Dartmoor is like nowhere else I’ve been in the UK. The vast open skies and desolate yet beautiful landscapes take your breath away with their grandeur.
Bought from the original landowner by the forestry commission in the 1930’s, they built a few cottages on the plantation to house forestry workers, but there have been inhabitants on the site for a lot longer.
Prehistoric settlements have left their mark on the area, with stone rows visible in the woods, and not one, but two ancient stone clapper bridges.
The clapper bridge at Postbridge.
We parked under the trees and walked out into the sunshine, right onto the banks of the East Dart river, complete with sparkling water, towering pine trees, Bellever Tor rising in the distance, and the ever-watchful Dartmoor ponies foraging in the heather and bracken.
Ruins of ancient clapper bridge.
The iron in the water gives an incredible rusty tint to the river and the rocks, adding a warmth to the scene, even in the weak autumn sun.
A real sense of tranquillity hangs over the forest, and it’s easy to see why people have wanted to live there for so long.
And as we strolled back to the car, we were watched by a lone Dartmoor pony, one of the current residents, and I can’t say I blame them.