Archive for Dartmoor

Day trip to Dartmoor

Last week was the annual day trip for the Golden Age club that I am a helper with. We left Churchinford at 9.30am and set off for Buckfast Abbey.

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The current Abbey was completed in 1932 but it’s history goes further back.  Desiring to find a peaceful location to continue their monastic community after the anti-clerical laws were enacted in France, the monks of the community of La Pierre-qui-vire were driven from their homeland and re-established monastic life at Buckfast in 1882.

DSC01656At the heart of the site is the Abbey Church, a spiritual haven for the many thousands of visitors who come each year.

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There is an overwhelming sense of peace as soon as you enter the grounds with the church surrounded by gardens which in the summer come alive with colour.

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The Monastic produce shop sells items made by monks and nuns in Europe and beyond. This includes a large range of Trappist Beers, wines from Austria, jams, honeys, toiletries, cards, candles, icons and statues. They also sell fudge made on site by their own monks. Neil bought a bottle of Buckfast wine which is supposedly a tonic but neither of us were that keen!!

We then journeyed across the moor to Widdecombe-in-the Moor where we stopped for lunch.

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Many people explore the surrounding countryside on foot as there are several recommended walking routes from there but it is truly wild and remote.

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We stopped in the local 14th century St Pancras church, known as “The Cathedral of the Moor” where from the churchyard there was a lovely view across the field.

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Walking back to the coach we saw some Dartmoor ponies.

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Our next stop was in Bovey Tracey where we visited “The House of Marbles”. This is a place where not only is there a large shop selling all manner of pottery, glassware and marbles of course, but also a games and glass museum, a marble museum and a pottery museum.  Behind the shop is Teign Valley Glass where you can watch the skilled glassblowers make an extensive range of pieces from traditional marbles to practical objects and decorative art.

There are also several rather mad and fascinating motorised marble runs.  This one call “Snooki” is the largest in the UK.

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After enjoying a cup of afternoon tea we made our way back to Churchinford where we were dropped off after the day’s outing. We were quite lucky with the weather, only a little rain in Widdecombe but we were in the church so missed it. All in all a great day out.

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