Dirty Dartmoor

by backpackingbongos

The dirty in the title refers to the weather that I had over the past week and the muck that generally coated me from the knees down.  The weather was pretty remarkable in its unrelenting dullness, no storms, heavy rain, wind or snow.  Just a thick blanket of cloud draped almost constantly over the moors, stubborn in its refusal to give me a glimpse of what the area had on offer.  Occasionally there would be a break for a couple of hours when huge expanses of grassy moors rising up to tors sitting like ruined castles would be on display.  However just as I would get a spring back in my step and my mood brightened, a fine misty drizzle would return limiting my world to a few grey metres.

I was lucky enough on my first and last day to get brief glimpses of sunshine and I explored the wild northern moors.  To me the area shares similarities with the Elenydd of Mid Wales, miles of tussock grass stretching off into the distance.  However the lack of forestry and the rocky tors give it a real distinctive feel.  An area that I would image would give great backpacking when the military is not firing.  It was good to explore a new area but it is not somewhere I feel that I would rush back to, being a 500 mile round trip (oh the endless joys of the M5!).  For me there are much more rewarding places to visit closer to home.

Over the coming week or so there will be several posts with the dog being dragged through bogs and to the top of tors.  He never did learn that the nice bright green patches amongst the tussock grass are not places to run into.  Plop!

My frequent view of the moors……..

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10 Comments to “Dirty Dartmoor”

  1. What a shame, James. I’m sure you can look forward to MUCH better weather on the TGO Challenge!

  2. As Martin says, what a shame. Dartmoor is a wonderful place, with stacks of excellent walking, but hard to appreciate in miserable conditions. I’ve ordered a family size catering pack of pristine, sunlit days for the Rum trip…

  3. Dartmoor? Where? I’m looking at the picture but can’t see anything…

  4. Martin, I have heard that every day is a sunny day on the TGO challenge. At least I hope so!

    I have also put in the same order for Rum Pete, lets hope the order gets delivered on time……

    Nothing to see here Maz, nothing at all!

  5. Now that’s the Dartmoor I remember from 30 years ago when I first started backpacking. Brings a tear to me eye.

  6. That’s a real pity, the vastness of the Dartmoor wilderness is great for backpacking – when you can see it!. A bit grim in those conditions though.

  7. Hi Jason, surely NZ has some sublime scenery in comparison to dartmoor?

    It was a shame Geoff but I did get a few mist free moments to savour that moorland vastness. Otherwise you only have your own feet to look at when the clag comes down!

  8. Which tors did you go to? If any?

    • I managed a fair amount of Tors Dan, including Great Links, Hare, Ger, Great Mis, Roo, staple, longaford amonst others. I will try and get a few trip reports up soon.

  9. Aaah I’ve only ever been on Hay Tor and Hound Tor. High up but fun to go sledging down when it snows!

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