Dartmoor was the most pleasant surprise of any place I have ever been. Josh had been wanting to visit Dartmoor for many years. He had seen it in pictures, and we had watched it on Rick Steve’s travel shows. I did research, and we found a hotel in the middle of the park called Prince Hall Hotel. We stayed in the Houndtor room and the views were lovely. The hotel itself is not super wi-fi friendly, but that is what we wanted” to be off the beaten path, surrounded by nature, and engaged in conversation and time with each other. They have a game room where you can have drinks and or a cream tea, and play scrabble, a bar area, and, a beautiful dining room. The hotel itself is dog friendly, so I was on Cloud Nine for the entire time we were there.
We began our time there by having a relatively early morning and making our way to Wistman’s Wood, a location that has been mentioned in literature for hundreds of years. It is thought to be a remnant of an ancient forest in Dartmoor dating back to 7000 BCE.
The morning was so foggy that we had a bit of trouble initially placing where we were. We heard a stream and began to follow it, knowing that we would eventually reach the Wood. The forest itself is ancient and magical. The moss, the trees, the webs, everything about the space has a fantastical element about it that lures you in. It felt as if it were in a druids playground.
We spent a while in the Wood before hiking back and returning to the hotel. We enjoyed a cream tea, talked with three lovely people, Mick, Simon, and Philada, and made our way to hike in the afternoon. Josh had researched prior to our arrival and decided he wanted to hike Down Tor. The hike itself was beautiful. The area is sprawling and it was just us. We ran into so many wild horses and the funniest baby sheep. It was amazing.
Beyond the Tor by about a mile, Josh had read that there was a an ancient stone circle. We decided to carry on. It was super windy, to the point where you nearly got knocked over, but so worth it.
Dartmoor was such a wonderful change of pace. We felt so recharged while we were here. We were sad that we weren’t there longer. Learn from our mistake and do yourself a favor- plan an entire trip in the Park. It is absolutely worth it.