Tor de force: how to enjoy the brooding beauty of Dartmoor Devon

Tor de force: how to enjoy the brooding beauty of Dartmoor Devon

It took our writer seven years to grasp the subtle drama of south Devon’s national park. As he prepares to leave the area, he shares some local knowledge and his favourite spots

William Crossing wrote more than 15 books about Dartmoor, with titles including Amid Devonia’s Alps, The Land of Stream and Tor, and Tales of the Dartmoor Pixies. Needless to say, he adored the place. Born in Plymouth in 1847, Crossing lived in the villages of South Brent, Brentor and Mary Tavy, and over five decades got to know Dartmoor’s people, traditions, history and prehistory better than anyone. Though the leading chronicler of his time, he is nowhere near as famous today as Alfred Wainwright – just as Dartmoor isn’t as eulogised, romanticised or popular as the Lake District.

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