February Days on Dartmoor National Park

August 2015. Sophie van het Erve had joined us for our 23-day Untamed Mongolia small group experience. She mentioned that she would dearly love for her parents to experience Mongolia. It had made a huge impact on her and it was something she would like to share with them. 

Her parents had never been on such a big trip. So. We opted for stepping stones - small steps leading eventually to the Mongolia experience. With Dartmoor National Park here in Devon in the UK being one of those stepping stones.


Dartmoor National Park is my home stomping ground.  It’s where I formulate a lot of my plans and ideas. It’s not the same as Mongolia, but the wide open spaces and weather can still challenge and inspire in the same way that Mongolia can. I love both in equal measure.
It's also my home in the winter months when I am not in Mongolia. It was a chance for Sophie's parents to come and meet me.  To talk over Mongolia and what to expect from such a experience. And to enjoy some fabulous views.

Sophie and her parents (Tiny and Rudi) came over from the Netherlands for a three-day visit in February.

Here we are. Slightly windswept. And yes, with a selfie stick! We're on Yes Tor - the second highest point on Dartmoor  at 619 metres above sea level. 

The next highest place in England (apart from High Willhays at 621 metres - the neighbour of Yes Tor) is in the  Peak District National Park.

We enjoyed picnic lunches.

And, when it comes to all things Mongolia, our belief in sustainable travel makes us different as a company -  putting local people and their communities and environment at the centre of each itinerary and experience.

I apply the same philosophy when back in the UK as well. 

That meant a trip to the Belstone Old School Tea Rooms.

We just had to sample the home-made scones and jam and the cakes. And it was essential that we purchased this home-made sheep tea cosy. 

We enjoyed a mixture of weather as well.

And some times the infamous Dartmoor mists descended. Just after the snow storm actually...

What was the outcome? Three days spent trekking across some of the UK's most beautiful wilderness landscapes in all weathers - fuelled by tea and locally sourced picnic lunches.  All to be repeated in 2016.

For Interest:

Where Did They Stay? Bracken Tor Lodge. Owned and managed by Adventure Okehampton. Cheap en-suite private and dorm rooms in a fabulous location - no vehicle needed to access Dartmoor. Just put on your walking boots and head out the door.

Where Did They Eat? 

1) The locally owned Fountain Inn, Okehampton. We worked our way through their menu!

2) Two Rivers Restaurant  - a local contemporary restaurant found in Okehampton's town centre working in partnership with A.L Martin - Okehampton's butcher. Ten out of ten to them for allowing us in straight off the Moor - windswept, slightly damp and not dressed for Saturday night dining. 

3) The Tors, Belstone. Yes, Belstone village has car parking spaces. However, ditch the car and include it on a circular walk starting from Okehampton. A great local informal pub where you can fuel up before continuing on your walk.

4) Belstone Old School Tearooms. Come hungry. Leave full. Great restoration of the old schoolroom at Belstone Chapel. Also a great range of knitted tea cosies. 

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