Dan's birthday on Dartmoor.

Dartmoor, Devon


I've been rotting indoors for months as we "prepare" for an as-of-yet unspecific adventure elsewhere in Europe. I bounce resigned from one box to another, staring between screens and sitting so badly; my back is aching. Wild camping for Dan's birthday has become somewhat of a tradition and as the weather is starting the clear up again, we ventured out to Dartmoor to absorb some wilderness as an antidote. 


Dartmoor, Devon, England
This is a tor- I'm not telling you which, but I'd be impressed if you knew?


By the time we'd organised ourselves onto the moor on Saturday afternoon, clattering with badly packed groceries, the sky was beginning to look a bit moody. Twenty steps out of the car, the damp soaking through my once trusty everything-shoes, I was already beginning to wonder why I'd given away my toe-pinching walking boots. 


Dartmoor, Devon, England

(a side note which is vital to your understanding of Dartmoor)



A rock formation, usually eroded granite, which protrudes abruptly from an otherwise smooth rounded hill or ridge- down here in the South West the term also refers to the hills themselves. The word is notable for being one of the very few Celtic words to be borrowed into English before the modern era.




Clamouring over rocks and root balls, we delved into the forest and despite the gloom I felt my mood begin to lighten. It's difficult to be grumpy when you have to concentrate on your foot fall and there's little more exhilarating than emerging from a long spell battling undergrowth, to a view across miles of moorland with rocky tors on the horizon. 


We woke up to the sort of dazzling sunshine that makes a Sunday morning lie in very sticky in a tent. It's reaching the end of bluebell season, but the clearings are still smattered with purple- far from the glare of my computer screen, I felt my pupils struggle to absorb shades of colour which don't exist in a highlighter pack. 


River Dart, Darmoor, Devon, UK


Tristan cooked a Sunday lunch of noodles on a river island and I dipped in my toes for long enough to decide that swimming wasn't appealing despite the inviting clarity of the water. Despite the baking sunshine, the water flowing downstream hadn't forgotten our recent winter yet.



By late afternoon, we were reluctantly making our way back to civilisation. The sun was disappearing and dry socks were calling. The boxes seem even more square this week, but I am happy to have temporarily remembered what's outside them.


Happy Birthday Dan ...may we spend the rest of our twenties outdoors.


Camping, Dartmoor, Devon, England, UK
(that's me)
Dartmoor, forest, Devon, England
(click to expand)

Write a comment

Comments: 8
  • #1

    Dan (Friday, 20 May 2016 11:53)

    Great photos, it was a lovely weekend

  • #2

    Katie Featherstone (Saturday, 21 May 2016 21:06)

    Thanks Dan :D

  • #3

    Becky Padmore (Sunday, 22 May 2016 17:42)

    Such a special place, this part of England is chock full of naturally beautiful scenery! Lovely photos :-)

  • #4

    Katie Featherstone (Sunday, 22 May 2016 18:45)

    Thanks Becky!

  • #5

    Becky (Monday, 23 May 2016 13:35)

    This looks great, we recently went on our first camping trip and loved it. The scenery there looks amazing!

  • #6

    Katie Featherstone (Monday, 23 May 2016 13:43)

    Another Becky! Thank-you very much. :)

  • #7

    Shikha (whywasteannualleave) (Tuesday, 24 May 2016 17:27)

    Aawww, what a special post Katie! Love the idea of this birthday tradition even though it has to be said, camping isn't my thing to be truthful but my hubby would enjoy it for sure so maybe I should surprise him on his birthday one day with a camping trip and the scenery in Dartmoor makes me think that might be the perfect spot for it!

  • #8

    Katie Featherstone (Tuesday, 24 May 2016 19:08)

    I think that sounds like a great idea, you might surprise yourself and love it!

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