A Devon Solstice Run On Dartmoor

#30DaysWild no. 21. Ian joined the Okehampton Running Club’s solstice run, to see in the dawn.

That surely counts as a wild moment for 21st June, the longest day! He had to get up at 3am, to be at the car park at Belstone, north Dartmoor for a 3.30am start. The idea was to get up to Little Hound Tor for sunrise, running via the track that crosses the ford above Belstone and avoiding the really boggy patch just north of Metheral Hill. The first half of the run had to be by torchlight, and the rain and wind didn’t help much either. But not every summer solstice can be picture perfect, and you can see from the runners’ reactions that they all had a good time.

If you fancy trying this Dartmoor run, it took the group about an hour and a half, with an elevation gain of 232m and a distance of 12.2km.

Previously on #30DaysWild

This time last year: we celebrated the solstice with a locally brewed Devon cider in the orchard. Since it was still Covid times, the cider had been delivered by local wine, beer and cider merchant Bruce in his Winebulance, with contactless payment.

This time in 2019: We were appreciating the wild roses at Wheatland Farm, including the ones that we’re training up the back of Nuthatch Lodge.

This time in 2018: Blue sky thinking! There was a glorious moon visible during the day. Today in 2021 it has been sunny with overcast periods, but still a pleasant temperature for a Devon summer’s day.

This time in 2017: We were having a solstice BBQ in the boys’ tree house (there’s one for the eco lodge guests to use too – not sure you should BBQ in it though!). This year the weather isn’t all that promising for an evening BBQ. But we’re working on a refurbished shed in the lodge field that could help out with Devon’s slightly fickle weather, and make BBQing a pleasant activity even if the skies are not so clear.