Autumn, the days are short, the nights are drawing in and there’s a chill in the air that signals the change of season. It’s time for crisp colourful leaves, cosy jumpers, bonfires and burning but we’re using the chance to get away for a long weekend. This time we’ve gone to the opposite end of the country from our last trip to Orkney and now we’re down to Devon and going wild about Dartmoor.
Wild ponies, wild life and wild weather. We’ve had some windy, wet and wild weather, the kind of weather that can make Dartmoor dangerous 10 steps from the car. In places, it’s remote, barren, bleak but beautiful, when we could see it that is. What to see on Dartmoor God only knows, the rain and mist does its best to make Dartmoor dark and atmospheric with freezing fog drowning out any sweeping vistas.
The place is cold enough freeze the hounds of hell, quite apt considering that Conan Doyle used Dartmoor as the location in The Hounds of the Baskerville, we’re here with our very own hound from hell, though we call him Lord Nelson. We visited from Haytor and Hound Tor to Merrivale and Grimspound, and in all honesty, we got soaked with viscous windswept rain soaking us to the skin. Trying to take a photograph was an absolute nightmare and with a new DSLR, I was eager not to kill this one like we did with our last one with the rain in Iceland.
The joy of Dartmoor is in the wildlife. The hardy breed of the Dartmoor pony is an iconic sight, semi ferral and grazing on the grass. They’ve seen some extreme weather but they appear friendly readily coming up to the car. It’s a good job they know where to shelter, roaming wild about Dartmoor with over 386 square miles of granite tors and moorland which we could easily get lost in. The mist, fog and rain have robbed us of views and we’ll be back one day. Just one day when it’s not so rainy.