Dunkery Beacon 6/1/08
Working away sometimes gives you the opportunity to walk and area which is normally way out of reach and after a 7hour drive i arrived in Minehead at 2:00. I set off quickly for Duncan Beacon and arrived at the Dunkery Gate National Trust car park at 2:45.
The weather looked good so i set off NW up the path to bag the highest hill in Exmoor National Park. The climb has relatively easy although i was going at a very fast walking pace due to my limited time frame. It took about 30mins to get to the peak and i found probably the largest cairn i have ever seen on the summit. It was a mini scramble to get to the top. All summits should be like this, its much more fun than a boring trig point.
I posed for the usual photos and sat chilling out on the top for half an hour just taking in the views and my chicken sarnies. From the summit i could see another hill to the east about 2km away with a cairn and it had something near the summit which i could not for the life of me make out. It looked like a few upturned chairs scattered on the summit. . I decided to walk to it as i wanted my walk to continue right upto darkness kicking in, plus i wanted to know what them damn chair figures were.
I approached the hill from the east and made it to the top but i could not find the chair like figures. So i decided to climb up the reasnably sized cairn, just as my eye line came over the top of the cairn i spotted an amazing site, 2o wild deer about 1oo metres away. I could not beleive my luck, the figures in the distance which looked like upturned chairs were the deers antlers. I watched them for a minute staying completly still, then one of the deer caught my scent on the wind and they made an exit. I quickly grabbed my camera and managed to get a shot of them just as they dissapeared out of sight.
If i have learned something on this walk it is to look around as you walk and maybe go and have a look at something which you may not of planned for.
It started raining quite heavy and the light was fading so i quickly retraced my steps and made my way back to the car, over the moon that i had bagged another hill and saw wild deer for the first time.
Exmoor National park looked beutifal i cannot wait to return and see some more of the area. Lets hope work send me back sometime soon.
Total walking time around 1h 45mins and i estimate roughly 6km including somer diversions at a very fast walking pace. Dunkery Beacon is 1704 feet and is the highest Marliyn classed hill in Region 41.