Archive for the ‘althea library’ Tag

Storm Clouds over Dartmoor   12 comments


My Birthday treat was a weekend away in Cornwall for some fine dining, walking and wave based fun in Cornwall. A heavy cold put paid to entering the water so plans were amended slightly but we kicked off as before (for TBF’s birthday weekend) with a fine lunch at the Cafe on the Green in Widecombe in the Moor and a walk on Dartmoor. Thanks to the writings of the excellent blog over at Treks and Tors I have an endless list of very fine walks on Dartmoor to experience and this one was based on one of the more recent posts. Its a great blog and well worth checking out.


The forecast had looked promising with mention of sunshine and “isolated” showers. From up on Dartmoor they were a lot more than isolated! We had a Tor-tour planned and first was Rippon Tor. The views across to Haytor, Dartmoors most famous tor derw us onwards





First we passed over Saddle Tor, appropriately populated with wild ponies


All the while the storm clouds gathered, thunder rumbled and lightning flashed


Haytor was always a favourite spot when I was a kid. We spent many family holidays up at Westward Ho! (only place name in the UK with an exclamation mark) and often came down to Dartmoor for a day out. I always insisted we come up here so I could climb to the top


I love granite tors with their weathered shapes and weird formations


Haytor looked especially dramatic today backed by dark storm clouds. I rekindled childhood memories by climbing to the top but decided not to linger, feeling rather like a lightning rod on the exposed summit


As we passed Haytor quarry in bright sunlight the dark clouds provided an amazing contrast



The clouds all around were bubbling and boiling and we seemed to be just yards from a soaking



We found a fine sheltered spot on Smallacombe Rocks for a cuppa and a slice of cake. We didn’t hang around as our luck was running out and spots of rain were in the air


We walked over one of Dartmoors numerous and very quaint clapper bridges over the Becka Brook


And then up towards and past Greator rocks.



As we passed into Holwell Lawn we came across one of the most stunning displays of bluebells I’ve ever seen



All across open hillside they carpeted the floor in a swathe of purple-blue. Its rare to be able to catch the real sense of colour in a photo. They never seem to be as dense through a lens as they are to the naked eye


Here, that task was easy




We pressed on for more tors over at Bonehill Rocks



Leaving them behind we set off for our final tor, Top Tor


We got a proper soaking in a heavy rain and hail shower that dusted the hills we’d walked on earlier in drifts of white while thunder rumbled and crackled around us. Short-lived, and sunny spells returned for the top and while we finished our fine 6.5 mile back to the car


My second Dartmoor walk in the past year and its wonderful, packed with interesting stuff and a huge variety of landscapes. It deserves a full weekend or holiday all its own or a wild camp to appreciate its austere charms


Satisfied and in need of a little luxury, we headed off to the Althea Library for our weekend stay, with same wonderful room and warm welcome as before



I took a brief stroll around Padstow before our evening out to clear my head (I had a bit of dizzy spell when I arrived) and to enjoy Padstow without the the crowds when it reverts to a peaceful fishing village rather than a tourist fleshpot




Ending the day with a fine curry at The Journeyman restaurant was the perfect finale to a fine first day of my Birthday treat 🙂


Funster Birthday Weekend – Trevose Head   10 comments


A coastal walk today to contrast with the moorland walk of the previous day. Before that a nice little photo of our B&B


We’ve walked many stretches of the coast in the neighbourhood having spent many family holidays down in Cornwall. Trevose Head is one neither of us had done so it seemed an obvious route. Winter had arrived and it was windy and bitterly cold but with a sharp clarity to the air and hopefully not too many showers. We parked up by the beach at Treyarnon Bay, one of our favourites but today we were the only car there


It was a wonderful morning, crashing waves and a mix of blue skies and threatening clouds


Along Constantine Bay beach and then past the very splendidly named Boobys Bay




As you approach the headland there is another “Round Hole” where a sea cave roof has collapsed. Very impressive.



The walks continue around the headland and past the lighthouse




As you round the headland the next three coves of Mother Iveys, Harlyn and Trevone Bays come into view


Mother Iveys Bay is steeply shelving so the waves hit the shore close in making for a great scene of Atlantic aggression.


As we approached Harlyn Bay we caught a glimpse of a seal and he played in the waves while we watched for a few minutes


Onto our last beach at Harlyn


I liked the contrast between the clouds the rippled sand and the seaweed covered rocks


Back along the lanes to the car and with a seven mile walk I was feeling the knee strain when I got back to the car. We decided that we’d earned a lunch at the very nice cafe at the YHA, soup and cider the order of the day


We actually managed to go in the sea as well for some kayaking and body boarding fun. Unsurprisingly we had the sea to ourselves what with it being bitterly cold. I wish I’d taken my camera as after one bruising hailstorm the views were sublime.

A cracking day finished off with another meal out, this time at The Basement in Padstow and once again, wonderful food as part of an ongoing birthday treat. A sacrifice I was willing to make 🙂

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