A Dartmoor Walk, Shaugh Bridge and Dewerstone

on October 19, 2015

There’s a reason walking is known as the British ” National Pastime.” And that’s because it’s all so freakin’ beautiful.

this little pup knows it!

  
 

I’ve even found myself reading articles for my dissertation about wellbeing benefits and self actualizarion through walking as a meaning making occupation (it’s a mouthful right??). The British have made walking legit.

   

I’ve always loved walking – does that sound like a weird sentence to you? If it does you’re probably American, because it does to me, too! In the USA, at least in my experience, we don’t really respect “walking” as an occupation. It’s more like…a necessary skill to get from one place to another. Not something you’d just do for fun.

 

And for us Americans if you’re going to justify walking as an occupation, it better be in a desert or up a huge mountain or on an iceberg or you better do it really fast, (actually that’s just running now?? But we accept running! The more painstaking the better)
   

This is all to say that I’m really happy to be in a place where people like to, and respect, just plain old walking!

So this weekend I got out my trusty hiking boots and yellow raincoat and set out for a 4 mile walk on Dartmoor! We started out at Shaugh Bridge and hiked up a steep hill/forest to the Dewerstone, which is basically a huge rock.

    

But a huge rock with really good views!

 

We settled down here for a bit to eat our packed lunches. It was a pretty chilly, grey day (dry though, thankfully!!).

   

And soon enough we were on our way over the moor. It didn’t take long to run into a pack of Dartmoor ponies.

    
 

I was informed that Dartmoor ponies are semi wild – they are almost all owned by someone…somewhere…but they mostly just do what they feel like. It used to be that they were rounded up every spring and sold as workhorses for the mines, but seeing as we don’t exactly need ponies to carry things in mines anymore, you can get one for as low as £10! A lot of the time nowadays they are bought as meat for Zoo animals. Which is all very weird and sad because they are almost endangered…

  
  

We also came across this ancient “moor crossing” sign post! The top (cross) part is hundreds and hundreds of years old, restored in the 1800’s by the addition of the bottom part.

  

And then we ventured across the river Plym. You guessed it – that’s where Plymouth got its name from!
  

some adventurous steppung stone crossers

  

And it wouldn’t have been a day complete without a typical British ice cream truck parked out in the middle of no where…

    

As we ventured back through the forest to the car, we passed many pheasants and even a huge buck and deer in the woods. As a Michigander I’m not very impressed by deer (in fact they’re more considered a nuisance), but it is very rare to find them in England, particularly bucks!
  

And quick as that I was in the car back to Plymouth…and the heaps of procrastinated research that awaited me.

I hope you all found time this weekend to get outside despite all of your work!

Sarah xx

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