My list of places to see past Summer was long, though it certainly did not include Dartmoor National Park. But since it literally is on the way from Jurassic Coast to Cornwall, I thought it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to stop by. And I was not mistaken.
So, what did I see in Dartmoor National Park? The place is famous for its tors, which are huge granite hilltops scattered on its area. Plenty to choose from, but I picked Hay Tor as it was the closest to the National Park borders from the South. I started my journey in Bovey Tracey and had a short walk towards my destination (about 1,5 hours, with my heavy backpack 2 :P). The walk is quite easy, not too steep. And at the end of it you will enter the area of moors, which for me was the first live experience with such landscape.
The tor is situated on a hill and at the bottom of it there is an Information Centre with souvenirs to buy (of course). Luckily enough, the staff was so kind to let me leave my backpack for the time of my visit. That is rather unusual and very kind of them as nowadays, for safety reasons, the places available to leave your luggage at are so scarce. Unfortunately, this is such a pain in the bum, which you’ll only understand once you decide to go on a backpack trip 😛
The tor itself is a funny-looking thing. It looks as if the rocks just started to melt at some point in the sun. The best part is that you can climb them. And the views of the landscape are truly priceless!
On my way down, I discovered a box underneath one of the rocks, and that was the sweetest thing I’ve seen in ages! A little girl decided to gather peoples’ notes in her notebook. She’s only 5 now and when she grows up, she will look at it with fondness. I just adore such clever and creative ideas!
But the real experience waited for me on the way to my next destination. I had this crazy idea of walking through the park a bit more. A bit meant… 6 hours. With my backpack. And this was one of those situations where you learn from experience. A hard way. The pain was so excruciating, that at the end of the day I thought I would literally lose one of my shoulders. I am not even joking! Oh, did I mention that it was raining most of the time? Aaand I also figured that the moors are so amazing that it’s good to get off the beaten track to explore a bit more. That gave me the pleasure to see some of the cattle and wild horses up close. I also felt a bit like a character of one of my favourite British novels, Wuthering Heights. The weather, wind, moors and lonesome trees. I was literary just waiting to hear Katy and Heathcliff’s whispers somewhere in the distance 😉
Overall, Dartmoor was one of those places I nearly missed out on but would badly regret it. I will happily come back to see some more of tors in the future!
I must also mention my AirBnB place, which was just great. The room in Shaptor’s Studio was one of the nicest rooms I stayed at throughout the whole of my backpack journey. Bright, spacious and most importantly, decorated by the owner herself, who is a talented artist.
And just like that, I managed to visit my second UK’s National Park!
More information about what to see in Dartmoor National Park you can find on its official website.