with Horse and Hound

Foxhunters on Horseback: Exploring Dartmoor

IMG 2943(Front to back) The author, Rosie Campbell, MFH, Live Oak huntsman Spencer Allen, his father Chris Allen, and two friends explore Dartmoor National Park, with Liberty Trail hosts Elaine and Robert Prior.

The first morning there was heavy mist across the moors, and visibility was limited. What I could see looked exactly like I imagined a scene from Hound of the Baskervilles or Jamaica Inn. Ghostly hedges revealed hidden farmyards, complete with thatched roof cottages and low barns.

We had come to Dartmoor National Park in Exeter, England to ride across the famous moors for a couple of days before continuing onto Devon and Cornwall. Rosie Campbell, MFH of Bull Run Hunt (VA), her husband Chris Allen and son-in-law Spencer Allen, and my husband Michael and I had driven down to Bovey Castle from London on Tuesday. It had been cool, with some showers, and by 4:00 pm we met in the lovely sitting room for a traditional Devon cream tea. Delicious and decadent. We had it only once! Buttery biscuits, topped with berry jam and then the cream, which really looks like butter, is so good.

Bovey Castle is a luxurious spa in the heart of Dartmoor and caters to hunting and fishing activities of all sorts. They have partnered with Liberty Trails, the equine brainchild of Elaine and Robert Prior, which offers riding holidays across these moors made famous by Sherlock Holmes and more recently, Stephen Spielberg's movie, War Horse.

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