PROBABLY one of the most recognisable hills on southern Dartmoor, Brent Hill, looms above the A38 at South Brent. It is one of those hills that you think – I must climb that one day.

But being away from the main part of the moor it doesn’t fit into the normal itineraries. With the promise of panoramic views and a steep climb this hill was the main object of Newton Abbot Ramblers A group walk on Wednesday.

Starting from South Brent, Sarah Buck led the group alongside the River Avon to Lydia Bridge. The bridge is a C17 or C18 humpback packhorse bridge which provides an outstanding view of the picturesque waterfall on the north side. From the bridge the 200m climb started, firstly on the road and then up a permissive footpath from Lutton to the top of the hill. The views were incredible and well worth the effort of getting to this elusive point.

At the summit of Brent Hill there are the remains of an Iron Age Hill Fort from around 500BC as well as stonework from a more recent ruined chapel. The hill is of ironstone which probably explains the long hillside on the southern approach and steep drop to the north – not a place to rely on a compass bearing!

Having gained the height, it was inevitable there would be a long descent, and so it was down to the River Avon at Didworthy where two more walkers joined and swelled the number of the group to ten. The second climb of the day was up Diamond Lane and on to the moor at Brent Fore Hill where, close to Ball Gate, the Ancient Monument of Long Barrow was passed. The chambered cairn was once one of the largest monuments on the moor, but it has been damaged by the track through the northern part and most of the southern end has been destroyed.

The fringe of the moor was followed to Owley Moor Gate and the varied walk was completed along footpaths and lanes to South Brent.

On Sunday the B group, led by Peter G, followed a similar route from South Brent to Lutton at the foot of Brent Hill, but then continued to Didworthy and Shipley Bridge for the five and a half mile walk.

Closer to home on Sunday, Wendy S led the A group on a local walk from Ideford. Starting from the church the figure of eight walk was uphill all the way to Ideford Common where a coffee break was enjoyed. Dropping down to Ideford again the group realised another climb would be required to get up to Teignmouth golf course.

Girding their loins they arrived at Little Haldon Heath, having avoided being hit by any stray golf balls. The Postman’s Path was followed which rewarded the walkers with some magnificent panoramic views of Teignmouth, Shaldon and the Teign estuary. Due to the very acidic well drained soil, the most common plants found here are common heather, bell heather, western gorse and the Devon whitebeam, an attractive small tree found mostly in Devon. Interest was added by a couple of memorials including a wooden sculpture of a rugby ball.

Andrew R led the monthly café walk on Friday. Starting at Stoodley in perfect weather the 17 walkers enjoyed the three and a half mile walk to Anstey’s Cove and along the Bishop’s Walk to Meadfoot. Fantastic coastal views were enjoyed in both directions before afternoon tea at Kent’s Cavern.

Linda and John were not so lucky with the weather for their walk from Dawlish to Dawlish Warren Nature Reserve on Thursday. Umbrellas were the order of the day and although there was a deluge the challenging weather conditions did not detract too much from an enjoyable walk.

For more information about the many other walks offered by Newton Abbot & District Ramblers see and come along and enjoy good company.