By: Blonde Two

On Saturday, it was fabulous to see so many families out enjoying Dartmoor. Childish excitement about snow is one that many of us retain into adulthood, myself included; I have a bit of a funny relationship with snow though, I’m not too keen on snowballs or snowmen, but I always have to eat a bit of it (I don’t know if B1 noticed me selecting a tiny patch to munch).

Anyway, there wasn’t actually much snow on the ground around the Haytor area on Saturday (maybe someone had eaten it all), but those that did find a bit of the white stuff were obviously enjoying it.

If you were a bit of a ‘wild Dartmoor’ snob, you might be tempted to think that a walk around the eastern side of the moor might be a bit too ‘easy’, ‘pretty’ or ‘populated’ for you. It would indeed be all of those things, but is definitely not an experience to be sniffed at. For the Two Blondes, this picturesque part of Dartmoor is our ‘escape after work’ place. In the winter, it is the only bit that we can get to before darkness sets in. We almost always end up walking back to the car in the dark anyway, but if you are escaping to the hills it is good to be able to see a view, even one that quickly disappears.

Shadow Trees Welstor

We were showing a visitor around our patch on Saturday. Like most Dartmoor visitors, he had walked parts of this area before. There was lots of chatting, some excellent plans for collaboration and some absolutely amazing views. Our nine kilometre loop took us up three tors, past one Christmas tree, to the edge of one frozen pond, past one mysterious hole, next to a ruined hut, across one flooded stream, up a tractor mudded path, past a mysterious row of trees and to one trig point. For the whole time we had views out to a very wintery looking sea on one side, and an even more wintery looking High Moor on the other. We saw all of the usual Dartmoor landmarks including the Dart, the North Hessary mast and the ‘White’ tors (which were definitely white). In fact, all of it was white, a beautiful winter white to match the clouds that hung above us. Even I couldn’t have eaten that much snow.

Ice Pond Welstor

Did I wish I was over there on the ‘White Side’? Well maybe a little bit, but really I think we had the best of both worlds; we weren’t slipping and sliding, our feet weren’t freezing and we were warm enough to just wander and take in the whole panorama. Well done Dartmoor!