall mud in places - or as one or two of us were heard to exclaim, "Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud"!
Our circuit of the beautiful Kennick fishing reservoir was a rare treat, as it is only open to walkers during the closed fishing season, and we took advantage of the open verandah of the fishing lodge to eat lunch.
Undaunted by the trying conditions, the walk was completed, with a few diversions, and thirty muddy ramblers warmed up in front of the fire in the cosy Bridford Inn.
January 2018 turned out to be a bit of a challenge in respect of the weather on offer, with rain, mud and flooding very much on the menu.
Our A walkers showed their determination not to be thwarted by such trifles on a route on the fringes of Dartmoor. Bob Francis was also on the walk, and he took the photos.
A cloudy Thursday in November turned out to be a record-breaking day for our B Walks group, when no fewer than 48 of us came along for Keith's outing to Holbeam Dam. Here are 47 of us, ready to retrace our steps after lunch at the dam.
The structure was built in 1982, after the River Lemon had caused four episodes of major flooding in Newton Abbot, most recently in 1979. Although not as awe-inspiring as some other dams, and being only brought into use when levels rise, it has nevertheless kept the town safe from the river since then.
Another mid-September outing took us on an excursion to the Grand Western Canal at Tiverton.
The main focus of the day was an afternoon trip on a horse drawn barge, but before that many of us enjoyed a three mile walk along the towpath, returning along the route of an old railway line to join the rest of our party for lunch at the canal basin.
Back in Newton Abbot after our boat trip, we had an evening meal at The Grandstand, the Beefeater restaurant near the Racecourse. What a lovely day!
A successful late summer outing, despite the threat of rain, was our third Cafe Walk, starting from Parke and led by Laurie.
After the walk, a few more members joined us for afternoon tea, a welcome opportunity for some of our A and B walkers to meet up with those who prefer a lesser distance.
One Thursday in August, our B walkers met at East Soar, for a stunning coast walk around Bolt Head.
An information board tells the story of the nearby WW2 airfield, including the sobering tale of the ten Polish fighter pilots from Exeter, who had to crash-land at Bolt Head in thick cloud, low on fuel when returning from a mission. Fortunately only one man died, but still hard for us to imagine on a peaceful, sunny Summer day in 2017.
The conditions for our walk were almost perfect - a combination of sun and shade with a light breeze to keep the temperature down. Quite a long drive to the start of the walk, but well worth the effort - lovely views and a perfect lunch stop overlooking the sea. Bob and Ruth made it all the more interesting with little historical talks along the way.
Some of us cooled off with a drink and a natter at the pub in Halwell, to round off the day.
Despite the hot, humid conditions, 22 walkers and two dogs turned out for Gill and Paul's maiden foray into walk leadership.
Although we couldn't all park at the Bridford Inn due to Sunday Lunch customers, everyone managed to find a space around the village.
Our route took us around Kennick reservoir, which Paul had to be hurried past in case he tried to net a couple of trout - Kennick is his fly-fishing heaven!
We continued past Tottisford and skirted Trenchford, where we had a welcome lunch break in the shelter of some trees. It was tempting to dive in and cool off, but we all resisted - even Robin!
One point of interest other than the stunning scenery, was the Clampitt burial ground, now very overgrown. These Quakers were persecuted for their beliefs, and retreated to lead peaceful lives in this Devon backwater.
We ended the walk with a welcome cold drink at the Bridford Inn.
26 of us had a great day out at Bicton Botanical Gardens on 7th July.
The weather was kind, and we were able to have a picnic in the grounds, a ride on the train and a visit to the Countryside and Motor Museum.
We also walked around the stunning gardens, with the flowers looking their best at this time of year.
Later, back in Newton Abbot, 12 of us enjoyed a meal at the Grandstand restaurant.
Our B group had lovely hot weather for a recent outing from Tipton St John. The lunch stop was in a cornfield (of the corn-on-the-cob type) with fabulous views, and Robin took the opportunity to cool off by paddling in the River Otter. Before returning home at the end of the walk, we finished off with ice cold drinks at the Golden Lion.
Summer sunshine was in abundance when thirty or so B walkers took to the Moor one Thursday in May. Having started from Postbridge, we stopped for lunch at Bellever.
Continuing on our way towards Pizwell, we were pleased to find the bluebells just as plentiful as the sun, despite being almost finished by now, lower down where most of us live.
We returned to Postbridge via the clapper bridge, pausing for the usual group photo as we crossed. A familiar favourite walk for some of us, and a new pleasure for others. Thanks to Jo for leading us, and to Alf for the photos.
On a sunny Friday in May, Newton Abbot Ramblers tried something completely new, an afternoon outing over a distance somewhere between our usual 5 mile B walk, and the monthly stroll of 2 miles aimed at our less able members.
The idea was to bring together members from both of these groups, not only during the walk, but also at the afternoon tea which followed it, and success may be gauged from the fact that roughly half of the 17 walkers came from each group.
