|The Exmoor Perambulation
In 1279 King Edward ordained the Sheriff of Somerset to firmly observe the perambulations of the Forest of Somerset afterwards called the Royal Forest of Exmoor.
Some twenty or so years ago the Exmoor Youth Association revived the Perambulation which is now an annual event taking place in mid-June.
The Perambulation commences at the Pinkery Centre proceeding past Pinkery Pond to Woodbarrow and thence northwards in a virtual straight line to Saddlegate on the border of Devon and Somerset. From Saddlegate the route goes eastwards to cross the three waterways of Warcombe Water, Hoaroak Water and Farley Water to arrive at Brendon Two Gates on the Simonsbath to Lynton road.
Continuing eastwards the route then goes by Hoccombe Water to Badgworthy Hill, crossing Badgworthy (locally pronounced Badgery) Water to arrive at Clanna Combe to climb through the plantation and then across South Common skirting Stowford Bottom to Kittuck.
Still continuing eastwards the next prominent feature is Black Barrow where a southwards turn takes you to Alderman's Barrow. A short road walk follows to Larkbarrow Corner. The route now passes the Standing Stone following high above Sparcombe Water, past the foot of Ranscombe to arrive at Orchard Bottom and the juvenile River Exe.
A stiff climb follows across Penn Allotment to Honeymead Two Gates where the Simonsbath to Exford road is crossed to Picked Stones Lane.
The distance travelled so far is 16 miles and many may think this far enough to walk in a day. However, the more hardy may well wish to continue as so far only half of the Perambulation has been walked.
The route now goes south on Picked Stones Lane and descends to Sherdon Hatch where the last but deepest of the fording water crossings takes place, this time the River Barle.
A climb takes you to Landacre Gate, Hawkridge Common, Halscombe Allotment skirting Black Pits Plain to Upper Willingford Bridge on Litton Water to White Post.
A westerly direction is now followed on a county road past Twitchen Meadows to Mud Gate, Sandyway, Kinsford Gate and Moles Chamber. Here a northerly turns made past the Sloley Stone and Broadbarrow Stone to cross the Challacombe to Simonsbath road and so back to the Pinkery Centre.
If you have got this far you will have walked 31 miles.
Check points are established along the route, the majority being stocked with water and a cordal drink. Control of the event is by radio communications provided by RAYNET. In addition the Exmoor Search and Rescue Team are on hand to make certain that any who stray off the route are soon brought back on to it, while the St. John Ambulance are stationed at Pinkery Centre with their ambulance to tend to anyone who requires their services.
The minimum age for entrants is 14 years on the date of the Perambulation. All walkers who are under 18 years of age or who are members of a school or youth group must be accompanied by adults in a ratio of not more than 1 to 5.
Details and entry forms are available in the March preceding the event and can be obtained by telephoning Jeff Cox on 01769 520397.
|For more pictures from 2004 click here.
Did you know there is a Dartmoor Perambulation too? Click here
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