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.