We started near Taunton and expectations were high thanks to the weather (off-roading must be the only countryside pursuit where a downpour is a bonus!) The rain did it's job after the long, dry spring and, with a number of fords on the route, this made for some interesting river crossings with the water levels rising quickly.
The importance of Lane Finding quickly became apparent with a couple of lanes early on overgrown and un-driveable and then another non-existent, but things soon became much more adventurous.
For water enthusiasts we found an absolute cracker of a lane just before Ashill, with a 500m river section in a sunken lane with some rather deep holes. We made our way to the famous Payhembury ford which is at the junction of 2 tracks with deep fords in both directions. Having a V8 Rangie in the group we took the fork down a fast flowing section of river bed for 300m.
After trying and failing to dry off over lunch, we headed further east through some typical Devon countryside of step wooded hills and valleys. A couple more smaller fords and one rather interesting washout which involved a quick bit of road building and chance to get out the sand landers to shore up the side to enable a safe traverse. Shortly afterwards we had to put our animal rescue skills to the test when we came across a waterlogged Heron in the road - we safety moved it to the far side of the hedge to dry out.
After a final tea break of the day we turn north back towards Taunton and we found a few more longer lanes to finish off the day despite coming across more blocked and non-existent routes.
Now we've driven the route, and found ways round the lanes which are blocked, the tour will make a great day out for the more adventurous group, especially for those looking for some good fords. The lanes are generally firm based but with plenty of overgrown hedges so there's always the chance of an odd scuff. Beautifully Devon countryside, although didn't see much of it this time through the downpour.