Hi, Moss the Dartmoor Dog Blogger here! I promised Lisa I would write a blog about one of my favourite walks. Of course, there are loads and loads of fab places to walk on Dartmoor, but as I am still quite young (almost nine months now!) I am not allowed to do really long treks yet.
Quite often we go to Parke, a National Trust estate on the outskirts of the small market town of Bovey Tracey. It’s easy to find off the A381 and there are brown tourism signs to help you get there, if you don’t have such a great nose for finding things, like I do.
If you are looking for somewhere pretty to walk, that isn’t too demanding, as well as a few other things to see and do, then this will be a good choice for you as there's something for both dogs and humans at Parke.
I am told that this compact estate was once the home of a wealthy local family and probably enabled them to be self-sufficient for all their day-to-day needs. The walled garden is today home to a community garden and there is also a fruit garden and orchard, ice house, fish pond, grazing meadows for livestock and beehives for honey and gardens to wander in. I really like the walled garden, as there are holes cut in the door so you can see inside… and some of them are cut at just the right height for me – which is great!
All of that is interesting for you humans, but what I like is to get to the river! There is very clear sign posting, so you really shouldn’t get lost, and there are some circular walks by the river Bovey. I am told it is a lovely meandering river with quiet stretches, tumbling rapids, rock pools and even a medieval weir. To me, it’s just a brilliant river to jump in and out of and have lots of fun!
The woodland here is beautiful and in the spring is full of wild flowers. There’s always plenty of wildlife to see too, with lots of birds and squirrels and fish visible in the clear waters… and that, given half a chance, I like to try and chase. But then I get told off.
If you want to push yourself a little more, you can cross over the pretty little stone bridge and follow tracks up through the woodland. I like this area as I can really run about and get a lot of sniffing done. Great fun! There is a large signboard near the car park that clearly shows the routes.
On the way back to the car park, you go past the Home Farm Café. This is open 10am - 5pm every day. It always smells lovely as all sorts of yummy things are being cooked and they have tables outside in the sunshine and I can go and hoover around the tables and find lots of interesting crumbs. If I am lucky, she will stop for a coffee and maybe, just maybe, a piece of cake – some of which will come my way – hooray!