After a Covid19 lockdown initiated hiatus, Emily and I made the most of the bank holiday and got out onto Dartmoor. It felt like it had been ages, and in all honesty it really had. 6 months of travel, poor weather and a strict lockdown had prevented us getting out to our local National Park for the best part of a year. Still, that’s the best thing about the outdoors. It’s there waiting for you and it’s all the more glorious for it.
Nothing beats rugged Dartmoor on a sunny day
With many of the hotspots busy in the peak hours (1-4) we headed out with my parents to Venford Reservoir for after 5pm in the hope of having a short walk while avoiding the crowds. While some of the country lanes were a little busy heading out, most of the traffic was leaving Dartmoor and upon reaching the car park we were vindicated in our decision by having plenty of space to ourselves.
The stunning and quiet Venford Reservoir
Taking it slow for my injured dad, we completed the 1.6km circuit of the gorgeous reservoir in a little under an hour. Slow living means enjoying the moments and we made up for the recent lost time. While the last of the bluebells were not as glorious as they would have been earlier in the spring, the azaleas were stunning adding colour to the vibrant woodland. And a cuckoo calling out in the distance made our walk a sensory one across the board.
Bluebells still in bloom
It was quiet and peaceful; only once did we make way for other walkers. In fact we only really shared our walk with the wagtails chasing flies and the grebes skating across the water eating the tadpoles. This family time spent outside was something that gave me my first real dose of normality for several weeks now.
The striking Great Crested Grebe
Heading home via Princetown we drove to Sharpitor. By 7 it was very quiet. With no one else really there the car parks ice-cream van was packing up. Luckily we managed to grab last orders. Vanilla, a flake and a scramble to the jagged top of one of the finest spots in south Dartmoor gave us the expansive views of wilderness that we had been missing. And both Emily and I can’t wait to get back. Stay safe.
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On top of the world for the first time in a while