Wild Camping in Dartmoor.

I went wild camping in Dartmoor the other day. The outward journey was a nightmare. I live in Suffolk and on a good day it should take 5.5 hours to get there. Today it took about 8 due to the Olympics etc. Any road with 'M' in the name seems to curse your journey into mindless monotony.
Anyhow, to cut a long story very short, I eventually arrived. I'd never been to the area before so I decided to check out Hound Tor.

It was hot and sunny, I believe the hottest day of the year so far. With this in mind, I now required what any sane camper would desire following an 8 hour drive (without air conditioning) and a several mile hike ahead of him....A big, hot, double cheese burger from 'The Hound of the Basket Meals' van.

After the indigestion subsided, I walked toward Hound Tor. An imposing and impressive bunch of rocks. I won't bore you with the same old history lesson about the place. It's all on Wikipedia. It was nice and well worth a visit though.Very touristy today, but I can't really complain. I was technically a tourist after all.

I hiked around, enjoying exploring the unknown area. I ended up doing a circular route around the Tor and decided to find somewhere more appropriate to camp for the night.

There are a few car parks around the area around a small string of Tors around Bell Tor, leading to Honeybag Tor. I parked, hiked and decided on Bell Tor, as my resting place. It's a lovely area, with some great views from atop the Tors and would be an ideal starting point for anyone wanting to start out Wild Camping. The area is one of those where it's expressly allowed and it has great access with an easy retreat route, if needed. Knackered, I whipped the tent up.

Lovely soft ground if slightly boggy, made it a very comfortable camp. Loads of light until late made for some stunning views over Widecombe in the Moor. I had a Wayfarer Stew and Dumplings, got a book out and revelled in the quiet.

Above is the view from the top of Bell Tor.

..and this is a view of my camp at night. Who needs smell toilet blocks and 50p showers anyway!?!

I was woken up by wild ponies, sheep and an amazing sense of calm and satisfaction. Oh, and two Ticks that tried to get to me while packing up my stuff. Unfortunately for them, they're not alive anymore.  

Luckily, the drive home took not much more than half the time. All in all, job done!


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