Thursday, April 14, 2011

Not a Walmart in sight...

Welcome to part deux of my Dartmoor post. Today we're going to talk about the stop we made in the village of Okehampton on our way to the park.

Yes I do realize Okehampton begins with an O.
Which is why I have a Plan B-

L is for Lydford Gorge

In general, when tooling around the UK, if something is a National Trust property or is in the hands of an organization known as English Heritage then it's worth a stop. If you don't know what the National Trust is hop to this post for an explanation.

We had planned to make Okehampton our first stop because we'd read a little bit about the castle that sat there once upon a time.

Technically the castle is still there.

Or what remains of it anyway.
It's origins are Norman and it dates all the way back to the 11th century.

I do love that these bits of history are not plowed under to make way for strip malls in this country. Oh I'll confess there were days when I lived in England that I missed the convenience of strip mall shopping...

Bright clear sunny blue sky days were never one of them.

It's possible to learn a new normal.

Even when you're over 40.

A helpful gentleman doling out the headphones recommended we stop at Lydford Gorge as long as we were in the neighborhood. He said there was a beautiful waterfall which we had trouble imagining but we took him at his word and headed that way.

We passed an interesting building once we got into the village of Lydford and decided to check that out first...Lydford Castle-

...which was actually Lydford Prison.
The description said it was the most heinous medieval prison around...

Weren't all medieval prisons heinous?

Look at me with my big smile standing in the heinous medieval prison.

Apparently the little village of Lydford was at one time a booming place.
It appears in recorded history as far back as 997.
Can you get your head around that because I have a little trouble getting my head around that?

Time to find that gorge...
The landscape didn't suggest waterfalls but then we saw the steps.
It was a long, long, long walk down.
And steep.
As in straight down.

And on that long steep walk down your thoughts become occupied with the long steep walk up.
But it was pretty and in a way this particular spot made us think of home and The Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.
Thoughts of home in a foreign country always catch you off guard.

We needed lunch.
We stumbled upon this little pub called The Bearslake Inn near Okehampton.

Oh my word.
Is there anything more charming than a thatched roof?

I think not.
I could have stayed right here for a while but someone was anxious to get to Dartmoor.
After all, there were moors to be hiked and sheep to be chased and wide open spaces calling our name.

"After a day's walk everything has twice its usual value."
~George Macauley Trevelyan

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  1. Beautiful! I'm making my list of places to visit when we do get over there. Thanks for the education.

  2. Beautiful .....I love the thatched roof houses. I missed strip mall so much while in Germany I just wanted something convent and cheap okay and like home. Have a wonderful day!

  3. WOW what a great visit to another country! Love the water fall behind Hubby. I bet the dog had a blast spending the day with you both.

  4. In the US nothing is that old...My husband and I were just discussing the marvel of the old architecture in Europe that you just can't find in our baby country. I love castle ruins...I also love headphone tours...unless you can get someone local to trot about with you instead.

  5. Wonderful! Yes, I too love thatched roof cottages!
    When I lived in Germany, they did not have the malls they have now. They did have a grocer, a butcher, a bakery, and I loved to go each day (yes, each day) to shop. But then, I was younger and this was new. I'm sure in time I would have gotten tired of it.
    Of course, the Wall came down, and it seems like Germany grew so quickly and modernized.

  6. Thanks for another fun trip! I'm becoming quite the "traveler" thanks to your posts :) I've never been out of the south, remember?

  7. I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying your pictures! I can't believe that prison dated back to 997...I'm definitely having a hard time wrapping my head around that, too! I'm a sucker for waterfalls!

  8. You look pretty happy in that prison! : )

  9. Thanks for sharing the photos.
    Amazing way to step back into time.

  10. That's quite a grin for one in prison!Thanks for the beautiful tour. I'm getting the itchiest itch to fly over the Pond!

  11. You take such great pictures. I feel like I went on vacation with you! lol!

    I'm working on remembering to take my camera with me when I go places and actually use it. haha!

  12. Lovin' the travelogue! Keep it comin'!

  13. Wow!!! I know what you mean about comprehending something from 997 - Amazing!

  14. I'm enjoying this traveling with you. I may have to start scanning away and do this with our life in Singapore and travels. Hmmmm....

  15. Not a Walmart in sight is my kind of place for sure!

  16. The pictures are wonderful. You have seen so many wonderful things.