A further two of these walks are already included in our Summer programme, but our Deputy Chair Chris Bovey, who is currently co-ordinating these walks, would be pleased to hear from anyone who would like to lead a 3 mile walk based on an afternoon tea venue, in our Winter programme.
Our B group recently broke new ground by walking to Burgh Island, and as we chose to do this on the Sunday of May Day bank holiday 2017, it was naturally a day of heavy rain. Had the walk been nearer home, we would probably not even have left the start, but having had an hour's drive to get there, ten of us (and a dog) decided to put up our umbrellas and press on regardless.
The tide was still too high for a crossing when the island first came into view, but by the time we arrived at the beach, the waters had parted sufficiently for us to complete our mission. On reaching the island, most of our number took refuge in the pub, leaving just a few intrepid (mad?) souls to climb to the windswept summit, and take a very short lunch break in its roofless shelter.
Towards the end of January, around three dozen of us flew out to Lanzarote in the Canary Islands for a week's holiday, with walks on several days. Here is our hotel, in the resort of Playa Blanca.
Our initial expedition was a short walk to the top of a nearby extinct volcano, then around the ring at the top, with views down into the crater, and to other distant peaks.
Our first full day's outing was an eastward walk along the promenade, which started out as an easy paved path passing through a shopping centre and a yacht marina, but later became a rough track across volcanic lava terrain, the path interconnecting several sandy beaches.
A few days later, a westward trek took us along the promenade in the opposite direction, towards a lighthouse. This time the path was well-paved throughout, with an ample supply of bars offering either coffee, or something stronger if preferred.
On our final evening, most of us assembled for a group photograph.
Chris B was totally taken by surprise on a very cold grey Thursday in January, when 35 'B' walkers turned up for her walk from Teign Bridge to Stover Country Park, and the resulting number of cars caused a lot of fun with parking! As many of our group were away on a club holiday in Lanzarote, this number of walkers was quite unexpected, but very welcome.
Tom and Jacquie broke new ground for many of our B walkers one Sunday towards the end of January, with an unfamiliar walk from Drewsteignton to Fingle Bridge, where we stopped for lunch. Here we all are feeding our faces, and consoling ourselves with the thought that the after-effects of the chocolate bars which some of us are eating, really ought to be outweighed by all the hill-climbing we've been doing.
On a sunny but windy Wednesday in mid-January 2017, two dozen or so A walkers set off from Norsworthy Bridge, near Burrator Reservoir on Dartmoor, with Alan and Hazel in the lead.
This video is just over a minute long, and has no sound, but you will still feel a stiff breeze!
A fine Sunday in mid-December saw twenty-plus A walkers setting off across Dartmoor, in the footsteps of leaders Bill and Joan. The walk included a splendid lunch stop at Bellever Bridge, and here we see that despite the need to negotiate one of the wet bits occasionally encountered on the moor, the pre-Christmas spirit of those attending remained quite undampened!
Linda led a ‘classic’ Dartmoor walk with 21 walkers through beautiful countryside, in glorious sunshine on Tuesday 23rd August.
This short video, which has no sound, was taken at the top of Black Hill behind Haytor.
Towards the end of July, four A walkers, four B walkers and five former walkers climbed aboard a minibus and set off for a week's holiday at Clifford's farmhouse in Brittany.
Thirteen might not seem like an auspicious number, but we enjoyed smooth ferry crossings, warm sunshine on most days, and no more than a few spots of rain.
Each day the minibus took us out to the start of a glorious walk, ably led by Clifford's assistant Patsy. At lunchtime, Clifford would be waiting for us with filled baguettes and a choice of wine, cider or fruit juice.
Most of our outings took us along the Brittany Coastal Path, but on Saturday we went into the busy town of Morlaix, with its impressive railway viaduct and weekly market.
We also paid a couple of visits to the nearby village of Guerlesquin, and one day we went further inland to Huelgoat, with its Trembling Rock which we were able to move with a good push.
Our evening meals were particularly memorable, taking around three hours from sitting down to getting up again, every minute of this time being filled with good food, as much wine as we could drink, and enjoyable conversation.
Wednesday 13th July was one of those very clear days with excellent visibility, which made a 9 mile walk a total pleasure.
Geoff led 16 of us on the fourth stage of the Devon Coast to Coast walk, from Scoriton to Widecombe.
Towards the end of June, the Coach Trip for 2016 took us to Fowey in Cornwall, with a choice of walks on offer. 27 of us opted for the 6 mile walk from Par Sands, and here we are nearing journey's end, looking forward to our well-earned ice creams.
Our Tuesday walkers recently had a great day out walking from Churston. We stopped for photos overlooking Dartmouth and Kingswear, where the views were amazing.
The Devon Coast to Coast is a combination of the Erme-Plym Trail and the Two Moors Way. Here we cover the northernmost part of the Erme-Plym walk, the 6½ miles from the old Saw Mill to Ivybridge.
The weather forecast for Wednesday 18th May was not good, but 22 of us, with Geoff in the lead, managed to get away with just a couple of showers. The next part of our route, which will take us on to the Two Moors Way, will be the 12½ miles from Ivybridge to Scoriton.
