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England

Today we explored Dartmoor National Park

After an early breakfast we set off to visit Dartmoor National Park. It is a vast moorland in the county of Devon, where Dartmoor ponies roam free on its craggy landscape, defined by forests, rivers, wetlands and tors (rock formations). Trails wind through valleys with Neolithic tombs, Bronze Age stone circles and abandoned medieval farmhouses. We discovered ancient landscapes with stunning views, awe inspiring granite tors, deep valleys with fast flowing rivers, and rugged, wide open spaces.

We visited the Merrivale prehistoric site which has a large number of bronze age megalithic monuments that include stone rows (including a double stone row), stone circles, standing stone (menhir) and burial cairns. As we travelled we enjoyed seeing the Dartmoor ponies grazing together, with the majestic Dartmoor as their backdrop.

We also visited one of the best known prehistoric settlements on Dartmoor called Grimspound. Grimspound dates from the late Bronze Age (about 1450–700 BC). We hiked up a rugged hillside in the rain (first time wearing rainwear this whole trip) to an ancient settlement in a valley, where the remains of 24 stone roundhouses within a massive boundary wall about 150 metres in diameter. It was amazing to wander through and see this ancient settlement. From the settlement we hiked up to Hookney Tor to enjoy the stunning views of the rugged Dartmoor area.

After our bit of exercise we stopped at an old hotel on the moor (picture Hound of the Baskerville), for a Devonshire cream tea. A Devonshire cream tea consists of a freshly-baked scone with a mountain of clotted cream and strawberry jam on it with a steaming pot of Earl Grey tea! Delicious!

As we headed back towards our B&B we stopped in Tavistock, where we walked around the village streets. This was the birthplace of Sir Francis Drake, and home to an old abbey. We checked out an old cemetery blooming with wildflowers.

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Dartmoor ponies
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Stone Rows
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Burial Cairn
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Standing Stone
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Grimspound settlement
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Gate entrance into settlement
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Base for a roundhouse
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On the boulders surrounding the settlement
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Grimspound with Hookney Tor on the hilltop
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View from Hookney Tor
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View from Hookney Tor
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Up on Hookney Tor
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Devonshire cream tea
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Pretty spot along the road
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Clapper Bridge
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Old buildings in Tavistock
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Old cemetery
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Posted by Jimpat 09:40

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