ITV’s Cornwall and Devon Walks with Julia Bradbury Episode 3, The Dartmoor Walk
If you missed this half hour programme when it first aired, we highly recommend catching it on the ITV hub www.itv.com/hub/cornwall-and-devon-walks-with-julia-bradbury/10a0852a0003
A really lovely programme, where Julia does a 7-mile loop starting at Haytor, via Haytor Quarry, finishes up at Saddle Tor and meets up with musician Seth Lakeman and naturalist Nick Baker along the way.
We loved some of the things Julia says, pretty much what so many of us feel about this beautiful National park … “This is Dartmoor and it’s HUGE!”
“368 miles of wild gorgeousness”
“Land of myths and legends …stories of witches, the setting for Hound of the Baskervilles”
“This is where Harry Potter’s Quidditch World Cup was held!”
Waiting for Julia at Haytor were Georgia and Baz, our lovely Visit Dartmoor Members who run Crag 2 Mountain, a family run adventure activities company providing instruction, coaching and guiding in climbing, mountaineering, navigation skills and caving – www.dev.visitdartmoor.co.uk/attraction/crag2mountain
Georgia demonstrated her climbing skills and gave Julia a lesson in rock climbing on Haytor, but I’m not sure it was her favourite part of the day!
Julia picked up the old granite tramway to Haytor Quarry, which although peaceful and a calm oasis now, 200 yrs. ago used to be a bustling, noisy quarry pit, producing Dartmoor granite which used to be shipped to London, and was used for the original London Bridge, Nelson’s Column, and the National Gallery.
Next leg of the trail took Julia past Smallcombe Rocks and on to Hound Tor Down, all very typical, stunning Dartmoor scenery, which has enchanted so many visitors from all over the world.
One of my favourite bits of the programme was Julia meeting up with folk singer and Dartmoor resident Seth Lakeman – www.sethlakeman.co.uk, brilliant songwriter and singer whose music is hugely popular, especially down here in Devon.
Naturalist Nick Baker (www.nickbaker.tv) talked of how some of our lovely wildlife thrives in this ancient landscape, like the cuckoo, wheatears, stonechats, butterflies, some of whom are hard to find in other parts of the country.
One of the most popular and much-loved animals on Dartmoor is the Dartmoor Pony. Nick explained how the ponies play such an important part in the shaping of the landscape, their grazing habit creates diverse habitats for birds and wildlife. Lots of information on the different types of ponies here – www.dev.visitdartmoor.co.uk/things-to-do/dartmoor-ponies
Lovely piece towards the end of the walk, Julia visited Shallowford Farm (shallowfordfarm.co.uk) a working Dartmoor farm that welcomes children from cities to enjoy fresh air, open space and looking after animals. The farm experience, which became known as “A lung for the city”, was created by Elizabeth Braund and Rosemary Bird. In the 1970s they recognized, from their youth work in Battersea at Providence House Youth and Community Centre, that a sense of community and self-worth could not be developed fully without the opportunity to experience wild places and God’s creation, to develop curiosity, imagination and challenge.
All in all, a thoroughly lovely film, showcasing some of our wonderfully diverse landscapes as well as a few of our favourite Dartmoor people!