If you’re in search of tiny picturesque villages, miles of rambling over open heathland and more local folklore than you can shake a stick at, then Dartmoor is the place to go. I spent a week swimming in rivers, exploring the wild moors, and generally pretending I was in a gothic horror mystery novel.
Spoiler alert: at no point was I eaten by a giant hound.
As anyone who knows me could tell you, I love a bit of Poldark. Admittedly it’s a recent obsession: before last year I’d never read the books, but when the new BBC adaptation started my Sunday evenings soon became dominated by watching Ross Poldark gallop around on clifftops.
When I was little most of my family holidays were spent in Cornwall, so seeing the beautiful coastline, beaches and moorland on the screen gave me a real craving to go back. (Ok I admit it, Aidan Turner’s torso helped too). So a couple of weeks ago I headed south to the land of fudge and pasties, where I spent most of my time wandering round the county in search of Poldark locations.
In celebration of Britain’s annual week of good weather (yep, that’s all we get), Emily and I decided to head up to Warleigh Weir near Bath for a refreshing wild swim. We also became a handy picnic for the local population of horseflies.
If you’ve never been to Pembrokeshire, you are definitely missing out. Tucked away in south-west Wales, it has the same sort of beautiful coastline and picturesque little towns as Cornwall, but minus the bustling crowds and sky-high prices. It also happens to be a great spot for a bit of A&E – which in this context means adventure and exploration. Although you never know once I get involved…
The beautiful Loch Coruisk, segueing into the River Scavaig
The Norse apparently referred to it as Skuy, which translates as ‘Misty Isle’, and I am told that the reason for this is usually pretty obvious. Certainly when I arrived on the Isle of Skye the sun that I had basked in on the mainland suddenly disappeared, replaced by a sheet of thunderous grey that rolled overhead. I resigned myself to being soaked to the skin for the entire visit (not easy when I’d just spent a week in the Lake District and would have appreciated a bit of meteorological variety), but to my surprise – and everyone else’s – the next 6 days were mostly bright and warm. There were even a few occasions when I had to shed my jumper!
There are plenty of ways to pass the time on Skye, but these were my personal highlights:
A Somerset lass born and bred; I can usually be found rambling through the countryside or wittering about adventure/folklore/crafts/odd sports - and quite often all of them at once. Read more here, or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org