• Pridie Tiernan

THE WORD IN THE WILD #1: DARTMOOR

Taking stories outdoors this Halloween...

This half term, I'm whisking the kids away for an adventure. We're going to go where it's wild and where there are plenty of spooky stories for us to enjoy! The van is packed, the route is mapped (loosely) and a little bit of digging has unearthed some exquisitely freaky stories for us all to enjoy!


If you love getting outdoors and enjoy a tall tale or two, why not try this little 'outdoor storying' adventure yourselves? (Be sure to check out all the latest Covid info before you do!)


One thing we always do when we're visiting wild and exciting places is share stories along the way. It adds a very special extra layer to our outdoor explorations. On this particular trip, we've decided that we want to see pixies, ponies, foxes and the moor.


The stories we've picked to accompany us this trip have been selected with these four things specifically in mind. We hope you will enjoy reading them together and we encourage you to have a go at TELLING them to each other in the most entertaining ways possible! There really is nothing better than a spoken story shared along a walk or around a campfire! (Grownups: do read these yourselves beforehand and make sure they are right for any little listeners you might have with you!)


Day 1: PIXIE TRICKS

For the best chance possible of spotting those tricksy Dartmoor pixies, we're booked in to camping at Sweet Meadows and Wild Woods campsite, in Drewsleighton (£14 per family) - a beautifully intimate little campsite with plenty of places we can hide away. With plenty of woodland walks and River Teign wild swimming just 3/4 mile from Clifford Bridge nearby, we're all set for the sort of day that offer plenty of opportunities to spot some fairy folk!

Story: https://fairytalez.com/peeping-kate-piskey-led/


Day 2: PETTING PONIES

The plan: We've been promising to visit The Miniature Pony Centre for such a long time and feel it's only fair if we want the girls to indulge us our iron age hill forts and medieval settlements, that we allow them some time with all things small, cute and cuddly. Plus, it will beautifully balance the slightly spookier pony stories we have prepared for the evening (with additional pixies thrown in of course!)

Stories: The Story of the Phantom Pony - https://www.legendarydartmoor.co.uk/phan_pony.htm, and enjoyed learning about the Piskie Riders - https://www.legendarydartmoor.co.uk/piskie_ride.htm


Day 3: SPOTTING FOXES

Plan: We're looking forward to enjoying an autumn walk along and into the Teign Gorge on this day, and hope to stay out until after dusk to increase our chances of spotting a fox! We're going to make use of the route mapped by the National Trust, although we're also just as likely to 'go rogue' during this with the help of Backcountry Navigator / our OS map and explore the open access land! (The Covid update on the NT website tells us that booking isn't necessary at the Castle Drogo carpark, but Fingle Bridge could be a back up option if the carpark is full that end.)

Story: https://www.legendarydartmoor.co.uk/fox_pisk.htm


Day 4: ONTO THE MOOR

Plan: To round it all off, we'll be sweeping our little ones into the world of 'real wild', with a walk onto the moor via the Merrivale military ranges (providing they aren't firing!) We absolutely adore this part of the moor - it's really really WILD! If we stay out long enough, we'll also hopefully have a chance to look for the moon in the boggiest bits on our walk. We'll have to be brave mind, she's been stolen Bogles (among several other things!) WARNING: This story is perhaps best for older children and grownups in it's fullest form!

Story: https://www.worldoftales.com/European_folktales/English_folktale_66.html#gsc.tab=0



A word of caution to you all - we've planned these stories and this adventure with Halloween themes in mind! Our girls love a good scare and we oblige with tales such as the above - sometimes tempered depending on how scary the story is - but often in their original form! Please do read these yourselves beforehand and adapt your retelling to best suit your listeners!


Enjoy!


#miniatureponycentre #dartmoor #legendarydartmoor #worldoftales #fairytalez #folklore #dartmoorwithkids #outdooradventureswithkids #thewildofthewords #outdoorstorying #shewhovans #vanadventures #vanlife #stories #storytelling #storyteller #mythsandlegends #dartmoormythsandlegends #dartmoornationalpark #sweetmeadowscamping #backcountrynavigator


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