Rugged Dartmoor moorland
Dartmoor is a 368-square-mile area of moorland in South Devon. This wild, windswept area is a favourite among visitors who want to make the most of the great outdoors and experience the solitude and tranquillity of one of England’s most dramatic stretches of moorland. Dartmoor is an enjoyable and often challenging place to hike, with a hilly, rocky terrain, criss-crossed by rough, winding trails. A wide range of outdoor pursuits, including fishing, canoeing, cycling and horse-riding are on offer in this spectacular environment. As you explore the tors and valleys, you’ll discover some fascinating historical sites, including prehistoric standing stones, stone circles and cairns. Don’t miss Upper Erme Stone Row, the world’s longest stone row, at 3,300 metres. Dartmoor is home to countless myths and legends, including the headless horseman and pack of spectral hounds. It has inspired artists and writers such as Arthur Conan Doyle, who wrote The Hound of the Baskervilles.
One of Dartmoor’s most popular family attractions is the excellent Dartmoor Zoo, set in 30 acres of beautiful Devon parkland and home to a number of endangered species. You’ll find cheetahs, bears, wolves and plenty more fascinating animals.
Dartmoor is scattered with attractive towns and villages, including Chagford, Christow and Buckfastleigh, which is home to the famous Buckfast Abbey, part of a Benedictine monastery, where Buckfast Tonic Wine is produced. Visitors can explore the abbey’s magnificent grounds and get an insight into a way of life which has changed little over the centuries. Traditional Dartmoor pub
Dartmoor is home to a variety of excellent places to eat and drink, including award-winning restaurants and rustic country pubs, many of which make the most of the local produce on their doorstep. For delicious food in an elegant dining room with views across Dartmoor, try Ilsington Country House, where locally sourced fish and meat is smoked in the kitchen’s own smokehouse. For beautifully presented dishes, including seafood salad and Creedy Carver duck with pickled blackberries, visit The Horn of Plenty, in Gulworthy.
“Dartmoor is an enchanting land of ruggedly beautiful landscapes, including towering granite tors, wooded valleys and rushing rivers.”
Dartmoor has some great pubs, which are perfect for a pint of local ale by a roaring fire after a day of exploring. If you find yourself near Bridford, don’t miss the Bridford Inn, a 17th century pub with an impressive selection of Westcountry ciders, a nice beer garden and regular live music.