I’d heard a rumour about the best carpet of bluebells the world has ever seen.
Having read Katie’s perfectly articulated account of the excruciating sadomasochistic pleasure that is being a Brit in bluebell season (I think that’s what she meant, awks if not) and desperate not to miss Dartmoor’s offering, Sarah and I hot footed it up to Holwell Lawn ON A SCHOOL NIGHT. Sort of like a modern day Famous Five but with fewer humans and more dogs, which IMHO would have improved things somewhat. Anne was always a bit surplus to requirements.
By day, Holwell Lawn is a cross country riding competition course (what, what) but by night the horses clear off leaving the place open for a moorland romp among swathes of mauvey goodness.
I don’t know why we all lose our shit over the bluebells but it seems to be a national past time. Betts fell for it big time.
Maybe it’s the exclusivity of their fleetingness that rocks our worlds.
Or their impossible cheeriness.
Whatever it is, those few weeks of the year that they grace us with their purple presence is a bit magical. More than a bit. Especially when Dartmoor is full of legends about pixies and fairies and dragons and Dothraki and things.
It’s also the home of the hairy hands (Google it, it still scares the bejesus out of me) and the tragic tale of Jay’s Grave. According to the story, in the 1800s Kitty Jay fell pregnant following an assault and hung herself when disowned by her swell sounding friends and family. She was buried at a crossroads to confuse her spirit and avoid any hauntings. Fresh flowers have appeared on her grave every single day since and no-one knows who’s doing it. Sweet dreams.
Exploring Dartmoor, waving my arms in whimsy and belting out some Kate Bush (not this time, sometimes it’s ok to shut the hell up) is one of my favourite ways to pass the time. It never fails to remind me why I love this little life in the countryside. Full disclosure: I live a hundred yards from M&S but look, look where I can get to in 20 minutes after work.
The bluebells at Holwell Lawn may just stick around a little longer if you need a bank holiday adventure.