A walk on Dartmoor

Thank you so much for everyones congratulations to my son and daughter in my last post. It was much appreciated. Whenever we visit Devon we always try to have a walk on Dartmoor (one of our National Parks). Depending on the weather it can be either extremely beautiful and peaceful , or very bleak and desolate. The thickest fog we have ever encountered has been here, high up on the moors and was quite frightening to encounter. 

It is a landscape of sweeping moorland and craggy granite tors, where you can walk for miles without seeing a road or a tree. In the valleys you will find meandering rivers and streams, some of which are crossed by clapper bridges (an ancient term for a simple bridge consisting of one or more flat slabs over stone piers).  The most famous one is at Postbridge pictured above.

There are many legends and stories about Dartmoor with the devil features in many of them. The book "The Hound of the Baskervilles" by Sir Arthur Conran Doyle (creator of Sherlock Holmes) is based here, as is the book and recent film "War Horse". We walked to Wistman's Wood on our recent visit. It is a fascinating place, one of the last remnants of a primeval forest. The oak trees are extremely old but none is more than 15ft  (4.5 metres) tall, some growing out of the rocks and boulders that litter the hillside.

 Dartmoor ponies, cattle and sheep roam the moors.

Vixen Tor is one part of the moor that public access is denied. It was fenced off by the current owner in 2003 and many attempts have been made to allow public access. One of the legends is that it was the home of a woman called Vixana who would lure travellers to death in the surrounding boggy ground. Maybe it is just as well you can't get close!

This cross called Windy Post is an ancient waymark ( possibly about 500 years old) on the track from Tavistock to Chagford and Ashburton. For several hundred years pack horses with bales of wool would have come this way.

Unfortunately we missed the Tour of Britain cycle race by a couple of hours as the route passed over the moor. There is lots more I could say about Dartmoor but it will have to wait for another time. If you are interested this short video will give you the spirit of the place far better than me.

Finally a big welcome to my new follower Bec from Two Worlds meet the coast .

Sarah x


  1. Great photos. I too love Dartmoor - although I wouldn't like to be stuck in fog there. It is a beautiful, tranquil place.

  2. Hello Sarah:
    Wonderful views of Dartmoor, combined with a very atmospheric video, really do combine to give a very vivid and real picture of this strange and fascinating part of the English landscape.

  3. I seem to have missed your last post and am only just catching up! Congrats to your son & a late Happy Birthday to your daughter.
    The photos of Dartmoor are beautiful, the trees are certainly looking autumnal!

  4. Hi Sarah,

    Looks like a wonderful place to go for a hike and you would want the weather to be lovely.
    The Postbridge is interesting and such a clever way to build a bridge, love the river too.

    Happy day

  5. Beautiful landscape to walk through. Wistman's Wood looks truly magical, like a fairytale land.

  6. We learnt about the connection between Dartmoor and The Hound of the Baskervilles when we visited Castle Drogo. The landscape is beautiful but as you say I'd imagine it to be scary on a foggy day.

  7. woweeee such wonderful photography!!!! you have captured it to its glory- we went walking there a few times with my brother and family- It somwhere like you say that can change very quickly on the weather front- it can be blissfully sunny in Plymouth and then thick fog on the moors, its a place a rarely go a lone always afraid of getting lost ;0)x bestwishes to your family x

  8. Think I might be a tad nervous crossing that bridge! Looks wonderful, the sort of place you want to fill your lungs with! Ada :)

  9. Hej,hej dear sarah,

    a long time I was´nt on your blog....so sorry,but I was ill and misery.
    Now I enoyed your nice pictures and storys...the video is a little bit mystic....but so wonderful.
    Have a nice day!!!Bye for now,
    xoxo flori

  10. Sorry I mist the post of your daughter, she did a great job. What a beaytyful picture's i look like a little bit of ouwer vacation it looks very nice. Have a nice evening.

    Greetings Petra.

  11. Hello Sarah, Wistmans Wood looks a really magical place to wander and blow off some cobwebs!
    Such beautiful Oak trees...Wouldn't like to be lost in a fog here though.
    Interesting that the film War Horse was based at Dartmoor, loved this film.
    Lovely pictures as always Sarah.
    loVe Maria x

  12. Wonderful post Sarah. you have captured Dartmoor beautifully it is one of those places that no matter how many times you visit, they will never be the same
    Thank you for sharing your visit

  13. I really enjoyed this post as that's just my kind of landscape. We have areas like that in the Peak District. I love wild, remote and bleak! I've wanted to go to Dartmoor for as long as I can remember! I'd never heard of Wistman's Wood until recently but I've now seen it in three different places this week - it looks wonderful!

  14. Dear Sarah,

    Dartmoor looks like a wild and beautiful place. We have never been to that part of the UK, but I hope to visit one day.

    Happy weekend!

    Madelief x

  15. What a beautiful country that is and what a wondeerful trip

  16. I love the beauty of places like this - a kind of rugged beauty - your photos are so inviting - I wish I lived closer. Our Yorkshire Moors are quite bleak in comparison - in winter you will only find the most hardened walkers and sheep up on the moors. Have a good weekend x

  17. A belated birthday wish to your Daughter and a big congratulations to your Son. What a blessing. : )
    Love seeing your photos of your country. It is so beautiful with all the lush green grass. Where I live there is not much of that. The hills I remember growing up, now have homes build on them. It's too bad, it takes the beautiful away for the rest of us to enjoy. Have a wonderful day.

  18. What a lovely walk and an great landscape! We don't have that views in Holland. Thanks for your sweet wods. Lovely greetings

  19. So beautiful Sarah, I love to see your part of the world, so far away from mine! xo K

  20. Hi Sarah, I love, love the photos of Dartmoor!! What a beautiful place to visit...and walk. I can see some landscape quilts made for some of the pictures..if I ever get the time, I may have to ask you for permission to use one of your photos. Very nice photography and I'm glad you had a wonderful holiday too!!


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