Dartmoor... and Ponies
Dartmoor Ponies are a protected breed, as their numbers are vastly lower than what they once were at their height. But they are indeed wild, even if they are incredible friendly and docile. This beautiful white mare was heavy with foal, but chomped on the grass quite companionably for me to take some pictures of her. You really can get quite close to them, they will let you touch them and are acclimated to people (this was on a roadside, we just pulled over :) ) but since I was still reeling from my experience with the cow (story in a forthcoming blog post) I kept my distance, haha!
There were loads of them out on the Moor that evening. I just like this shot because of the cairn in the distance :)
Right before this photo, we had stopped for a pint at Warren House Inn, which is a beautiful and remote Inn (the tallest in southern England, sitting at 1425ft elevation) - I should have taken a photo of it, but I was bent on getting warm and something to eat :) It has spectacular views of the Moor all around and a ton of stories to go along with it. It is a great place to stop - for something to eat, drink, or to take in the views.
Let me wax a little about Dartmoor in general.
It really is a remote part of Britain. There are actually so many remote parts of Britain - you can turn a corner down one of the A roads and then make one turn down a B... and within minutes you can stop hearing the rumble of traffic. Once you get out just beyond this invisible boundary, birdsong prevails, wind rustles and cows or sheep murmur in accompaniment. This bucolic setting is to be had all over Britain, and it is probably one of the most beautiful things the island has to offer. London is London -- but _nothing_ compares to Britain's empty places. Even the farmland is quiet and rustic and beautiful, and while so much of Britain is cultivated, there are still wild places to be had. Dartmoor is one of them.
Besides being full of natural beauty, Dartmoor is of particular interest to me and my husband, for two reasons. Firstly, the neolithic (and bronze age) landscape here is spectacular. Relics of thousands of years past are everywhere. Secondly, the rich and abundant folklore of the region is some of the best Britain has to offer, and my husband and I love to travel down those paths, adventuring to find the location where spectres haunt, black dogs hunt and where the faeries pass between this land and theirs. Our travels to Britain bring us back magic and mystery, and keeps us coming back for more.