Bluebell the motorhome is parked up at The Plume of Feathers pub “campsite” in Princetown, on Dartmoor. Rain stopped play somewhat today- that along with some absolutely moronic drivers on the road – one of which literally seemed intent on forcing us off the road!!
We had a fantastic meal last night and slept like logs in our castle location (no spooky shenanigans to report!) Our first stop today was to a street in Okehamptom, to look for Keith’s mum’s old house. She grew up in Okehampton and lived here until she moved to London for teacher training, and Keefy has memories of coming to visit his grandparents here in Okehampton.
After a trip down memory lane, we carried on into the depths of Dartmoor. We took the road to Chagford, a very pretty but small Devonshire town, however seeing as we managed to visit on market day we struggled to negotiate Bluebell through the crowds and the nutty IMPATIENT local drivers- one of which was in such a hurry they couldn’t wait behind us as we waited in a passing place to allow an oncoming driver to pass us on the single track road, so decided to overtake us and nearly ended up in a head on collision right next to us.
Another driver decided as we were exiting the town (and contemplating at how a scooter may be a worthy addition to our gear!) that they’d had enough of us driving cautiously seeing as there were market goers everywhere and decided to overtake us at an alarming speed and once beside us tried to barge us off the road (I’m honestly not making this up!!) Thank god I noticed him in the wing mirror and managed to swerve up on the pavement to avoid a chunk being taken out of our van (god knows what else) but even more of a miracle was that there were no pedestrians on that stretch as my reflex swerve failed to notice pre swerve and I don’t think they would have faired well.
The whole experience shook me up beyond belief and frankly ruined my day , I couldn’t stop shaking and felt physically sick at the thought of what could have been. Keith took over driving duties from therein and after a strong cuppa and cake overlooking the fast disappearing view in a nearby layby we were ready to hot the road again.
Next stop was Postbridge, to see the medieval Clapper Bridge. The weather by this point had well and truly turned but we still enjoyed half an hour wondering around and a trip to the visitor centre.
By this point unfortunately my mood had reached a new low, so we decided to take refuge at the nearby a Plume of Feathers pub in Princetown. We’d read this was a pub stop where you could park overnight in return for a meal but on enquiring they wanted to charge £6.95 pp pn regardless of us eating in there or not. As the weather was crappy we relented, but decided not to eat- we would have been happy paying £14 had it been a proper campsite, but we were told to park on the carpark. There was however an Elsan point which proved useful and some showers which looked like they’d not been cleaned in a month. We’d have been happier parking on their carpark for free and then spending £50 on a nosh up meal there. Their loss though…
We did however try a pint of Dartmoor brewery’s Jail Ale, named after the Jail that is in town… It was a great pint and definitely made me feel a bit better!
The new day dawned dry thank goodness, and as such my mood was much better. Today was sadly time to go home, but in an effort to avoid getting stuck in traffic, and seeing as the weather was looking good, we decided to try another day on Dartmoor before setting off for the M5 around 4pm.
First stop was to be “Wistman’s Wood” – a weird yet wonderful landscape full of myth and legend. It’s about 1.5 miles walk each way from the small parking area opposite Two Bridges hotel. The trees in this wood are dwarf trees and give the impression of old men bent over as you get closer.
The views on the walk were lovely down the valley.
Next stop was to find one of the stone Tors that are so iconic of Dartmoor. We headed towards Coombestone Tor, and was really happy with how Bluebell coped with the dramatic road up. This was a great collection of rocks, and we enjoyed climbed up onto them and posing for silly pictures!
The good thing about this particular Tor is that you can get there easily in the car/van, so no long walk to get there! 🙂
It was a good place for a spot of lunch and a cuppa, and I’m fairly sure you could have a very quiet night wild camping up there too.
Next stop was the pretty village of Widdecombe on the Moor- a very picturesque Dartmoor village (and pleased to report ample parking too!)
Last stop, but by no means least, was the incredible viewpoint at the top of the road out of Widdecombe on the Moor (The B3387 between Haytor and Bovey Tracy)
We hadn’t intended on going here, but stumbled across it by accident- the view was tremendous as you can see from the pic above, and it was a hive of activity with lots of people climbing the 500 metres or so up to the two Stone Tors away from the road.
It really was a perfect way to finish our holiday- we’ve had a great time exploring the West Country. Our holiday highlights were Clovelly, Treen/Pothcurno, and Lydford. We left our viewpoint at 4pm and had a marvellous journey back, arriving into our lovely Norfolkshire village at 10:30 on the dot.
Until next time