One incredibly cool addition to our lounge is the Dartmoor Scratch Map, which we got at the start of lockdown. This A2 map has 56 tors and another 15 ‘Points of Interest’ marked, the idea being that you scratch off each place and add the date as you visit it. It’s a really good, high-quality map and the boys instantly wanted to know what each feature was and when we could go to visit it. Nothing like a challenge to motivate a couple of small boys.
Over time, I think, you get drawn back to the same places. You have your favourite walks, picnic spots, viewpoints, but that familiarity can become stale. I love the scratch map because it makes you think about places you haven’t been to before, or haven’t been to for a long time, or encourages you to take routes that you might never have thought of. You know you’re on to a winner when your eight year old son wakes you up at the weekend by running into your bedroom shouting ‘Daddy! Can we go to Higher White Tor today?’
We’ve modified our scratch map further by mounting it on a board and leaving space between the map and the border. When we get home form a walk, we look through the photos and choose the one that we think most represents the day we’ve had. The photo goes onto the board with pins and string to mark the location. We’ll have too many photos for the border soon enough, then we’ll outgrow the frame at some point, and by the time we finish we’ll have a wall full of walks and memories to talk about and share.
And then – you never know – maybe we’ll make our own map.
If you want your own copy of this fantastic map, take a look at the Dartmoor Scratch Map website where you can get your own copy for just £20.