Medieval towns, unruly moors and granite tors. The perfect place for a murder. Or on this occasion, a catch up with our pal Char.
Meet me at the Guild!
We met in the historic pottery town of Bovey Tracey. In the year of 1066 a well-to-do family named ‘De Tracey’ settled there, later expanding their name to include ‘Bovey’ after the local river which I assume they were fond of. Interestingly a De Tracey family member was involved in the murder of Thomas a Becket in 1170. Well I never!
We made our way to the Devon Guild of Craftsmen, an exhibition of local crafts housed in a 19th Century water mill. With tummies full of salad selections and falafel, plus takeaway cakes, we were ready to hike.
Hike on Haytor
The country lanes soon coughed us out onto the moors at the foot of Haytor, a steep granite outcrop in Dartmoor National Park. At the top we sheltered under the rocks to eat our bakewell tarts, looking out across the windy waterlogged moorland. Only low lying gorse can hang onto the soil, creating a spongy carpet of green, pink and yellow. A tasty lunch for roaming livestock and wild horses.
Widecombe in the Moor
We returned to the car with moments to spare. Windscreen wipers on full power we snaked across Dartmoor passing soggy hikers and laughing sheep.
We arrived at the village of Widecombe in the Moor. The most picturesque Devon village I’ve ever seen. A triangle of green lawn sits between a row of little gift shops, a cathedral and our gorgeous afternoon tea spot – Cafe on the Green.
Old Tom Cobley
With the rain pelting down outside, we huddled around a scrumptious cream tea while Lewy and Char racked their brains. They were trying to remember a Devon folk song from the 1800’s about Old Uncle Tom Cobley and the Widecombe Fair (previously named Widdicombe).
Their attempt to remember was pretty futile so with Google’s help I’ve found a knowledgeable chap on a banjo called Terry. You might need a cup of tea while you listen.