By: Blonde Two
One of the things that we Blondes love about map and compass navigation is the ability it gives you to explore your favourite places (in our case Dartmoor) off the map. Navigating is, to us, like a two way treasure hunt; you can set off to see what things you have found on the map look like and you can find out what things on the ground actually are. Here are our ten ideas of things to find when you are out walking on Dartmoor.
A Dartmoor stream
There is nothing better on a hot afternoon than dangling your bare feet in soft, running water. There are plenty of Dartmoor streams but be warned, some of the ones on the map are actually bogs!
A Dartmoor stone row
If your navigation skills are good, you will be able to find Dartmoor’s longest stone row on Stall Moor (SX 635 644). Our favourite (SX 591 669) is at Drizzlecombe.
A Dartmoor trig point
There are over 30 trig points on Dartmoor and they all make great points for navigation practice (especially if you are doing night navigation). Our favourite (SX 655 586) is at Three Barrows.
A Dartmoor leat
Leats are manmade waterways and, on the map, look different to streams because they tend to follow contour lines. Our favourite Dartmoor leat spot is a certain kink (SX 581 707) in the Devonport Leat.
A Dartmoor haunted house
You will probably have to go out at night if you want to spot a Dartmoor haunted house. Sometimes the map gives great clues to these things, how about Bleak House (SX 559 864) near Great Links Tor (not pictured)?
A Dartmoor hut circle
There are hut circles all over Dartmoor, some are more visible than others but they all make great navigation practice. If you want to get an idea of how hut circles looked in the Bronze Age, Grimspound (SX 700 809) is the place for you.
A Dartmoor waterfall
The East Dart waterfall (SX 627 810) is a beautiful spot and also a useful crossing place on the East Dart. It features in our children’s book, ‘Dart the River‘ and is a great walk up from Postbridge.
A Dartmoor film location
If you are a War Horse fan, you might recognise the house at Ditsworthy Warren House (SX 584 662). Even if you are not, this is a lovely spot and really close to the Drizzlecombe stone rows.
A Dartmoor giant
Bowerman’s Nose (SX 740 804) is another popular landmark. He will tower above you when you get there but isn’t always obvious when you are looking for him. Say ‘hello’ from us if you do visit. Ignatius Bowerman is the hero in another of our children’s books.
A Dartmoor cafe
Even the most eager of Dartmoor walkers will admit to enjoying a mug of tea and piece of tasty cake at the end of a walk. Dartmoor has some wonderful eating places but our favourite is well documents, Fox Tor Cafe in Princetown (SX 591 734).
If you want to explore Dartmoor from the comfort of your own sofa, we will let you do so for an hour. After that it will be time to go out and walk but take a look at OS Maps before you go, it gives a great aerial view as well as a map view and will give you some idea of what you are going to find.