A land of contrasts – Dartmoor National Park
Wild, open moorlands and deep river valleys, with a rich history and rare wildlife, striking tors and swathes of heather, Dartmoor will touch your soul.
With 450 miles of paths to walk, cycle, run or ride, thousands of archaeological sites and features to discover the past, Dartmoor is packed full of stunning views that steal your breath, mysterious stories to intrigue and spaces to simply sit and be.
Special qualities of Dartmoor National Park
“I have never before, in my long and eclectic career, been gifted with such an abundance of natural beauty as I experienced filming War Horse on Dartmoor.” Steven Spielberg.
Dartmoor’s granite tors, rich coloured rivers and open landscapes have inspired authors, poets and artists for years. From Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie’s detective Poirot and the evocative works of Widgery to the contemporary folk songs of Seth Lakeman.
Steeped in history Dartmoor is the most important site for Bronze Age archaeology in western Europe, it’s home to the Dartmoor pony which can be seen grazing wild with foals close by and it’s the only place in the world where you can find the tiny Bog Hoverfly. In Dartmoor’s woodlands you might spot the world’s largest land slug the whopping Black Ash Slug that can exceed 20cm!
Find a river side spot for a picnic, walk Stallmoor stone row – the longest in the world, explore a hut circle and cross a clapper bridge or climb a tor and take in the natural beauty of Dartmoor, it will leave you uplifted, refreshed and revived.
Dartmoor is the only national park in England where wild camping is permitted – and a night under canvas is a fine way to get acquainted with Devon’s mysterious moorlands. Wherever you pitch up, you will notice the park’s defining landmarks are its tors – granite outcrops rising over windswept grasses where wild ponies graze. Haytor and Hound Tor are popular spots; for a real adventure, strike out to remote Fur Tor. Accessed by a long walk over boggy ground, it’s a magnificently secluded spot for a night under starry skies.
Where to stay
Check for any camping restrictions before you visit at dartmoor.gov.uk
Did you know?
Dartmoor doesn’t just have places, it has special places. These are places that are set apart from the ordinary or the mundane. This could be due to their history, their setting, their offer or often due to all of this and more.
Start your journey in one of Dartmoor’s towns or villages and discover what makes them so special. Maybe it’s because they’re a market town, a Medieval Stannary town or just a great place to start a walk or ride from. What you can be sure of is the welcome and the quality of the food and drink.
Venturing further up on to the Moor, come and discover one of three National Park Visitor Centres. With a wealth of natural and built beauty, opportunities for short or long walks and things to do for people of all ages, they make great bases to explore Dartmoor.
Getting around Dartmoor National Park
Dartmoor can be explored on foot, bike, horse or vehicle. There are several bus services running from the main moorland towns and for hassle free travel there are organised trips with a variety of coach companies.
Getting to Dartmoor National Park
Dartmoor National Park has train stations nearby in Exeter, Newton Abbot, Totnes, Ivybridge and Plymouth. The average journey time from London is 4 hours.
Exeter Airport offers access from the rest of the UK and internationally.
There are good road links to the gateway moorland towns.