Dartmoor National Park

Dartmoor National Park

  • Beautiful untamed moorland
  • Perfect for walkers and touring
  • Perfect for wildlife observation
  • Rivers and streams

Dartmoor became a National Park in 1951, it is 365 square miles of bleak granite upland and granite tors. Heather and gorse and large areas of peat are the landscape for this natural, untamed moorland.

For places to stay in Devon, as a base from which to visit Dartmoor and the surrounding area, please see: Country House Hotels in Devon , Coastal Hotels in Devon , Spa Hotels in Devon , Bed & Breakfasts in Devon or Self-Catering Cottages in Devon

Semi-wild Dartmoor ponies graze freely and the rapidly changing weather conditions can take the unwary by surprise, low cloud, fog and sometimes heavy rain provide the perfect setting for Conan Doyle’s ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’.

Largely unchanged in centuries of existence the attractiveness of Dartmoor is boundless.... Miles and miles of dramatic footpaths lead you across glorious Dartmoor scenery, taking in the distant hills and valleys. If going North, beware of the Ministry of Defence training area where live ammunition is used in the military exercises - so be sure to observe all warning signs!

Well worth a visit whilst passing through Princetown is the High Moorland Visitor centre which gives a great account of the local history and geology. Whilst in Princetown you will find the Plume of Feathers Inn dating back to 1785; it is Princetown’s oldest building and serves good food all day.

Also in Princetown you will see the infamous Prison! Built in 1809 Dartmoor prison held French and American prisoners of war. It became a criminal prison from 1850. Most of the buildings date from the late 19th century but 3 wings have recently been fully refurbished. Dartmoor is a Category C training prison. Dartmoor has done much in recent years to shake off its historically austere image, and boasts the outstanding Public Service Team of 2004-05.

Having excaped the prison visit Haytor - one of the most imposing tors on the moor. Climb the tor and marvel at the views. Stone has been quarried from Dartmoor with the biggest venues being Haytor and Foggintor (where stone for Nelson’s column was quarried) but today simply use it as a wonderful vantage point for viewing the natural beauty of your surroundings.

Having descended from Haytor find your way to Becky Falls where beautiful cascading water falls will bring a different insight into Dartmoor. Enjoy the woodland walks and wildlife discovery trail. Perhaps a coffee is what your’e after - enjoy suitable refreshments at the Falls...

For information on walks, accommodation and travel on Dartmoor there are many visitor centres and all details can be found on Dartmoor National Park

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