Well a very belated birthday weekend anyway. Being the kind of people who like to do nice things rather than have nice things (well I like both but that’s not the point!), I gave TBF the option of a weekend away as her birthday treat. She jumped at the offer and we picked a weekend in November to cheer up that dreariest of months. We headed down on Friday in the hope of a pre-weekend walk. After stopping at the excellent Cafe on the Green in Widecombe on the Moor for a superb lunch and Cream Tea we headed out
I’ve never walked on Dartmoor before so I needed a plan. Luckily I know a very fine Dartmoor inspired blog over at Treks and Tors and Steve gave me this route amongst many others. An inspired recommendation.
We parked up in a surprisingly busy car park for a Friday in November that seemed to be threatening rain. There were dark skies everywhere but lots of blue to go with it as we pushed up to Cox Tor
We used to visit Dartmoor on day trips from our holidays at Westward Ho! on the North Devon Coast. I was always fascinated by Granite Tors so I was well pleased to do a proper walk amongst them
Despite looking like a wet one the weather was kind to us and we were bathed in plentiful sunshine for the afternoon, although it was perishingly cold
After Cox Tor we traversed down and around to the back of Roos Tor so as to make a circuit
Everyone associates the SW with coastline, beaches and resorts but Dartmoor is a truly wild and empty place. It could feel similar to any wild moorland upland area but it has a whole different charm. Apart from its bristling Granite outcrops it has rivers, farmland and green forested valleys as well a rich industrial heritage and ancient remains of civilisations long gone. Like I said when I first visited Bodmin Moor last year, its packed with interesting stuff and I was enjoying this first taster session
It was already past three when we reached Roos and Staples Tors so the light was fading. The tors themselves made for wonderful outlines against the moody skies
When the sun did come out it lit up the tors and the bracken in a most fetching manner
I was fascinated by the shapes amongst the tumbles of rocks and had a few little scrambles about, far too cold for any more detailed exploration. This outcrop looks suspiciously like TBF
There were views across to the Tamar estuary to Plymouth Sound and you could see the rail and road bridges in the distance
The views across to Vixen Tor, Kings Tor and North Hessary Tor were very fine
We decided to use up every last minute of daylight and extended the walk with an extra loop around and over Whitchurch Common following an old watercourse cut around the hillside. We reached a stone cross that seemed to be telling us the sun was setting and it was time to head back to car and go Padstow for some food!
A splendid late afternoon stroll and a prelude for a cracking weekend outdoors in the South West
Our base in Padstow was the amazing Althea Library B&B. An absolute gem with a standard of accommodation befitting a 5-star hotel but with all the comforts and welcome of a family home. Huge thanks to Jane and Geoff for looking after us and highly recommended for a stay in the area. Evening meal was in the equally amazing Prawn on the Lawn. A restaurant and a fishmonger all in one with an eclectic feel and enthusiastic friendly staff. All you get is seafood and its superb. Simple stuff, freshly cooked and we dined like kings/queens on tapas plates and Lobster washed down with a bottle of fizz. Well it was a birthday meal after all!