Dartmoor is an extraordinary place to walk, full of the ghosts of the past, both historic and archaeological and home to some of our most well known tales in literature, such as The Hound of the Baskervilles. Sir Arthur Conon Doyle was a frequent visitor to Dartmoor many of local landmarks were woven into the book. Foxtor Mires and Grimspound were reinvented as the foggy and treacherous Grimpen Mire.
Agatha Christie used Dartmoor as inspiration for a clutch of her novels, such as The Idol, House of Astarte and The Sittaford Mystery. More recently of course Dartmoor played host to Steven Spielberg and film crew during the making of War Horse by the Devon author Michael Morpurgo.
One of the most poignant Dartmoor walks is the pilgrimage to Jays Grave. Jay an unmarried 18 century local girl fell 'with child' and with no one to support her and her reputation in ruins she took her own life. Her grave islocated here.
The local musician Seth Lakeman wrote a song about her.
Lydford Gorge is the most enchanted valley and surely the best of all the walks in Dartmoor. The deepest river gorge in England is home to the famous White Lady Waterfalls and the Devil's Cauldron. There are a variety of walks on offer from gentle meanderings to rugged terrain and steep wooded hillside.
In his book Westward Ho! by Charles Kingsley, he gives an account of an attack by a band of notorious outlaws, the Gubbins said to live in the gorge. In the book the travellers are attacked by a dozen of the 'savages' and Salvation Yeo kills them all including their leader Rowle. Whatever the truth of the Gubbins family the gorge today is a must to visit!
From lofty tors to windswept moors,Dartmoor is a place of indescribable beauty and of haunting desolation There are so many good Dartmoor walks from ancient stone circles to 1950s disused railway tracks, quarries, ruined dwellings and long gone estates who's only memory now lingers in a gate and stone pillars in the middle of a bleak moorland landscape.
Reservoirs glint and Plymouth Sound sparkles nestled between the hills . Way markers, standing stones and pack bridges abound, over burbling rivers like the pretty Two Bridges east of Princetown.
There are so many places to stop for refreshments after good walk on the moors like the excellent Warren House Inn with its famous everlasting fire not extinguished since 1845. Visit here for the very tasty rabbit pie.
The Royal Oak at Meavy is worth a mention, good pub food in a small village with a traditional village green. During the filming of War Horse the cast all had lunch here.
The picturesque village of Widecombe in the Moor is picture postcard perfect with a handful of good cafes serving Devon Cream Teas and let me say that the only way to eat a Devon Cream Tea is with the cream on top!
It may seem a bit macabre but if you are walking around Princetown it is well worth a visit to the Dartmoor Prison Museum. Dartmoor prison was built in 1806 for the incarceration of Napoleonic prisoners of war.
It has since housed some of the country's most notorious prisoners. Take a look at the 'Black Museum' which holds a collection of items made illegally for nefarious purposes! The visit will leave you thinking about crime, punishment and rehabilitation.
Whatever you decide to do and wherever you decided to go there are so many things to do and see on Dartmoor. Rose Cottage is an ideal base to explore from and you can be sure of a comfortable and cosy stay. I look forward to meeting you and hope you enjoy your Dartmoor walks!