I’ve been doing a lot of ‘When-We’ing’ this week. As in “When we used to” or “When we went to” and I make no apologies.
You see I’m in England where I was born, and where I grew up, staying with my Mum and visiting family in Devon. I’m really lucky to have my grown-up daughter with me too, and although she’s only spent a couple of years living in England, there are a lot of places she remembers and we have a joint conversation about … ‘Do you remember when we …’
From the point of view of mental health I think it’s really liberating. You dredge up old memories good and bad, dust them off, give them a good ‘When We’ workout and probably re-frame them. No more festering in the deep dark closets of our minds, especially if you build new memories on top of the old ones, as I’ve been doing this last week.
I used to work in Exeter, and I told stories to my daughter about my days there as a teenager, and shopping in Debenhams with Mum – when she got her stiletto stuck in the door matting and the electric doors kept closing.
Lydford Gorge, National Trust, Dartmoor
I’ve visited Lydford Gorge just once before, when I was pregnant with my son and I can remember the walk, but only with a sort of impressionist memory of shady pathways and clear swirling pools of water. I didn’t remember the slippery rocks, even though I was pregnant, but this time (perhaps because I’m older and less footsure) I did a fair amount of steadying myself on the handrails.
Of course my daughter in her keep fit quest practically skintered on ahead and despaired at my dawdling, because I was happy to stop and stare, take photos and imbibe the peaceful surroundings along with having a chat to my sister along the way, including a fair few ‘When We’s’ of our own.
We did the 2 hour circular walk (approx 7kms) which took us to the beautiful 30 metre high White Lady Waterfall and finished off at the bubbling Devil’s Cauldron. The River Lyd tumbles over pre-historic rocks as it makes its way through the gorge and the sound of babbling water is ever present. There are dappled pools where the water is so clear and perhaps on a hot day you might even be tempted to take a plunge in one of the rock pools.
If you have a dog, take it! Coming from Australia where dogs are not allowed in National parks, it’s been a revelation to see just how many places are dog friendly in England.
We had lunch at the tea-room by the entrance. I had a lovely carrot and ginger soup with a crusty bread roll before browsing in the well-stocked gift shop. Then we drove to the market town of Tavistock which has such history and goes back to around 965. Just imagine!
Later on we drove across a broody Dartmoor in swirling mist before ducking down to a pretty little village called Peter Tavy where we stopped at an Inn for an early supper, see below. Those ceilings are so low 🙂
Why join the National Trust?
There are dozens of National Trust parks, walks and homes to visit in Devon.
In England the National Trust take care of around 247,000 hectares of land, 742 miles of coastline, over 300 historic houses and gardens, 47 industrial monuments and mills, and 19 castles and chapels.
Tip: My advice if you intend to visit lots of National Trust attractions places is to become a member because then your entry frees are free.
Lydford Gorge is situated in the Lyd Valley on the edge of Dartmoor.
Lovely ti read about your holiday – England is great for a holiday. You’ve just put Dartmoor on my list! We had a week along the S coast last year Swanage – Exeter. Hard to imagine its over a year ago we met in Croatia. Love to you and Dave xx
Hello Faye! How lovely to hear from you! So glad you had a good time along the South Coast last year, and here’s hoping that you get to Dartmoor this year. Thanks for popping by 🙂
Life Images by Jill
oh, I missed this post when you posted originally Jo. I would love an extended stay in the UK so that I could do walks like these, visit villages, grand old houses, and have dinner in Inns. A National Trust pass seems to be the way to go. When we were in the UK 10 years ago (so long ago!) one of the things I wanted to do was walk on the moors in the mist! But we were on a coach tour so the closest I got was driving out through the moors to an old inn for dinner. Enjoy.
Hi Jill, yes I think sometimes people forget how much there is to do in England and head swiftly over to the continent for the better weather, but if you like swirling mists and mystery, then old Blighty has it in spades! Dartmoor is a wonderful place for the writerly imagination!
We did some “rambling” in the Cotswolds in 1999. I’d love to try some of the National Trust Hikes some day. England has such a walking tradition. When we did a 4 day hike on the South Island of New Zealand one year, about a third of our group of 40 was made up of the members of an English walking club.
This year I’ve come to realise that too Suzanne. So many keen ramblers out and about.
Wow, so lush and green. Not what we usually think of when we picture England.
Interesting! My image of England is always green 🙂
I was thinking exactly the same thing! When I think of England, I think of green! I remember flying over the countryside when we landed in London in 1969 at the start of my father’s exchange teacher year and thinking to myself, “This is a beautiful green place.”
Bet you have some lovely memories of that year Suzanne 🙂 And yes for me I’m always impressed by the layers and shades of green.
That is so cool that you can take your dog into National Parks in England. The Lydford Gorge reminds me very much of the Gold Coast Hinterland and Springbrook Mountain where there are wonderful gorges and waterfalls. I’m glad you are enjoying showing your daughter around your neighbourhood in England, making memories together. 🙂
I can’t wait to experience the Queensland gorges too Kathy.
Irene S. Levine
How wonderful that you could re-take this walk of memories with your adult daughter. It is so precious to spend time with an adult child who shares your love of the outdoors.
Thanks Irene. Yes I consider myself very fortunate.
Thanks Irene, yes it is lovely. I count myself blessed.
Carole Terwilliger Meyers
The Lydford Gorge in Dartmoor sounds very enticing. I’d love to take a walk there. I’ve always found National Trust properties to be very special.
I was looking at the list of them Carole and would so love to go on a quest and visit all of them !
Looks like you had the most perfect weather x
We were lucky Rae!
Looks like a lovely area to explore!
One of the nicest gorges I’ve visited is Taroke Gorge in Taiwan…beautiful.
Hi Nancie, Oh yes, Taroke Gorge – absolutely stunning too. Lydford isn’t on such a grand scale, but equally as pretty 🙂
What an amazing experience to revisit with your daughter. This looks such a beautiful area to walk in. Low ceilings at Peter Tavy wouldn’t bother me, I am short
Yes, Paula, so lucky to be able to share it with my daughter. Me, too, low beams aren’t a worry to me either!
Betsy Wuebker | PassingThru
Greetings from lovely West Sussex, where we’ve been staying the past two weeks! I really enjoyed this post because: 1) dog-friendly everywhere, yes, yes, YES and 2) 1000 year history, YES! We’ve observed the same. So hoping to return and spend more time exploring other regions. Your tip about becoming a National Trust member is terrific, too.
Hello Betsy, so glad you’re enjoying West Sussex! Glad you liked the tips and hope you get back this way again soon 🙂