Saturday, 2 August 2014

Dancing Across Dartmoor

I love playing at being town mouse one minute and country mouse the next. Our recent sojourn in the south west was filled with opportunities for me to get out of my wingtips and into my hiking boots, in order to go stomping across this beautiful country of ours.

The trip was planned with a route that crossed both Bodmin and Dartmoor, enabling us to jump out of the car at a moment's notice, to scramble up hillsides and tors, to view the lay of the land and to breathe in the calm and serenity that surrounded us.

Please Click Images to Enlarge

Farmers have rights to graze their animals on the open moors that surround their farmland.
Rough grasses and heathers are top of the menu for todays lunch, ladies. Nom, Nom, Nom.

These three herberts called dibs on this magnificent view. As I approached with my camera, the mean looking gang leader in front told me to either 'hoppit' or get my ass kicked and I wasn't taking any chances. 

Dartmoor Ponies can be seen roaming at will on the moor, although much like their woolly neighbours, they are not wild and are owned by farmers. In the 1930s there were estimated to be 25,000 compared today to only 5000.

Constant nibbling of the grassland gives certain areas of the moor a velvety green carpet effect.

Here you can see one of the many Tors or granite outcrops that characterise Dartmoor. They become a major attraction every May, when several thousand young people, descend upon them, to take part in the ten Tors challenge.

The main objective of the event is to test endurance, navigation and survival skills, requiring participants to visit ten Tors, whilst battling harsh elements over a 34 hour period.

Make yourselves comfortable, why not.

The moor gets its name from the two rivers, East Dart and West Dart which converge to become a single river at the tranquil oasis that is known as Dartmeet. I traversed the meeting point back and forth in true monkey fashion by leaping across the huge boulders strewn the length of its crystal waters.


Who's up for a swim? Last one in is a ninny.


  1. OMG Paul - how can you do this to me - making me SO homesick for Devon and especially Dartmoor!

    Fabulous photos of that stunning place - and you were there in sunshine which makes it even lovelier.
    We picnicked almost every Sunday on the moor in the 50's - climbed Haytor many times, paddled in the Dart at Spitchwick. Dartmeet is memorable for me - not just the cream teas at Badger's Holt tea rooms (still there?), but where, at age 3, I fell into the river from one of those boulders and had to be rescued by my uncle!

    So glad you got to see the spectacular scenery - thanks for sharing so much of it.
    Hugs - Mary

    1. Yes Mary, Badgers Holt Tea Rooms ars still there but we were so well fed and watered by our hosts the morning we visited Dartmeet that nary a crumb could pass my lips until the late afternoon.
      There were lots of locals taking their kids to paddle in the shallow waters of the Dart whilst they picnicked on the verdant banks.
      I can see that those boulders could be treacherous especially when wet, luckily for me they were dry enough fro me to nimbly spring from rock to rock although half way across I wondered how silly I would have looked if I had slipped into the drink!

  2. Baggsie be the ninny! I'm not good in the country, unless there's a pub with a fire and damp dogs which there usually is, so I might be better in the country than I thought. Send me my Brownie country lover badge right now.

    1. The moment I saw you wearing a woggle through your Isabel Marant Scarf I knew you had to have been a Brownie Tabitha.
      I think you would actually fair very well in the country. Pair of Hunters, Hermes headscarf tied with a tight rural knot worn high on the chin, a flask of Elijah to keep the cold out and a .16 gauge slung over your arm, nice!
      PS. I do believe that all Ninnys get dunked in the river and no Baggsies allowed!

  3. Those stone wallings remind me so much of western Ireland that is South of the GB part. I lived in Dublin, married and brought up my children there. What an art, stonewalling that is, and to think these walls have stayed intact for many a year with no evidence of mortor or other props/additions. A delight and picturesque scene and those sheep look laden and ready for shearing, whew !

  4. I guess I'm a Ninny, because that water looks awfully cold. :) The landscapes are lovely and the sheep are fun to see, even if they aren't friendly.

  5. Wow Paul, these views are spectacular! But where is Heathcliff? These views reminded me of the moors depicted in Wuthering Heights minus the foggy moments. Those Herbert's didn't look happy when you photographed them. They probably thought you were paparazzi?! It must have been a fun and peaceful hike for you. It's so beautiful!

  6. Your photos have brought back great memories of Dartmoor back, thank you for sharing them, photos of a stunning part of the world!

  7. Paul, absolutely enchanting, I would love to spend time traveling the countryside with you as my tour guide and friend! So glad you are now on Facebook! I appreciate your comments always!

    The Arts by Karena

  8. Paul, I cannot believe the panoramic views. How far can you see? Looks like forever. I am so in love with the romantic countryside of England! Your photos of the craggy rocks and meandering rivers makes me want to plan my next trip there. All I need is a walking stick, a picnic and maybe a slingshot for the ewes!! (Just in case!) Lovely little vine you made there...Unbelievable the beauty and sounds. Truly transporting. Now that's going to be your next thing..videographer! xxoo Kim

  9. Hello Paul
    I guess I am thus far, the ninny. Your images are incredible and your captions and comments have me highly amused.
    Wishing you a delightful week.


  10. Paul,

    Another beautiful adventure! I love all of your photos, especially the sheep.

    I will have to bookmark this area for my next visit to the UK.

    Have a great week!

  11. with the exception of that asphalt, this looks like something from 600 years ago...the guard goats are pure delight and wondering who was the ninny...

  12. Hope you did not get wet feet Paul! Beautiful photo's of Dartmoor. Lucky you to live in such a beautiful country. Never been to Dartmoor. Perhaps I should consider it for next year. Thinking of the Lake District or Peak district now. Beautiful areas too....

    Madelief x

  13. Honestly, you live in a beautiful place............even if you had to drive a few hours!Those sheep!I would have wanted to take them all home with me!

  14. Dear Paul,
    the photos give a very fine impression of that lonely wild country. The Hound of the Baskerville might be able to teach these belligerent sheeps a lesson (though they look cute!)

  15. Truly beautiful landscape images Paul. You captured the essence of Dartmoor perfectly.