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Vacation Plans

A little info about the area: Devon is a large county in southwestern England. The county is sometimes referred to as Devonshire, although the term is rarely used inside the county itself as the county has never been officially "shired", it often indicates a traditional or historical context. The county shares borders with Cornwall to the west and Dorset and Somerset to the east. Its southern coast abuts the English Channel and its northern coast the Bristol Channel and Celtic Sea. The name "Devon" derives from the kingdom of Dumnonia, which was home to the tribe of Celtic people who inhabited this area of the southwestern peninsula of Britain at the time of the Roman invasion in AD 43, Dumnonii—possibly meaning "Deep Valley Dwellers" or "Worshipers of the god Dumnonos". Devon is the fourth largest of the English counties by area and has a population of 1,141,600 making it the 11th largest. The county town is the cathedral city of Exeter. In addition to Devon County Council, the county contains two unitary authorities (independent from Devon County Council's control): the port city of Plymouth and Torbay, a conurbation of seaside resorts. Plymouth is also the largest city in Devon. Much of the county is rural (including national park) land, with a low population density by British standards. It contains Dartmoor 954 km2 (368 sq mi), the largest open space in southern England. It is the only English county to have two separate coastlines – a north and southern coastline. We will be staying near Okehampton. Okehampton is a town and civil parish in West Devon. It is situated at the northern edge of Dartmoor, and has an estimated population of 7,155. Okehampton was formed by the Saxons. The earliest written record of the settlement is from 980 AD as "Ocmundtune", meaning settlement by the Ockment, a river which runs through the town. It was recorded as a place for slaves to be freed at cross roads. Like many towns in the West Country, Okehampton grew on the medieval wool trade. Notable buildings in the town include the 15th century chapel of St. James and Okehampton Castle, which was established by the Norman Sherrif, Baldwin de Brionne, as the administrative centre of his vast estate in Devon. These passed by marriage to the Courtenay family, who rebuilt the castle as a lavish but defensible country retreat, until in 1539 Henry VIII seized the estate, and had Edward Courtenay executed for treason. Presently, the castle is owned by English Heritage and is open to the public during the summer season. The town is also home to the Museum of Dartmoor Life, which has had notable visitors such as Prince Charles. Okehampton is characterized by the large number of smaller villages and towns that surround it. Notable examples are the villages of Folly Gate, a small picturesque village which lies close to the village of Inwardleigh and Abbeyford Woods, Belstone, known for its location on the very outskirts of Dartmoor, and Sticklepath which runs parallel to the A30 dual carriageway. Note: Dartmoor has been described as "a haunt of pixies, a headless horseman, a mysterious pack of 'spectral hounds', and a large black beast." Sounds like a nice place to go sniffing around. I can't wait!!! :) xoxo ~ Virginia

Amethyst Deceiver in Okehampton.

Looking across to Shelstone Tor from Meldon Reservoir.

Bluebell Wood. Meldon, near Okehampton in the County of Devon. An enchanted place for an all too short time in late April and early May when the wooldand floor is covered with a carpet of blue flowers beneath really fresh green leaves of Hazel bushes. The dog's name is Angel.

Field of gold, August in Devon. :)

Sunlight on the Moor Brook in Okehampton.

Looking down the path towards the island at Meldon Reservoir.