We have been walking on Dartmoor for a number of years, but we
re-wrote this tour completely in 2016 and it was so successful
that, save only for a couple of modifications, we are re-running it
in 2018 too.
Devon is England's fourth largest county, and is undoubtedly one
of its most rural and most beautiful. Bounded to the north and the
south by two wonderful coastlines, Devon's lush rolling countryside
is dominated by Dartmoor, a landscape of stunning views, awe
inspiring granite tors, deep wooded valleys with fast flowing
rivers, and rugged, wide open spaces.
Devon is blessed with many wonderful gardens, especially along its
south coast, where they are warmed by the mild air of the Gulf
Stream, and we will visit a selection of the very best of the
Dartmoor is a National Park and much information can be gleaned
from two principal websites, Dartmoor
National Park Authority and Visit
Dartmoor, the official tourist authority for the area. Its
history is fascinating and is littered with the evidence of human
habitation and activity from earliest times to living memory, and a
summary of its heritage may be found here.
Amongst other things, it is famous for its prison, which housed both Napoleonic
prisoners-of-war and American prisoners-of-war, and famous too, as
the eerie setting for Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the
Walking on Dartmoor is a delight and, despite
its rugged character, much gentle-to-moderate walking can be
enjoyed on its periphery and in the valleys surrounding the moors.
We will only undertake walks suited to the party's ability and not
at all in foul weather.
Sleeping & Eating
We have taken rooms at the award-winning, family-run Rock
Inn, a traditional Dartmoor Inn in the lee of the
moors. It was constructed in the 1820s to serve the new community
of Haytor Vale, built for workers to extract the high quality
granite from Haytor Down. Haytor granite was used to construct
London Bridge, which opened in 1831 and moved to Lake Havasu City,
Arizona in 1970. The last rock was quarried in 1919 and was used
for the Exeter War Memorial.
This will be our third visit to the Rock Inn, and there is good
reason it is in the Good Hotel Guide and has a starred entry in the
Pub Guide. We will make it our home for the week, dining-in on
four evenings and dining-out on two, at two favourite pubs, the Nobody
Inn, Doddiscombsleigh, and at the Church House Inn,
Talking about eating, I ought to mention cream teas, because both
Devon and its neighbouring county, Cornwall, are famous for them
and, indeed, we talk about a Devon or Devonshire Tea. Essentially,
a cream tea is the scone element of an afternoon tea, served with
jam and clotted cream and, of course, tea - there are variations of
this too, but we'll explain that over a 'cream tea' during the
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