We believe we can claim a record for the last B Walk of the Winter 2015-16 season - Bob and Ruth's outing from Denbury on March 31st, which took place on a glorious day, attracted no less than 45 walkers, not to mention 3 well-behaved dogs.
Our outward route took us past Gaia House and the church at West Ogwell, through fields with plenty of lambs in evidence. Needless to say, stiles were a bit of an issue with our numbers, but we managed to open gates to bypass some of them.
After a pleasant lunch on the banks of the River Lemon, we crossed Chercombe Bridge, returning to Denbury along quiet lanes, and via the grounds of Channings Wood Prison ("just visiting").
During the second week of October, a coachload of us set off for Penzance, on one of our popular walking holidays. We had three full days in which to enjoy each others' company, not to mention the Cornish scenery, much of which we were forced to admit is almost as good as that to be found in Devon.
Each day offered the choice of either a longer or a shorter walk, much of the route being along the South West Coastal Path, and so quite tiring. Each evening we were glad to return to our hotel, there to enjoy an evening meal cooked by someone else, and no washing up to do afterwards.
Jim led a superb walk from Merrivale Quarry on Tuesday 28th July, over wild open Dartmoor. We visited Middle Staple Tor, Peter Tavy Common and the River Walkham valley. There was plenty of history, wonderful views and bright sunshine.
Just above the quarry we came across small structures set in rows. Caroline is demonstrating how they might have been used as work benches to dress the stones. We understand that the structure is called a ‘sett makers bench’.
On Wednesday 1st July, while other parts of the country were basking in a record heatwave, Devon was overcast, with showers and occasional thunder. Nevertheless, our annual coach trip took us to the north of the county, with a choice of walks eastwards along the SW Coastal Path into Ilfracombe. Here you see some of us preparing to set off on the shorter six mile trek, from Waters Meet near Mortehoe.
After a stiff climb up the hill into Mortehoe, a bit more road walking took us along a lane leading to the Coastal Path at Bull Point light-house, where we stopped for coffee.
After this short break, we got stuck into the steep slopes of the Coastal Path, arriving at Lee Bay in time for lunch, albeit this was curtailed by another shower. Having endured the long drag from Lee Bay back up to cliff top level, we now had a relatively easy walk along to Ilfracombe, with a final descent via the zigzag cliff path to reach the town centre.
Most of us then headed for Wetherspoon's pub, there to celebrate successful completion of our walk. After a suitable interval of recuperation, we rejoined the coach, and those who had taken the longer walk, for the journey home. This was broken by a welcome meal at a hotel in Tiverton.
Linda led a very successful and popular walk on Tuesday 16th June. Fourteen happy walkers and a dog enjoyed views and sunshine, most of the time, and our photo shows the lunch stop at the top of Pew Tor.
Six of our number found they just couldn't resist a half in the Dartmoor Inn, to round off the day!
During the second week of June, around two dozen of us set off on a walking holiday based in Bournemouth. The weather forecast was for rain, and in Devon it poured, but we in Dorset and Hampshire were blessed with sunshine each day.
On our first day, we travelled on our coach to Sandbanks, then by open-top bus across the ferry and on to Studland. Our walk took us past Agglestone Rock and then to Ballard Down, and here you see us approaching Old Harry Rocks.
Having enjoyed a second day of walking along the Avon valley from Fordingbridge, our final outing started at Brockenhurst.
As usual, we had a choice of two walks of varying distance, and here are some of us on the shorter walk taking a coffee break "somewhere in the New Forest".
Seventeen members of the club enjoyed a very windy day, on a countryside and coastal walk from Ringmore to Burgh Island, on Wednesday 22 April.
Sunday 12th April saw a massed band of B walkers, 22 of us in all, setting out on a delightful walk from Steps Bridge, led by Tom and Jacquie. Here you see some of us enjoying the sound of the river, while eating our lunch.
Towards the end of the walk, Tom invited any of us who wished, to sample some nearby stepping stones. The river crossing didn't actually form part of the route, but was well worth the short diversion. Several members took up the challenge, and all of the two-legged participants completed the round trip with dry feet!
On Wednesday 18th March, 25 members enjoyed a sunny circular walk starting from Bennett’s Cross.
Graham led our Tuesday group on a winter walk around the Avon Dam, on February 3rd.
With the new year of 2015 barely a week old, Thursday 8th January saw our B Group already on their third outing. Twenty two of us enjoyed Tony's walk from Liverton, and the group is seen here atop Ramshorn Down.
Towards the end of 2014, Fi and Kath took us on their first walk as leaders, on Sunday 30th November. Thirteen A walkers enjoyed a 9 mile circular walk on a cold day but in bright sunshine, starting from Trendlebere Down.
The annual Widecombe Fair for 2014 took place on Tuesday 9th September. Numerous walkers gathered at Hound Tor car park to walk to the fair, the A walk being led by Laurie, and the B walk by Jennifer. As usual, Laurie sent us all on our way with her mouth organ rendition of ‘Uncle Tom Cobley’.