Monday, 19 August 2013

All These Things I Will Give Thee ...

After lunch in the Kingsley room at the Church House Inn in Holne (where Charles Kingsley's father was vicar at the time of his birth)(though Kingsley being a teetotaller, I doubt he would have spent much time in the pub anyhow), we went for a last little wander on Dartmoor before autumn.  

The moor which wore its winter yellow for so long this year is already laying down a golden sheen over its summery green.  The bracken is just on the turn, but I think it's more down to the heather and autumn gorse in full blossom, and the red-gold carpet of bilberry bushes.  

We set out from the car park at Combstone Tor and walked along the side of the hill above the O Brook for a short way before heading south-east towards the cairns south of Horn's Cross.  A scad of rain blew over us like a cold-fingered ghost but didn't hang about for very long in the breeze. 

I was more intrigued by the ravens - a large group of them.  Two flew in a pair, a few others made solo forays, but most flapped about together, rising and settling like bits of burnt paper.
Maybe they were young birds yet to find a mate. 

Oh and the views were getting sublimier the higher we climbed.  This is looking east, down to where the River Teign meets the sea at Teignmouth.  (The biscuit tin is just over the most distant blue hill on the  left hand side of the picture.)

This is the view over the Dart gorge to Haytor Rocks, Saddle Tor and Rippon Tor on the skyline.

And this is the view from Dartmeet across to Hameldon and the ridge of tors above Widecombe.  

And this is looking over to Venford Reservoir in the middle distance. 

These sheep were more interested in us ... or rather, Ted. 

Up on top of the ridge it started to get a bit boggy.  We picked our way over to the tin mine workings, to which I'd walked before from a completely different start point, and where we could look over to Mardle Head with Ryder's Hill, Snowdon and Pupers Hill beyond. 

'Down over there,' I told Swain, 'is Chalk Ford', and we sat for a bit under sunny blue skies and watched desultory showers drift over the lowlands.  There wasn't even any need to bow down and the worship the Devil; all of it was ours. 

The big question now was had we walked off enough of our Homity Pie to manage a cream tea at Brimpts, near Dartmeet?  We decided we had, although I made a mental note to have a fast day the next day.  

So we picked our way back over the boggy bits and down the hill ...

... to Horn's Cross.  

After filling our faces with scones, thick yellow clotted cream and strawberry jam - in that order, obvs - all that was left of our Dartmoor holiday was to pull into the side of the road at Bennett's Cross above Postbridge and pick a sprig of lucky heather.  

With that luck, we'll be back before long. 

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