Local Sights – Becky Falls in Devon, UK
Posted by cotojo on July 14, 2008
Over the weekend my daughter stayed with me so we decided that as it was a dry day on Saturday we would go out to Dartmoor. On the drive there she spotted a sign for Becky Falls and asked if we could go there instead, so we did.
Becky Falls is near to Manaton and is high on Dartmoor, 750 feet above the sea and was first inhabited during the Bronze and Iron Age, and remains of the settlements and medieval villages can be seen there. Many came in search of water, wood and shelter, and in this ancient woodland valley they found plenty of it.
With the arrival of railways in the mid 1800’s it became a popular destination with visitors disembarking at Bovey Tracey and travelling along the newly constructed road across Dartmoor in horse drawn carriages. Dartmoor, until the late 19th century was a wilderness, remote and unknown, and the journey must have been one of intense pleasure and wonder for those who travelled along the new roads, opening up areas of great beauty to them.
It first opened to the public in 1903, and has been attracting visitors ever since.
Becky Falls remains relatively untouched throughout the centuries, and many visitors come to see what is described as one of the most scenic and untouched areas of Dartmoor, tucked away in a valley which is very tranquil and where wildlife and woodlands thrive.
It’s a magical place to explore, climb over boulders in the river, get soaked in the process or just to walk through the remains of Roman aqueducts, which channelled the water from the River Bovey down to Bovey Tracey, amble along ancient footpaths where the only sounds are the rushing waters and the birds singing.
There is an abundance of rare and endangered flora and fauna, including some extremely rare lichens and fungi, and Becky Falls has been designated a site of special scientific interest.
It is also a place of folklore, with fables of woodland pixies to ensure the safe passage of travellers as they passed through the woodlands, including The Money Tree.
In more recent times a cafeteria and gift shop has been added near to the entrance, but this does not spoil the natural beauty of the area as you walk along the well trodden paths, as have countless others over the centuries.