Visiting Dartmoor National Park British Nature At It’s Most Splendid

September 30, 2013 by  
Filed under Destinations

Just a few miles inwards from the South Devon Coast is the ancient Dartmoor National Park. It covers an area of 368 square miles and offers visitors a mix of superb scenery and legendary history. Dartmoor also has one of the most prominent moors to be found anywhere in Britain.

Many visitors view Dartmoor as a wonderful and diverse place – indeed it offers a multiple range of terrains from it’s tors and woodlands to rambling countryside, grass covered hills and river valleys.

The tors formations are actually quite splendid – the granite while being a very tough substance is vulnerable to chemical deterioration. This means that the acids in rain attacks the surface of the granite causing it to disintegrate into various shapes and colours.

Those who enjoy outdoor activities will have plenty to do in Dartmoor – just a sample of these include fishing, trekking and cycling.

Things To Do & Towns To Visit In Dartmoor National Park

Dartmoor is made up of various small villages and towns – one of the very enjoyable experiences of visiting Dartmoor is the chance to drive from one to the other while taking in the great scenery en route. From Tavistock in the west to Ashburton in the east, there’s plenty to do and see in Dartmoor.

Entire books have been written on Dartmoor – so the following is just a brief description of some the places and activities that you can enjoy here:

· Check out the main visitor centre located in Okehampton. This town also houses the Museum of Dartmoor Life.

· Okehampton Castle is worth a visit – this is located in Cranmere Pool and these ruins are the remains of what was once the biggest castle in Devon.

· Walking & trekking opportunities are abundant all over Dartmoor – specific places of interest to walkers include South Okehampton, Princetown, Chagford and Postbridge. There are also specific routes popular with more experienced trekkers – for instance, Templar Way (18 miles) and West Devon Way (14 miles). Books on walking in Devon are also available in the information centres dotted around the park (Okehampton, Tavistock, Ashburton, Ivybridge and a couple of other locations).

· There are also plenty of routes for those keen on cycling, and it’s possible to hire bikes in Tavistock. The Dartmoor Way is a 90 mile cycle route that includes many of the parks towns including Okehampton, Tavistock and Buckfastleigh.

· Other outdoor activities available in Dartmoor include horse & pony rides, fishing and climbing.

· In the East lies the pleasant town of North Bovey – this is a great place to see quaint thatched cottages dating back to the 17th century. Yet another place to marvel at picture-perfect thatched cottages is in the charming little town of Buckland In The Moor. This lovely town faces onto woodlands and is also by the River Webburn (which joins up with the famous river Dart).

· Expect to see many Ponies grazing along the stretches of grassland while you drive through Dartmoor National Park.

· Buckfastleigh is home to Buckfast Abbey – one of the most visited icons in Devon. The Abbey dates back to 1018. Also in Buckfastleigh are the Dartmoor otter sanctuary and the Buckfast Butterflies Exhibition (where several exotic butterflies can be seen in an exotic environment).

· Postbridge is a small town in the centre of Dartmoor National Park – aside from being popular with walkers, the town is famous for it’s “Clapper Bridge” (granite bridges dating as far back as the 13th Century) which goes over the East Dart River.

· Another quiet town with sublime cottages and green surroundings is Widecombe In The Moor. Aside from it’s beauty, this location is famous for The Church House – dating back to 1537.

· The little town of Chagford is nestled just above the River Teign and is also worth a visit just to amble around the neat town square. Be sure to visit Market House while you’re there.

The Darkside Of Dartmoor – The Gruesome Gubbinses

In Lydford Gorge in the 15th century a “half human” tribe of creatures are said to have existed and caused much terror and fear to the locals. While this may sound like a myth or old wives tale to make children behave, the Gubbinses did in fact exist. They stole cattle, kidnapped or robbed travellers and there are reports that suggest that they were cannibals.


Rv Park Pals

August 22, 2013 by  
Filed under Destinations

My husband and I are retired and have been for three years now. We enjoy traveling in our RV. This is a great way to see America. I mean you really see America this way and not just through a windshield traveling down the interstate highway system. By staying in RV parks, you get to know the people of America. This is a terrific way to meet new friends and view the different lifestyles of folks across the country. We have met the most interesting people that we have ever met in our travels since we have been retired than we ever did working nine to five jobs.

We were staying in a California RV park, some two thousand miles from home, when met a couple that lived just a mile or so down the road from us. Imagine the surprise when we learned that we were camping with our neighbors that we had never met in all of the years that we lived so close by. It took a two thousand mile trip for us to meet. We became very good friends and now we even travel together occasionally.

We have stayed in several RV parks in Branson Missouri. On one such occasion we happened to meet my husband’s cousin whom he hadn’t seen in twenty years or so. We had a great time reminiscing and catching up on our families. Their children are grown and we found out that their son and our son works for the same company.

About a year ago while staying at a Biloxi RV park, we met a very nice couple from Nashville, Tennessee. We have visited them since and they took us to the Grand Ole Opry. They also showed us some very interesting sites in the Nashville area that we did not know existed. It was a wonderful vacation and we got to see things that only a local resident would know about.

We now have many new friends that we have met in RV parks. Several of them visit us at our home, and many of them whom we stay in touch with meet us at a particular park somewhere. We have had so much fun travel throughout the United States and actually meeting the people of this great country.

Largest Amusement Park In Western Canada

June 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Top Vacation Destinations

The largest amusement park in western Canada is Calaway Park, just outside Calgary, Alberta, Canada. When the park opened in 1982, it was much smaller than its current site, but has grown as more land was purchased for the development of more children’s and thrill rides. Originally centred on Hanna-Barbera characters, the park introduced their own mascots when the licensing for these was lost. Jack Bunny and Jill O’Hare were created in the late 80s, a few years later Calaway Park started the Jack and Jill Club for children ages 3-12 that hold season passes.

The park encompasses 160 acres and offers 32 rides, suitable for both children and adults. According to 2005 statistical data, it is considered the safest theme park in North America. Dedicated to keeping this status, the staff is required to attend training seminars and safety briefings either before or during their first shift. Height restrictions are strictly enforced, and ride-employee certifications are mandatory.

The variety of rides offered at Calaway Park will make a day spent well worth the time for the entire family. The Vortex, a roller coaster with corkscrew twists and turns, is the biggest attraction. This thrill ride even has a section that briefly suspends the rider upside down, showing part of the reason for its popularity.

Shoot the Chutes and the Bumper Boat Splash Challenge are both water rides, allowing you to cool off on hot days. Among many other rides, the park also has a Mini Golf Course, a maze, a train ride and even a fishing pond for those who want a break from the excitement of the crowds. There are stage shows throughout the park, preformed for the entertainment and delight of all, along with restaurants and stalls offering a variety of food and beverages. The beautifully designated picnic areas for those wanting to bring their own food even has lockers provided for storage at a nominal fee.

After a day spent outdoors, the Delta Airport Hotel Calgary’s family friendly atmosphere is a great place to unwind. The hotel is built beside the Bow River, guaranteeing a scenic view of the river, as well as the Canadian Rocky Mountains in the distance. For leisure, the hotel has a magnificent indoor swimming pool and whirlpool, while the state of the art gym allows the opportunity to work off any residual energy after a busy day. Other attractions, such as the Aero Space Museum Association of Calgary, make the Delta Airport Hotel Calgary a convenient, comfortable choice for your Canadian vacation.

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