By: Blonde Two
Blonde One and I have both mentioned the wonderful Dartmoor 365 book to you before. If you visit or live near to Dartmoor, you really should get a copy. It splits Dartmoor into squares and gives you lots of things to look for – some are easy, some are more challenging, some are even pubs! Using the book to plan your walks turns the whole day (or night) into a giant treasure hunt.
Despite our stubbornness, we don’t always find what we are looking for (as you saw from Blonde One’s blog on Tuesday but today, I thought I would tell you about some of the recent squares we have found;
1. Devil’s Elbow SX581729 – I have never seen the devil here but if you go by place names, he inhabits a lot of Dartmoor. Devil’s Elbow is a bend in the road between Princetown and Yelverton where Devil’s bridge crosses the River Meavy. It is easy to find in the car but car treasure hunts don’t count for the Two Blondes so oddly, although I have been there many times, it remains un-ticked. There is however, another bridge over the Meavy about 2km downstream. It consists of a narrow corrugated metal strip that doesn’t reach the edge of the river and wobbles a lot. I had to cross it in the dark on Thursday and I am sure that some devil or other was making it wobble especially for me.
2. Wall’s End SX656815 – You may think that the end of a wall is an odd piece of treasure to collect but Dartmoor walls are endlessly fascinating to the Two Blondes, not least because they often mark the way home. This one is particularly odd. On the map, three walls meet in a kind of T junction. The odd thing isn’t that one wall turns into a fence (things are not always what they seem on Dartmoor maps), it is more that the walls surround land which is on three completely different levels. From the mid level, you climb a high ladder stile to the top level and then a big drop down another ladder stile to the lowest level. It may be that when we go back in daylight, this will all make more sense but it was a bit bewildering to Two tired Blondes on Monday night.
3. Merrivale Antiquities SX555747 – Merrivale has such an abundance of ancient relics that despite its position just off the road, it is impossible to be there and not be transported back to the time at which they were built (Bronze Age). It is a treasure hunt to beat all treasure hunts. The most impressive (and fun to check out on the map) is the double stone row which runs East/West for about 400m. From the end of this, you can easily find an impressive standing stone. Stonehenge may be on a bigger scale but on Dartmoor we can offer you hut circles, stone rows, menhirs, kistvaens and no doubt a few ghosts in a single square kilometre.
So get yourself a copy of Dartmoor 365 and set off on your own treasure hunt. But be warned, it will become addictive and you will find yourself becoming more and more stubborn about finding things.