By: Blonde One
Every walker has heard of bagging Munros and Wainwrights, haven’t they? A trip to Scotland would not be complete without trying to get to the top of at least one Munro. A Munro is a hill of at least 3000 feet named after Sir Hugh Munro (1856-1919) who was the first to produce the list, and presumably climb them all.
Come further south and explore the Wainwrights of the Lake District. These are 214 in number and have no height definition. They are all ‘true fell tops’ as described by Alfred Wainwright (1907-1991).
The Munro or Wainwright of Dartmoor is William Crossing. He lived from 1847 to 1928 and lived in Plymouth. He walked the moors continually and made notes which he later transformed into his book ‘Crossing’s Guide to Dartmoor’. This book is a detailed account of Dartmoor and gives useful walking information as well as some more descriptive words. The section which covers Hameldown describes the view as “exceedingly fine”. Crossing declares that the purpose of his book was to “furnish the visitor with such directions as would enable him to find his way to any part of it … and to give him a description of the scenery, antiquities, and other objects of interest.” He gives information about the frequent misty weather, about the tricky ‘feather bed’ bogs and also being “pixy-led”. I didn’t realise though that there was an antidote to being pixy-led. Apparently you have to take off your coat, turn it inside out and put it back on again. Then the pixies will have “no further power” over you. Good to know!
The kit that he suggests is essential for a walk on the moors is “a stout stick, a sandwich case and a pocket compass”. We are definitely in agreement here but maybe we would have to add some waterproofs to the list!
The guide is a great read if you are going to explore somewhere on the moors and gives a good insight into what you might find in this vicinity when you get there. It’s a comprehensive guide and bagging all of the ‘Crossings’ would most definitely be an extraordinarily mammoth task!