Last week was a funny one! After the blazing heatwave, the cloudy, grey mornings were a shock to the system, and the torrential rain caught me out completely. They say ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather – only unsuitable clothes’ and goodness, did I feel unsuitably clothed a few times last week!
Luckily, we had some indoor fun planned and went to a Magical Teatime Stories session as part of Tiverton Literary Festival. It was so well organised and such fun that the children are really keen to go again sometime, so I will be keeping my eye out for future events.
We had three trips onto Dartmoor – one sunny, one grey and damp and one absolutely soaking! Our sunny trip was great fun, we just pottered around the moor close to Haytor but out of the way of the popular spots. The children loved seeing a pack of ponies close by, and spent a lot of time collecting sticks for unspecified reasons, which were then mercifully allowed to be left behind ‘for the birds’. Whether there are any birds on Dartmoor big enough to have uses for sticks that size, I doubt, but…!
If you’re keen to get out and about on the moor with children but don’t know where to go, I’ve compiled some suggestions for you. We finished our trip with a stop at Ullacombe Farm for yummy food while the children played.
Our damp expedition was to The Sentry in Moretonhampstead. I had promised to take the children swimming after school, and due to the gloomy day we almost had the lovely Moretonhampstead Outdoor Pool to ourselves. As the pool is heated and the air temperature was quite warm, we enjoyed a lovely swim, and as we were wet anyway, the rain didn’t really bother us at all. Until, that is, we set out to walk the dog after and quickly realised the drizzly mizzle that was making the moors look moodily beautiful was actually making us really quite wet! It didn’t help that I had ‘only unsuitable clothes’ either!
Our wettest trip was an adventure to find Shilley Pool, a wild swimming spot near South Zeal. Formed from the Blackaton Brook it’s a fantastic place, but it was a bit tricky to find, along paths thick with verdant bracken. As the rain grew heavier and heavier and our clothing wetter and wetter, the wisdom of the trip was questionable. But we found the pool and really look forward to returning in better weather.