Note: As the postcode is used to identify the general area of the property, it may not always reflect its precise location, therefore please only use this map as a guide.
The rolling expanse of Dartmoor is one of Devon’s most picturesque locations. The landscape is a wide and varied collection of heather covered moorland, sweeping valleys with rushing rivers, and sharp rocky tors protruding from the hilltops. With a beautiful network of towns and villages populating this National Park, there is a huge amount of choice for places to stay during your holiday.
There is a huge variety of wildlife inhabiting Dartmoor National Park, some common and typical of open countryside, and others wonderfully rare and beautiful, and all are well treasure by the people of Dartmoor and Devon. The Dartmoor ponies that roam free across the land are a common sight to walkers and picnickers, as are gentle cattle and farm animals. Lesser spotted wildlife include butterflies, otters, birds of prey, and red deer which you’re likely to spot should you spend any great amount of time rambling across the moors. A rare and often disputed sight on Dartmoor is that of the elusive Beast. Many have stories of a big cat that roams Dartmoor, but take these tall tales with a pinch of salt!
The towns, villages, and hamlets of Dartmoor are picture postcard perfect, with narrow streets and thatched roof cottages, traditional tea rooms serving Devon cream teas, and old English Inns with roaring log fires and plenty of local ales on tap. For a real taste of Dartmoor life visit Widecombe-in-the-Moor, a pretty little village set in the bottom of a valley, well sheltered from the elements and full of charming tea rooms and the stunning church has a vivid ghostly history! For a little retail therapy, you can head to the market towns of Tavistock or Okehampton and to be in the perfect place to try a range of outdoor pursuits including letterboxing, horse riding, and hiking why not stay in the riverside village of Bovey Tracey or Princetown, one of Dartmoor’s highest points?
Getting active on Dartmoor
Understandably, walking is a very popular pastime for visitors to Dartmoor. The National Park encompasses over 350 square miles of beautiful countryside to explore. There is a wealth of information available for walks across Dartmoor, from easy to moderate walks and circular routes ranging to harder treks and guided walks, there will certainly be something to suit everybody if you plan to get your walking boots on and get active in Dartmoor. Walking route information can be purchased from many of Dartmoor’s Tourist Information Offices.
Whether you have heard of letterboxing or not, it’s definitely worth a try during your next Dartmoor holiday. Imagine a gigantic, never ending treasure hunt, and you have letterboxing! Participants hunt for the boxes, within each is a unique stamp which identifies where you have been. Some are hidden under rocks, up hills, and in caves, and others are in pubs and post offices. To give you a little head start here are two letterbox locations: The Fox Tor Cafe, Princetown and Buckland Abbey in Yelverton.
There are also plenty of wild and watery activities to try in Dartmoor! The River Dart has some of the best medium grade white water in the whole of the UK so if you enjoy kayaking or canoeing or fancy giving it a go for the first time, Dartmoor is a great place to try it. Another watery pastime is ‘wild swimming’ where you can paddle amongst forest lakes and natural valley pools. If you prefer to stay on dry land, you can fish along the East and West stretches of the Dart for brown trout, sea trout, and salmon.
Dog walks, Demons, and Dinosaurs
With all that wide open countryside, it’s no wonder that Dartmoor is an ever popular destination for holidaymakers and their dogs. Dogs are welcome all across the National Park, although make sure to keep an eye out for farm animals grazing on the moorland. Your dog will love running through the streams, tearing about across the heather and over the hills just as much as you will! Many of Dartmoor’s pubs welcome dogs where you can stop in for a well deserved rest.
The wild and windy moors of Dartmoor are rife with myths and legends; perhaps the most famous is the story of the Hound of the Baskervilles. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is said to have been inspired to write this chilling tale while staying in Dartmoor. Much of the book is set here and Conan Doyle’s thriller is based upon an old legend of an evil man who used to ride across the moors accompanied by gigantic hounds. Upon his death, fire breathing packs of dogs prowled the moors and howled at his grave!
Ok, there may not be actual dinosaur bones along Dartmoor but there have been settlements in Dartmoor since pre-historic times, evidence of Neolithic remains and Bronze Age sculptures have been found along with ancient stone circles and mysterious menhirs, or standing stones.