Moss the Dartmoor Dog Blogger here! I hope you are all getting excited about the arrival of Spring – I certainly am! It’s a great time to get out and about and admire the spring flowers (I like sticking my nose in them).
Mardon Down – walk of stunning views and ancient history One of my favourite walks is right on the doorstep of where I live on the outskirts of Moretonhampstead, it is called Mardon Down. It is easy to find on a map, so I am told, and there are a number of small parking areas. It can be muddy, so unless you are walking in the summer, we suggest wellington boots!
Mardon Down is a great big lump of land above the town of Moretonhampstead, you can see it from miles around, and I always get excited when I see we are driving up to it. You can read more about it here.
Once you are up there you can see for miles! My human says you can see as far as the sea near Teignmouth, to Haldon Tower near Exeter and, on a clear day, the edge of Exmoor. Of course, Dartmoor is easy to see as it is only a mile or so away, and you can see Hay Tor and the wonderfully named Hound Tor too.
There are lots and lots of tracks on the Down so you can wiggle about as much as you like. These are lots of gorse and ferns and I like getting in among them and sniffing for rabbits. There are always lots of twittering Skylarks – I can hear them, but I can’t often see them as they fly so high. We also hear cuckoos and Stone Chats, there is always lots going on!
When the birds are nesting, I have to be kept on my lead so I don’t disturb them, which is very boring, but only right and proper.
Sometimes, there are cattle grazing, as it is common land, so I always give them a wide berth, and there are often Dartmoor ponies to be seen too – I give them an even wider berth! And lots and lots of rabbits! It is a really nice place to walk.
There are also lots of big bits of stone, some of them arranged in circles. My human says these are ancient stone circles and very important. I only know they are great to run around. We often park at a place they call Headless Cross. It is a big stone stood up in the air and has historic importance. She is adding a link here about this as I am too young to understand it all, but there are lots of ancient myths and legends about the area.
It is best to take a proper map with you, but it is hard to get lost. It is a really nice place to visit as you can do a big figure of eight walk of an hour and a half or so, or just a little short one of ten minutes. I obviously like the longer version, but then I have four legs, not two.
Have fun, Moss.
I am Moss, a German Wirehaired Pointer and I live on Dartmoor and, let me tell you, it is a great place to be a dog! Not only are there zillions of great places to walk, rivers to jump in and rocky bits to climb, it’s also a really dog friendly place. Pretty much everywhere I go I am welcomed. Pubs and Hotels give me dog biscuits and when I go to events I get to meet lots of my doggy friends. If your people are looking for a place to take you on holiday, Dartmoor is a fab choice.
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