By: Blonde One

Blonde Two and I were surprised, on a recent walk alongside the River Avon, to see the river in such a fast flowing and full state. The weather, as you can see from the colour of the sky, was perfect for a Dartmoor Way walk. We parked at Shipley Bridge feeling the bite of early Autumn but also feeling the heat of the sunshine. All was well!

It only took us a couple of minutes to hear and see the crashing water over the granite boulders that we are so used to seeing sticking out of this stretch of river. We marvelled at the sight and sound of this powerful force and felt small by comparison.


It didn’t seem to us that we had had much rain over the last few days and certainly not enough to cause such river fury. However, it reminded us of the power of water and Dartmoor’s ability to put a river in spate at the blink of an eye. Rivers will run full and fast very quickly after rainfall, as the water drains from the high moor and will take an awful lot longer to get back to their normal state. It’s worth making sure your route has an alternative to crossing any waterway on the moors just in case. Don’t rely on stepping stones or clapper bridges as these are frequently submerged. If in doubt, turn back! Don’t risk it. None of us want to put lives at risk from our excellent friends at Dartmoor Search and Rescue.

This section of the Dartmoor Way didn’t cross the river fortunately and so was a perfect route for our day.