Adventures on Exmoor!
We live really close to Exmoor. Ridiculously close. But somehow we’ve always headed coastwards for our days out and Little Trekking. So this year we’ve decided to make more “Adventures on Exmoor!” (sounds like the start of a televised version of an old school Enid Blyton story…). And explore we have.
The very start of the New Year found us visiting ‘Granpa’ and climbing Dunkery Beacon, the very highest part of Exmoor, no less. Very windy, very cold but a fine January day.
The heather was playfully springy for little bouncing legs, bogs were suitably black and soggy (also great for little footprints) and the Exmoor ponies obligingly present and wonderfully close! Ramona got her first taste of climbing excitement, scaling up the stones, then her first vertigo ‘panic and freeze’ moment as she realised how high she’d got - and now had to get down! I know that feeling well, having taken up proper climbing in my late teens to combat a horror of heights (on rope it suddenly feels OK?!). A scoop and a leap got her off this one. Let’s wait for the next tree she scales and gets stuck up!
The next week it was back to the bikes as the temperature began to plummet, but the sunshine shone and we all togged up for a round reservoir ride. Ramona was so much more confident with her downhills now and Eomer shrieked “wheeeeee” on every remotely speedy moment – the speed demon in him hasn’t gone dimished! We hung from trees and skimmed stones on the lake and picnicked as long as our fingers could stand the cold. Then on again to get warm, warm, warm!
But lo! Suddenly came the snow! And so our adventures began again! Unfortunately Eomer had just shared his rotten head cold with me so, for the first time ever, the thought of heading snowward into the bitterly cold easterly winds that shook our region really didn’t appeal. It became a Daddy and Monie adventure, yay! As I discussed in a previous blog, it’s so great to stand back sometimes and let someone else organise and instigate their own fun. Dad and Daughter came back so much closer, having shared memories of snowball fights, snow angels and rolling/sliding down snow covered slopes. While I snuffled and stayed warm and served hot chocolate and a listening ear. Such a lot of outdoor time, finally exploring our beautiful moorland in just some of its different guises.
I can’t wait for spring now and the first peeks of colour and flowers. I wonder when the moorland heather blooms? Watch this space…
About the Author
About Me & Mine
Having lived in N. Devon for the last 12 years, we recently moved across to the other side of the world and now live in New Zealand on the North Island. Our adventurous family includes my husband Phil and 2 small cheeky children: Ramona 8½ and Eomer 5½. I have a wonderful day job as Lead teacher in the sensory unit of an SEN school and spend as much time as possible outside, exploring nature and environments both on our doorstep and further afield.
Favourite place in the world:
Hmm, that's really tough! I loved the west coast forests of British Columbia in Canada, such a humbling, incredible place - tall trees right down to the big ocean waves. There's a whole lot of other places I'd love to explore though...moving to New Zealand has opened up a whole world of new adventures and we’re slowly finding new favourites to add to the list.
Sea, mountains and forests in any combination please!
Favourite things to do outdoors:
Again, lots of favourites. Definitely a mix between walking, cycling, surfing, camping and exploring, combined with taking time to notice detail of a place, hear the sounds and absorb the changes over time and seasons. Active and quiet times are both invigorating for different reasons.