June 19, 2021

Dartmoor is magical, even after 40 years

Michael Bennie on the everlasting pleasure of exploring a familiar landscape

What a strange attitude Chris Moss has towards Dartmoor (Tor de force: how to enjoy the brooding beauty of Dartmoor, 3 April). He says that after seven years, because he has visited every part of the moor several times, it is time to move on.

Well, I have lived on the edge of Dartmoor for over 40 years, and explored every corner, as well as writing extensively about it. And like most locals, I imagine, as well as Dartmoor lovers in general, my heart still leaps when I venture out on yet another ramble. What about the fascination of seeing the same place in different seasons and weather conditions? What about the delight in discovering something new about a familiar landscape? What about the sheer exhilaration of the views, the wide open skies, the peace, no matter how many times one has seen them before?

Appreciating Dartmoor – or any landscape – is about more than just ticking off places you’ve visited and things you’ve done.
Michael Bennie
Newton Abbot, Devon