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Clare
Clare

Day 3: Dartmoor

The good thing about staying in the middle of Devon is that it gives us lots of options for where to travel. Yesterday, we went north to Exmoor. Today, we decided to go south to Dartmoor.  Our first stop was a place called Castle Drogo, right on the edge of Dartmoor. Castle Drogo isn't a real castle, having been constructed between 1911 and 1930. But the property is owned by the National Trust and has a reasonably large car park, which you can park in to do walks on the estate, even if you're not interested in visiting the property.  The estate includes views of the Teign Gorge and I had found a walk on the National Trust website which we were planning to attempt.

We had a great view as soon as left the car park behind and started walking towards the main path.

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It was quite cloudy and overcast this morning, but that just made the views towards Dartmoor look more atmospheric :) 

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As we headed towards the woods, I was surprised to see that there were still bluebells out :) 

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The path led us above the treeline initially. 

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As we walked, we began to have views down into the gorge of the river Teign.

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The landscape was quite rocky on this side of the gorge.

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And the gorge itself was so deep that we couldn't even see the river at the bottom.

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The path was absolutely beautiful though :)

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After a while the path led us quite steeply downhill through a wood...

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...until we eventually found the river Teign :)

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We crossed it via a bridge called Fingle Bridge, which was built in the seventeenth century.

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From here a flatter path ran alongside the river for a while.

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We could see back up towards the opposite side of the gorge where we'd started and it looked like we were going to have a long walk back up to the car!

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For now, the path was mostly flat though :)

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Eventually we came to a bridge...

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...and crossed over the river.

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From here the path did lead back uphill, but it was gentler than the way we'd come down.

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I was amazed when, partway along this path, we came across some wild ponies :o 

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As we emerged from the woods, there were some beautiful views once again.

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The path led all the way around the side of the hill.

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We had some great views back down towards where we'd been in the gorge.

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Once we got back to the vicinity of the car park, we were able to look at where we'd been on the map. We'd walked from the "you are here" sign all the way down to Fingle Bridge, then along the far side of the river and back up.

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It was only a four mile walk, but with all the up and down it felt longer! We had some refreshments in the National Trust cafe before setting off on our second activity of the day, which was a scenic drive across Dartmoor.

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We followed a beautiful road, which took us to the small village of Postbridge.

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We parked for a while in Postbridge and went for a stroll.

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Postbridge is famous for having a clapper bridge, similar to the Tarr Steps.

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This one is estimated to be 700 years old :o 

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It doesn't feel scary when you're standing on it because it's quite wide and flat, but it looks very high above the river when you see it from a distance.

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Our roadtrip ended in Tavistock, which turned out to be a pretty little place. 

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We had a stroll around, admiring this beautiful church.

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We had actually been hoping to find some food in Tavistock, but drew a bit of a blank. The owners of the cabin we're staying in had recommended a pub with good food, so we decided to drive to that instead. Unfortunately that was also unsuccessful, as it turns out to be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. But in the end we did find a lovely place where we were able to sit outside in the sunshine :) 

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Tim tried a Devon pasty, which looks very similar to a Cornish pasty, but apparently is chunkier and has less swede. I opted for a slightly less exciting cheese baguette :D 

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We had puddings too, before heading back towards the cabin for an evening of attempting to find a strong enough phone signal to post a blog :D 

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