Saturday 25th July saw the first free guided walk from the team at Dartmoor Explore.
Based in the heart of beautiful Dartmoor they provide a selection of outdoor adventures on the moor and beyond. In conjunction with the charity, 'Mountains for the Mind', Dartmoor Explore believe in the power of mountains to change lives for better mental health.
"We firmly believe that getting out and enjoying the outdoors is not only good for our bodies but also great for our mental health. The mountains for the mind campaign has been doing lots to give people the opportunity to get out on the hills and we wanted to help too. "
- Dartmoor Explore
Working closely with Dartmoor Explore we are pleased to offer the Eversfield Organic Bar and Grill at The Dartmoor Inn, Merrivale as a base for like-minded meet ups for the team.
What was the day like?
A very sociable and not too early start of 10:00am at the Eversfield Organic Bar & Grill saw us sit down for a coffee (and a cake) with a short introduction from Carl. This gave us the chance to meet each other and introduce ourselves before he briefed us about the day.
A short kit faff later of donning the all important waterproof jackets and trousers in this weekends weather, we headed off for our first bimble.
The chosen route had been intended to give us some great views of Dartmoor, as you can see, the weather had other ideas. We took a slightly off track amble and joined one of the main tracks to take us round the back of Foggintor Quarries. We should have been able to see King's Tor, but instead our guide filled us in with facts and history about the area we were walking through.
As the weather became a little more bleak, we re-directed to take a shorter route back to warm up with a hot pasty and a beer.
Our group was lovely and welcoming with a varied experience level. It included a teenager who was hoping to complete the Ten Tors this year, his mum as well as a well versed man of the moors.
The conversation flowed easily which made the walk feel like it was no effort at all. The interesting knowledge about the moors from Carl and Dave who are both members of the Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team offered something to learn. Meanwhile sharing stories of our own experiences of the last few months felt therapeutic. It was fascinating to hear about the teenager who had completed a 'Virtual Ten Tors' around a field (over 15 laps) because the main event had been cancelled, but he's keen to get back next year and take on the 45 miler. We were also accompanied by Lucy who is a councillor specialising in using the outdoors for her sessions. Her work is invaluable and completely in sync with what both Dartmoor Explore and Mountains for the Mind are trying to encourage.
All in all it was a great excuse to get out on a day that may not have motivated you. I can 100% say it was absolutely worth it. Yes, we may have got a little soggy, but skin doesn't rust and the sociable day made up for any damp patches.
Carl who guided our walk is a member of the Dartmoor Search and Rescue team and a qualified Mountain Leader.
We look forward to seeing you on the next one, Saturday 15th August 2020.