Walking towards the centre of southern Dartmoor

Vennford reservoir at the start

This post dates back to a walk from mid March and was partly blogged here however other things got in the way of me posting it sooner.  Closer to the coast the day was not at all good but arriving on the moors the weather cleared and we set out from Vennford reservoir heading west.

On Sandy Way heading to Aune Head

This shot is taken as we walked along the Sandy Way towards the source of the River Avon (Aune Head).  The Sandy Way has been used for centuries as track across this area of Dartmoor which is quite featureless and, around the source of the Avon for example, is very boggy.  I liked the interplay of light on the still autumnal colours of the moorland grass.

Redlake from Fishlake

Dartmoor is often referred to as bleak and featureless.  Most of the shots here could be seen as somewhat bleak to some people however I have always found this “bleakness” appealing and the sense of tranquillity which some would see as isolation has always been rewarding to me.  The feature that can be seen here is one of the few “stand out” features of this part of the moors and is the spoil heap from the china clay works at Redlake.  There is a large pit there where the china clay was extracted.  It was worked in the early part of the twentieth century for about 20 years until the 1930s.  This shot is taken from Fishlake looking south.

Redlake from Ryders

We walked down from Fishlake to where the Avon flows in and then walked up the Avon for a short distance.  There are a number of old tinners buildings in the area but the light was less good than at the start of the walk.  This is taken as we headed east up towards the summit of Ryder’s Hill which is the high point on the southern half of Dartmoor.  Again the unmistakable shape of Redlake spoil can be seen.

Vennford reservoir at the end

By way of contrast to the first image this is Vennford reservoir as we headed back to the car at the end of the walk.  The weather at the top of Ryder’s was very overcast and misty (as can also be seen here) and although we were coming out of the clouds to some degree there was nothing like the clarity there had been when we left there.