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Dartmoor Explorations

Dartmoor 1843

“A Visit to Dartmoor 1843 – On the afternoon of last Friday we left the city (Exeter), and not knowing of any regular conveyance, and being rather partial to pedestrian exercise, determined to accomplish the journey on foot. It may be unnecessary  to go over the often-related tale of Devonshire …

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Cranmere 1883

There have been and are many ways of getting to Cranmere Pool but to my knowledge not many go by pony and certainly not the route Mr. Firth took in 1883 with the help of a local guide. As always I make no apologies for quoting the author’s exact words …

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Drewsteignton Drive

Here is an account of a man’s visit to Drewsteignton in 1848, as always some of what he saw is still visible today but also much has been lost in time. Obviously the church is still there along with all what is described in his visit. The “New Inn” is …

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Belstone 1899

Following on from the 1899 Torquay to Chagford excursion this now takes up the next leg of the journey to Belstone. I wonder how many people fortunate enough to live on the Moors still take pleasure in the various unique sunsets, the seasonal changes of the agricultural year and the …

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Torquay to Chagford

Today if you wanted to travel from Torquay to Chagford it would take 59 minutes to travel the 26.8 miles by motor vehicle. Imagine for the same journey in 1899 you had to get a train at Torquay Station travelling to Newton Abbot then passing through Bovey Tracy and on …

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An Adventure on Dartmoor

Someone once told me that “on Dartmoor you can never measure distance by time,” in many cases a most prophetic statement. There can be so many variants such as both recent and current weather conditions, unfamiliar terrain and other such embuggerances. Therefore if you are incognisant with the Moor never …

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Knowing Dartmoor

As with many of these 19th century topographical writings there are some fascinating insights into Dartmoor of yesteryear and this one is no exception. Clearly penned by a true ‘Moorman’ who spent over half a century amidst stream and tor. He also gives a poignant political viewpoint of Dartmoor in …

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Fairweather’s Dartmoor

“A few minutes before three o’clock on Thursday afternoon we presented ourselves at M.r Fairweather’s Commercial Hotel, preparatory to a Char-a-banc trip over the moor. This was the opening day for the summer season. The “Newtonian” and four fine steeds as even a country squire could wish for, all in …

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By Coach and Rail

Since the popularity of Dartmoor excursions began in the mid 1800s it was not always possible to get to the starting points from which the ‘tour operators’ ran. Even with the advent of the early Dartmoor railroads it still made experiencing the Moor difficult. So in the late 1888s both …

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Three Men in a Gorge

Here follows a delightful account of three men who visited Lydford Gorge in 1895 and who were being guided by a ‘local’ with an intimate knowledge of the terrain. Today it is easy to navigate yourself around Lydford Gorge and all that it has to offer but that has not …

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