By: Blonde Two
Over the last few weeks, we Blondes have been on the, very pleasant, receiving end of some fantastic local Dartmoor hospitality. As a visitor it is sometimes easy to forget that Dartmoor is very much a working environment. The land, farms, facilities and businesses on Dartmoor are all managed and worked by locals and, for many, it is a living that isn’t always easy. If you are thinking about visiting Dartmoor it could be hard to choose between Dartmoor walking, Dartmoor swimming, Dartmoor cycling and Dartmoor running, not to mention Dartmoor pub enjoyment and Dartmoor cafe attendance but one thing that is for sure, sooner or later you will come across some excellent Dartmoor hospitality. By the way, if you are looking for Dartmoor accommodation or things to do on Dartmoor, take a look at the most excellent Visit Dartmoor website… they really do have the moor covered. Here are our four recent examples of Dartmoor hospitality:
Tor Royal Farm Dartmoor
Jobbers’ Road Dartmoor (Princetown to Hexworthy)
One of our DofE groups recently camped at Tor Royal Farm. It was a miserable, wet day and, after a long walk with heavy packs, our youngsters arrived dripping and smiling in equal measure. They were shown to their camp field and then offered some shelter under which to cook their tea. We weren’t there when they left in the morning but when we met them soon after they told us about the praise and encouragement they had received from the family at Tor Royal Farm. If you fancy a lovely Bed and Breakfast right on the edge of some fabulous Dartmoor walking, Tor Royal Farm is definitely one to try (we haven’t yet, but we will one day…)
The Plume of Feathers Pub Dartmoor
We Blondes are big fans of the Plume of Feathers in Princetown (aka ‘The Plume’). They serve delicious local sausages, big pints of Dartmoor’s Jail Ale and pies that are positively bursting at the seams with tastiness (if you want to eat there, we recommend booking a table). The Plume also has a variety of accommodation and it was during one of the many storms with which this winter appears to have been blighted, that they very kindly changed a booking and put themselves out to accommodate our youngsters and allow them to undertake their expedition training.
Fox Tor Cafe Dartmoor
If you wander through Princetown on a winter or spring weekend and see the windows of a cafe steamed up and the doors bulging you will undoubtedly be looking at Fox Tor Cafe. Long time supporters of and sustenance providers for Ten Tors and DofE managers and their teams, Fox Tor Cafe is our favourite Blonde meeting and cake consumption location. We also love the Fox Tor Bunkhouse and would like to say a special thank you to Dave’s team for installing some rather luxurious hot showers and providing piping hot radiators and underfloor heating to dry wet kit.
Runnage Farm Camping
Bellever Forest Dartmoor
Runnage Farm is near to Postbridge and the lovely Bellever Forest and they offer a range of Dartmoor camping -type accommodation including camping barns (‘stone tents’). Again our DofE youngsters, who were sleeping in actual tents, received a very warm welcome despite the fact that the farm was in the middle of lambing. We Blondes too experienced the friendliness and helpfulness of the Runnage Farm team, especially when it came to drying rooms, minibus manoeuvring opportunities and general encouragement. We left our youngsters there confident that they would be offered help if they needed it.
If you talk to any Dartmoor outdoor leader they will tell you tales of hospitality, particularly in the face of adversity. All part of the Dartmoor experience and all part of the reason we love Dartmoor so much.
By the way, if upon reading this, it looks as though we only take our youngsters out in the rain, be encouraged… we have had one whole day of sunshine so far this year!