Wednesday, 9 September 2020

A walk on Dartmoor

At the weekend John and I took off for a trip to Dartmoor. This had originally booked for the early May bank holiday and due to the restrictions on travel I moved it to last weekend. I reasoned that by that time travel within the country would be allowed and it should be safe to go away. On both counts I was right and even the weather joined in with our adventure by being warm and dry. We stayed at a hotel we'd used before, a few miles outside Exeter, which offered a comfortable room with on-suite and breakfast. We ate in the hotel dining room on Friday night as following the journey we didn't want to go out again that day. Our plan was to walk on Dartmoor so long as the weather stayed reasonable. I was hoping to see some Dartmoor ponies.

Saturday was warm and the forecast was for a mainly dry day with the possibility of short showers. We packed our hike bags accordingly and drove to the start point of our walk at Haytor. The car parks were quite busy but it was easy to maintain social distancing and the further we got from the car the less people there were.

We climbed to the top of Haytor rocks and got a magnificent view across the moor in all directions. The gorse and heather were bright swathes of colour.

Whichever way I looked there was another hill to climb. We had planned to try and cover 10 tors but in the end we only walked up 5

Along the way we came across several Dartmoor ponies. These two foals were very cute

We stopped to enjoy the views and a cup of coffee on this group of rocks which I thought looked  a little like a tortoise.

There were a herd of Belted Galloway cattle. This breed of cattle is a traditional Scottish breed of beef cattle and they are well adapted to living on poor upland pastures and moorlands. They remind me of large pandas. There were several of them on the path up the next tor but they were very amiable and moved out of our way.

The cattle stand out like little white dots against the varied colours of the moor.

 There were sheep with beautiful white fleece. I have no idea how they were so pristine.

After getting to the top of 5 tors I was needing a good rest but I loved the scenery and it was so peaceful, well except for the cattle who had started bellowing.

I managed to get a photo of this interesting cloud formation as we headed back to the car.

On the way back to our hotel we stopped for a Devon cream tea, mmm scones with jam and clotted cream.

The day ended with a very tasty dinner at a local pub.  Back in our room I took out my hand stitching but I was too tired to do any. It was a great day of walking and we'll definitely have to book another visit to Dartmoor next year.


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