It was in the heat of June that our merry band of travellers set forth from the Vale of Stanmore on King Arthur's Quest knowing not what we might find out there in the wild hills and crags of the West.
On the morning of the first day we reached Stonehenge and marvelled at the Choir of Giants as we heard grim tales of the Night of the Long Knives upon which all Britain's fate was set. Unperturbed, we continued on our journey and found the mystical Isle of Avalon. We climbed the fair slopes of Glastonbury Tor, drank the blessed waters of Chalice Well and found renewed vigour! Finally, before sunset, our intrepid explorers descended into the depths of Wookey Hole and marvelled at caverns filled with cheese. The first night was spent in an old Alpine chalet nearby.
On the morning of the second day the Quest began by way of the cloud-cloaked valleys and mist-filled wooded canyons of Exmoor. Upon reaching the town of Lynton our group climbed aboard the highest and steepest totally water-powered funicular railway in the world and gasped as it took us down to the beach at Lynmouth where we feasted on fish and chips and battered sausages. Some of us were wearisome but onwards we went along the rugged north coast of Devon to the small Cornish town of Boscastle and its hidden secrets; a house full of the relics of ancient witchcraft and magic! Our final destination this day (it was a Wednesday) was Tintagel Castle. We climbed its steep and grassy steps and heard the legends of Uther and sweet Lady Ygraine (parents of King Arthur) and explored Merlin's Cave beneath. It was in this renowned cave that one of our number came across an enchanted stone which later give him tremendous success at card games in our hostel on Midsummer's Eve.
On the following morning, which was Midsummer's Day, the Thursday, we headed to the River Tamar on the borders of Cornwall and spent all day racing up and down that mighty river in canoes. When we were done we refreshed ourselves with ice cream and found lodgings in Dartmoor where we dined upon sausage and mash and, in the morrow, had a traditional cooked breakfast.
And so it came to pass that we said our farewells to the sunny uplands of Dartmoor on Friday morning and began the long journey home with Darren, our Cornish coach driver; only stopping along the way to obtain crucial supplies of 'Burger King' and briefly again to observe the monument of Avebury and see the last of the ancient druids going about their mysterious ways amongst those silent stones.
Park High School, Thistlecroft Gardens, Stanmore, Middlesex HA7 1PL
Mr Emlyn Lumley
0208 952 2803