Tip toeing through the heather

Last weekend, we camped on Exmoor, in Doone Valley. The setting for Lorna Doone. It’s been a while. Last time we set up tent there, Middle daughter was a very obvious bump and the Teen could still ride on her father’s shoulders.

This time they were much more helpful setting up the tent. They were so excited to be camping again, after the fun we had last year. The campsite has a river running along side it. I wish I had brought their wetsuits as they would have loved to go in. They made do with wellies. There were also rope swings dotted along the bank, which added to the fun.

Exmoor is a designated dark sky area. Saturday night was billed as being the best time to see the Perseid meteor shower, which fitted in with our visit. Except it clouded over, so we had to wait until the next night.

We sat around the camp fire, drinking hot chocolate and munching on tasty camp fire food. Watching the fire sparks, until the first stars began to appear, then all eyes were on the heavens. Luckily, Sunday was clearer. Shooting stars were spotted.

Of course, we found out later that the sky above home was clear and they had a wonderful show.

It wouldn’t have been the same.

The weather may not have been the best, but it was fabulous to be out on the moors. This time of year, it is a sea of heather as far as the eye can see. The heather is in full bloom. The scent was amazing and the bees were loving it. Merrily humming. It was so beautiful. I took photos of the children, surrounded, which would rival similar ones I’ve taken of them in lavender fields.

On the Sunday, we walked up Dunkerly Hill. It is half a mile and the views were amazing.

In one of those straight-out-of-a-child’s-picture-book moments, we spotted bilberries growing among the heather. One couple was filling an empty ice cream container with them. If we had been going home that day, I might have been tempted to do the same and make bilberry jam. Yum. Instead, we tried a few of the berries.

At the top of the hill, the children went off to explore. Meeting ponies.

Blue loved her walk. We kept her on the lead, as sheep and ponies were all around us. She would have loved to run through the heather. Traditionally, this is just the kind of landscape that Deerhounds would have inhabited. The heather would have kept their leg hair under control, as they ran through it. Instead she has to put up with me using the brush. I suspect I know which she would prefer.

I think our time on the moor this year will stay with us for a long time. We all came home happy and very tired. Given half a chance, the children would have us camping again this weekend. Not to be. Other plans, but maybe we’ll go back next year.

We’ll see.

Country Kids

22 thoughts on “Tip toeing through the heather

  • Saturday 19 August, 2017 at 12:51 am

    Gorgeous! What a fabulous place to camp, the views are so fast and the heather is beautiful. Love your photos x #countrykids

    • Wednesday 23 August, 2017 at 10:25 pm

      It is a fabulous location.

  • Saturday 19 August, 2017 at 7:22 am

    We love camping too and there is nothing better than sat round a campsite fire drinking hot chocolate and toasting marshmallows 🙂 you captured some epic views on your trip too! Popping over from #CountryKids x

    • Wednesday 23 August, 2017 at 10:26 pm

      Camping is fun. Love toasting marshmallows.

  • Saturday 19 August, 2017 at 9:44 am

    What a beautiful place to be able to explore, I’m not a fan of camping but this looks like such a beautiful place to be set up. We’re Dark Skies here too but I’ve not spotted any meteor’s this year, hopefully the guests here will have had more luck. I bet the wetsuits will be packed next time you go camping, just in case, you never know when you’re going to need them. Walking through the heather looks beautiful, I bet the kids loved every moment of their holiday and are all begging to go camping again soon!

    Thanks for linking up with me on #CountryKids.

    • Wednesday 23 August, 2017 at 10:39 pm

      Didn’t think of wet suits. Next time. Children loved watching the sky at night. The heather was amazing. Covering a huge area.

  • Saturday 19 August, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    How lovely. I am pretty sure we walked past the campsite you stayed at on our recent holiday, and up Dunkery Hill too. We had a great time as well. If only our dogs could have met, although ours is a bit over excitable.

    • Thursday 24 August, 2017 at 10:15 am

      It does sound like our dogs would enjoy a game. Exmoor is a lovely area.

  • Saturday 19 August, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    It looks as if you pitched your tent in a fabulous place and all those views are wonderful. This isn’t an area we have explored. Mich x #CountryKids

    • Thursday 24 August, 2017 at 10:14 am

      Exmoor is a wonderful area to visit. Hope you go there one day.

  • Sunday 20 August, 2017 at 10:12 am

    Look at those views! Such lovely photos. Bilberries in the heather sounds like something straight out of Enid Blyton. And you are right, the heather could easily rival some of the best lavender shots – and they’re a bit different too. We also didn’t get great sighting of the Perseids this year due to clouds – last year was much better for us! #countrykids

    • Thursday 24 August, 2017 at 10:10 am

      Ha! I think there is part of me that is still reliving my childhood reading. Bilberries and heather are a fabulous combination. although I failed to get a good photo of the berries this year. Seems sky watching was hit and miss this year.

    • Thursday 24 August, 2017 at 10:07 am

      You can’t beat a hill side covered in heather.

  • Sunday 20 August, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    The heather does look really beautiful. I’m off to look up what a bilberry is because I’ve no idea! #countrykids

    • Thursday 24 August, 2017 at 10:06 am

      Bilberries are the european version of blueberries and just as wonderful to taste.

  • Monday 21 August, 2017 at 2:45 am

    Wow these moors look absolutely stunning! I’ve never been to them but I’d definitely would love to go and photograph these. They look stunning. I know lavender is the popular thing, but these look wonderful too. #countrykids

    • Thursday 24 August, 2017 at 10:05 am

      I honestly think that heather is a worthy rival to a field of lavender. It smells just as good and, as for the colour, it is just as gorgeous and spirit lifting.

  • Wednesday 23 August, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    What an absolutely beautiful place to set up camp. The heather is beautiful, and screams out for a family walk! popping by from #countrykids

    • Thursday 24 August, 2017 at 9:52 am

      With the heather in bloom, it is even better at this time of year.

  • Thursday 24 August, 2017 at 9:11 am

    WOW that looks amazing. So open. Peaceful. What a great place for a family adventure. #CountryKids x

    • Thursday 24 August, 2017 at 10:00 am

      Lots of childhood memories added.

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