Day on Dartmoor

Haytor on Dartmoor

A while back I had a holiday break, staying down in Devon, a stones throw from Dartmoor National Park. In the 80’s as a family, we always had a summer holiday and often it was down in Devon. I have a soft spot for the area, it’s true! On this occasion I had a day out, on or surrounding the moor, with my Pentax ME Super and some Agfa Vista 200.

If you were to take the main road from Bovey Tracey, up onto the moor, the first real Tor you would come across is Haytor, here occupied by climbers. Views from around are wonderful on a clear day. Along the same road Widecombe-in-the-moor, appears in the valley. If you are a film fan, you might recognise it from, Spielberg’s’ War Horse, some early scenes were filmed almost from this spot below.

Typical view of Dartmoor
Widecombe in the moor

Where the two main roads across Dartmoor cross there is a little settlement called “Two Bridges” – not hard to guess why! This was a good place to stop for a drink in the “Two Bridges Hotel” before setting out for a walk out into the moor and Wistman’s Wood. I’ve made a post about the wood before, you can read that here, so I’ll just post a photo from the River Dart, with the wood in the background now.

River Dart – look upstream towards Wistmans Wood
Buckfast Abbey

Back tracking, and heading south, I dropped down off the moor to Buckfast, home to a Benedictine monastery. To the outside world maybe most famous for it Tonic Wine. It is the only alcoholic drink I ever remember my mother drinking, even then in tiny quantities at a time! Strange that she should choose a caffeinated (pretty much the same as Red Bull!), fortified wine, rather than something less potent, but who am I to comment! These days it’s made elsewhere under licensee from the monks. The other claim to fame is the Buckfast Bee. Inside the Abbey, I remember well as a teen, being impressed with the “new” stained glass window. I wonder if that’s where my love and interest in stained glass started? Anyway, back then I made a transparency on Kodachrome 64! I still have that somewhere, but for now here is the window, on Vista. It’s a “sneaky” picture as photography is frowned upon!

A short stroll away is Buckfastleigh, home to the South Devon Railway. It runs steam, mostly alongside the river Dart, about the 7 miles to the town of Totnes. Again I have memories of this from my youth and a few Kodachromes somewhere.

Buckfastleigh Station on the South Devon Railway

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