Saturday afternoon Liam and I went out for a fabulous socially distanced lunch out with his family, where we had some delicious lasagne at Bonnie’s Brunch. A newly opened family run cafe in Plymouth we have all given two thumbs up to. We got back home and decided that even though the promised heat wave wasn’t quite as strong as anticipated, the weather was still far too nice to pass up! We packed up our bags and headed up to Venford Reservoir on Dartmoor, somewhere we had visited earlier this year with Liam’s parents (link). This time however, Liam had something new and exciting in store for me. I couldn’t wait!
The days adventure begins!
The drive up to Venford is absolutely beautiful, honestly this part of the trip alone makes the journey up to Dartmoor completely worth it every. single. time. Rolling empty moorlands, clumps of forest and farm animals roaming near and far in every direction over a patchwork of farm covered hills. It’s amazing. We arrived at the parking lot and found one space left (it was meant to be) and while I thought the number of cars meant it would be absolutely packed, we honestly did not see too many people out the whole afternoon! This place is big enough for everyone to spread out and enjoy feeling like they have these beautiful spaces to themselves.
The water is so inviting, perfect for just sitting besides the stream and dipping your toes in
Straight off of the parking lot was the trail that would take us through a beautiful bit of open hill before starting a slow descent into what I can only really describe as a magical forest. All of the sudden we were surrounded by a canopy of dark emerald trees, following the winding narrow dirt path over tree roots and large rocks. The sound of the river along side us making the whole thing feel even more peaceful than it already was. Not too far down the path and the babbling sound of the water starts to pick up pace, there’s three people enjoying a picnic on a flat grassy area who are just having the best time and ahead of us beneath a massive tree is an older hippie sitting criss-cross in what seems like a perfect spot for a bit of meditating. We turn to look towards the sound of the water and there is the most perfect double waterfall hidden in an earthy alcove. I mean this waterfall is not going to win any medals for being the highest or most powerful thing around but to me it instantly became one of my absolute favourites, and I have seen a lot. Liam and I waded through the just brisk enough to still be enjoyable water, and each took a turn standing right in between the two falls, listening and enjoying everything this spot has to offer. Absolutely a spot we will be visiting again!
So lucky to have such a beautiful place so close to us!
After this amazing surprise I would’ve been thrilled with the whole experience as it was, but this trail had more in store for us. We jumped across to the other side of the stream and headed back up out of this forest wonderland into a wide lane with huge impressive Game of Thrones style trees covering us above.
Getting to experience being surrounded by greenery like this makes the rainy days in England so worth it
Before you know it you are up through to the clearing on the other side. Further up ahead lies our final destination for this incredible walk, Bench Tor. The whole way to the top I couldn’t help but take a break every minute or so. Not because the incline was too steep or anything like that but just because the surrounding views are just so. damn. impressive. At the top of Bench Tor you can see beauty in 360 degrees. The river Dart below, sheep hanging out like ten feet away from us, gorgeous greenery, the hills, the reservoir. It’s inspiring enough to make me want to go running through those hills Sound of Music style, but that level of public display of contentment is so not the English way. So I will just tell you all about it in this blog post instead.
Liam scouting out our next adventure
After a lovely little dinner picnic at the top we decided to head back before it got dark outside. It was a perfect Saturday out. Seriously if you’re ever in the area, consider visiting Venford Reservoir. There’s something here for a person of any age to enjoy some quality time in nature. You won’t be disappointed!
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Look at their cute little faces!