When I awoke this morning and looked out at Totnes Castle from my kitchen window it seemed to me that this might not be the best day for my planned trip to Moretonhampstead, on Dartmoor. I usually try to avoid the Moor when it’s shrouded in mist, as it is all too easy to get lost up there.
But maybe the mist was just a local one because it lifted quite quickly from the Castle and soon I could see distant Dartmoor calling me with absolute clarity.
Before heading there, though, I was invited to a friend’s for coffee. Margaret is quite a new friend and I hadn’t been to her house before. I was especially interested to go there because before moving to Totnes I was sent particulars of a similar house near hers and loved the look of it. But, after asking the estate agent whether it was within walking distance of the town and learning that the walk would involve ‘dicing with death’ on a busy road with no pavement, I decided against going for a viewing.
Margaret gave me the warmest of welcomes and from her sun-dappled back garden we had a wonderful view across to the Totnes Rare Breeds Farm and the South Devon Steam Railway Station – as well as to the velvety green hills towards Sharpham (where they make a great wine!) I loved her home, but don’t regret my decision to live where I have a variety of walks right on my doorstep.
Then it was off to pretty Moretonhampstead – an ancient market town, dating back more than 1000 years to Saxon times, on the north eastern edge of the Dartmoor National Park – to help a different friend celebrate her birthday with lunch in the flower-decked Union Inn. Mine isn’t a bad life, is it?
P.S. Moreton (as the locals call it) is more or less exactly at the centre of Devon, making it an ideal location from which to visit the south and north coasts. Most of the National Park’s well-known beauty spots (including Castle Drago) are nearby and no part of Dartmoor is more than an hour’s drive from the town.