Dartmoor Rivers

Dartmoor Rivers is a small portfolio of images from Dartmoor captured during this summer and autumn at some of the main rivers that rises on Dartmoor. Many are the times I have been photographing in Dartmoor under grey skies and with rain and come back to Knightstone to find that the rest of my family has enjoyed beautiful sunshine! So, this is the unscientific proof that it rains a lot on Dartmoor, which of course leads to the abundance of streams and rivers being “born” on this lovely part of English land.

Woodland is often dark, and all images are taken with the camera on a tripod and fairly long exposure times (from 0.5 sec to 10 sec). That in turn creates the dreamy look of the fast-flowing streams and rivers and when the colourful autumn leaves contrast with the flowing water, we can get some very attractive compositions.

River Teign

I begin from the north with river Teign. It starts as two rivers, North Teign and South Teign, that meet near Teigncombe and then flows east in a valley with the impressive Castle Drogo towering above it on a hill and then underneath Fingle Bridge. Between Castle Drogo and Fingle Bridge I captured some images of the river, first in summer and then now in October, when the autumn colours added to the composition. The location has the advantage that at Fingle Bridge there is a very nice inn/pub, where after carrying tripod and camera equipment for a couple of hours the beer tastes marvellous.

After a while the river changes course and turns south along east Dartmoor until it leaves Dartmoor and meets the sea at Teignmouth.

River Dart

River Dart also starts its life as two rivers, the West Dart River and the East Dart River. They meet at the appropriately named Dartmeet, where a bridge crosses the East Dart River. The bridge was built in 1792 and replaces a medieval clapperstone bridge nearby. I captured the two bridges with early autumn colours. The clapperstone bridge has unfortunately partially collapsed, but the remains of it and all the boulders surrounding it makes a great place for children to play in the shallow river in summer

Further down the river Dart towards Holne Chase, the river has grown in size and I captured another image of it flowing by. River Dart leaves Dartmooor at the southeast end of the moor, near Buckfastleigh and enters the sea at Dartmouth that was an important base for the navy and now harbours a large yachting community. 

River Webburn

River Webburn starts its life near Widecombe-in-the -Moor and meets the Dart river at Holne Chase. I photographed the river and the Buckland Bridge that crosses it just close to the confluence with River Dart. A very attractive footpath follows the river upstream in the Webburn valley.

A very narrow and steep road climbs up from Buckland Bridge to proper moorland and Buckland-in-the-Moor. The church is from the 15th or early 16th century but the font and parts of the walls goes back to the 12thcentury. The vestry is in a separate thatched building at the bottom of the churchyard (see my photo of the church and its vestry). Below is the Webburn valley. After my walk along River Webburn I took the car up on the moorland and captured the church and the views across the Webburn valley.

River Plym

River Plym has its beginning in the southwest part of Dartmoor and runs southwest to meet the sea at Plymouth. Before that it meets the River Meady at Dewerstone near the little village of Shaugh Prior, and I went there this weekend to capture some stunning images of the river with autumn colours at its best. The river name comes from the old English word for plum tree. 

Along both rivers (Plym and Meady) are some lovely walks, and on a day that offered both sunshine and heavy rain I walked some of these paths and captured wonderful rapids and forests in autumnal colours. Photographically River Plym was probably the most attractive of all my Dartmoor rivers. It offered many opportunities to shoot the fast-flowing river with slow shutter speeds and surrounded by attractive woodland and trees with branches shooting out across the river. The rain made the colourful leaves very attractive and I got both sunshine and soft even light when the clouds diffused the sunlight.

Slide Show: Dartmoor Rivers

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