A Bit About Me
Welcome to treksandtors, this is a simple photographic walking blog of mine and my family’s walks around the South West of England, the majority of which are on Dartmoor. I haven’t always lived in the South West, previously I lived in the Rugby League town of St Helens until I was 13, before moving to Plymouth during my secondary school years. After University I based myself in Plymouth and have worked here ever since. I am lucky enough to have two lovely boys who are still enjoying the walks I drag them on, just about!!
The first serious walk that I can remember was when I was 16 or 17 when myself and brother decided to scale Skiddaw in the Lake District, the fourth highest mountain in England!! I remember it being harder than it looked from the bottom and we clearly hadn’t the equipment nor the necessary refreshments to take on such a peak. It clearly didn’t put me off, although it did take me around another 15 years to start walking seriously again.
Living in Plymouth, I am passionate about the outstanding countryside around us and walking within it. Dartmoor’s tors and the coastal paths around Devon and Cornwall provide myself and my family with plenty of places to visit at all times of the year. The aim of this site is to share these stunning places to a wider audience catering, hopefully, for people of all walking abilities. Whether it be a quick walk of less than a mile from the car park beside the B3212 (OS grid ref SX556706) up to Sharpitor and Peek Hill taking in great views of Burrator reservoir. Or a fine child and pram friendly coastal walk from Wembury beach car park (OS grid ref SX515485) around to Heybrook Bay (around 3 miles there and back). Finally a much longer walk taking in Yes Tor and High Willhays, a route of around 7 miles starting from Meldon reservoir (OS grid ref SX561917), which tops out on High Willhays over 600 metres above sea level and is the highest point in England south of the Peak District.
Alongside the views and fantastic walking routes and terrain, the two counties of Devon and Cornwall and in particular Dartmoor, have plenty of other activities linked to walking to encourage you to explore. Firstly, Letterboxing, which requires good puzzle solving and orienteering skills to locate weather proof boxes hidden on Dartmoor, the oldest being at Cranmere Pool which was hidden in 1854! Secondly, Geocaching, which is very similar to letterboxing except using a GPS to locate the hidden boxes instead of a map and compass and recording finds on the Geocaching website.
As well as the South West of England, myself and my family have, since 2008, visited the Lake District for at least one holiday each year. The walking there is fantastic and varied, with areas similar to wide open rolling spaces of Dartmoor in the Northern Lake District placed within 20 miles of the craggy, rocky, wind swept ridge of Striding Edge on Helvellyn! Walking the Lake District Wainwrights (214 fell tops identified by Alfred Wainwright in his pictorial guide books) is similar to walking the Dartmoor Tors for me, both provide an aim for a walk and along the way views, photos and sights can be found (as well as allowing me to tick a box to say I’ve been there!!).
As I get older I find myself enjoying the walking for the space it gives me and the help it provides to my mental health. I would always encourage people to look to exercise and especially walking to help them have time to think and relax a little away from any stresses of life. Time alone can be just as important as time with friends and family, and as I age I find myself looking to these times just to help reset the balance and give time to myself for a short while. Whatever you do and however you do it, I hope you enjoy your time in the outdoors and I hope this site helps give you inspiration to get out there.
Yours Steve Foster
If you have any questions or would like to contact me do so on firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do my best to get back to you.