Recently discovered in the 19th century Dartmoor National Park occupies the essence of history and archaeology. The place is unique and much different from all other national parks. Located in southwest England this vast moorland is in the country of Devon. This area has covered 400 square miles of UK and specializes in natural beauty. Wetlands and rock formations called “tors” are quite common here accompanied by forests and rivers.
Wildlife in Dartmoor National Park
Wildlife is rarely seen here however Dartmoor ponies are seen in most of the areas. Other wildlife found here are rabbits, foxes, badgers, deer, and grey squirrels. Ancient woodlands, standing stones, streams, clapper bridges, bustling towns, and villages created the landscape of Dartmoor. This place is especially for those animals who can withstand harsh conditions. Heath and farmlands are very common here.
Things to do in Dartmoor National Park
This distinctive area has so many things to see and do, but to experience Dartmoor; you have to get out and see what it has in its store for you. The Dartmoor National Park can be easily reached by car, although there is another option such as a bus if you are interested to see a particular village. Basically, there is little public transport available to the moors. Walking, cycling, riding, caning, and even fishing are enjoyable activities in Dartmoor to soak up its very exceptional atmosphere. Another Dartmoor outdoor activity that has gained popularity with families is letterboxing. You can explore more about this special activity at Princetown, High Moorland Visitor Centre.
Where to visit
Wandering around Haytor Quarry
Haytor is a few miles away from the town of Bovet Tracey along the edge of Moor. Every year it attracts visitors from far-off places because of its beauty among all the Dartmoor tors. There lies a hidden lake at the base of the granite outcrop. Here you can observe all the wildlife and enjoy a wonderful moment filled with tranquillity.
The small clapper bridge at the middle of Dartmoor has created a passage across the river for thousands of years. Your journey to Dartmoor is never complete without visiting and walking through this ancient middle age historical attraction.
Nearer to Venford reservoir, this magical falls is a little gateway to woodland. It is perfect to visit the mystical falls in the summer months or dry season. Charming in itself the Venford reservoir could also be visited to have an awesome feeling.
A trip to Grimspound
This Neolithic community of Grimspound is located on one of the highest points of the moor. This discarded settlement was home to hundreds of people and their cattle once upon a time. Now, it is tough to visualize how people used to reside in such a barren landscape.
In Princetown, this prison is still active and is high on expenses. Here you can get knowledge about life in prison and how people used to spend their lives through the ages. This prison was built by the American prisoners of War and Napoleonic and came into action in the year 1809.
This impressive reservoir is situated at a height of 900 feet above sea level. Activities you can do here are wandering around the lake, enjoying the beauty of this wonderful body of water and snapping memorable pictures. It is really one of the best places to explore in Dartmoor National Park for those who are interested in photography and hiking.
Other important information
Cafe: Primerose tea rooms in Lustleigh, Newtown Abbot offers you homemade cake and hot drinks after you feel exhausted all through the journey. Other than these Taylors in Ashburton and Ullacombe in Haytor are perfect places to stop off for a break and shop.
Home Stay: Hamaldown Hideaway and Hay Tor cottage located in Widecombe are the best places to stay nearer to Moorland.
The two major ways that would offer you breathtaking scenario is the Dartmoor Way and the Two Moors. Other than amazing scenarios, Dartmoor has many other layers to explore such as the incredible archaeology and zoology, the gift of mining, folklores, and its wildlife. The granite railway at Hay Tor and Widecombe in the moor is a must-visit for astonishing delights.
Dartmoor National Park How to reach
Dartmoor National Park is located in South West England, near Plymouth. The following are some ways to reach Dartmoor:
- By car: Dartmoor National Park is easily accessible by car, with good road connections from Exeter, Plymouth, and other nearby cities.
- By train: The nearest train station to Dartmoor National Park is in Newton Abbot, which is well connected to other parts of the UK. From there, you can take a bus or a taxi to the park.
- By bus: There are regular bus services from Plymouth, Exeter, and other nearby towns to Dartmoor National Park.
- By air: The nearest airport to Dartmoor National Park is Exeter International Airport, which is about a 30-minute drive from the park.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Dartmoor National Park depends on what you’re interested in seeing and doing. Here are some factors to consider:
- Summer: The warm, dry weather from June to August makes it a great time to explore the park’s walking and hiking trails, have a picnic, or visit one of the many local festivals.
- Spring and autumn: These seasons offer milder weather and the chance to see the park’s wildlife and flora in action, as well as witness the breathtaking colors of the changing leaves.
- Winter: Winter can be a quiet and magical time to visit Dartmoor National Park, with crisp, clear days and the chance to see snow-capped landscapes. Just be prepared for colder temperatures and possibly some icy or snowy conditions.
No matter what time of year you visit, it’s always a good idea to check the weather forecast and be prepared for changes in the weather.
Dartmoor National Park offers a range of activities for visitors, including:
- Walking and hiking: With its rolling hills, picturesque valleys, and miles of trails, Dartmoor is a paradise for walkers and hikers. There are many well-marked trails of varying lengths and difficulty levels, so you can choose the right one for you.
- Cycling: Dartmoor is also great for cycling, with a network of quiet roads and trails to explore. Some popular routes take you through the park’s stunning landscapes, past ancient stone circles and over rugged moorland.
- Horse riding: With its vast open spaces and well-marked trails, Dartmoor is a popular destination for horse riders. You can bring your own horse, or hire one from one of the local stables.
- Rock climbing and bouldering: Dartmoor is home to some of the best climbing and bouldering in the UK, with a range of routes and problems for all levels of experience.
- Photography: Dartmoor’s diverse landscapes, from rolling hills to moorland, provide endless opportunities for photography. You can capture the beauty of the park’s wildlife, flowers, and historic landmarks.
- Wildlife watching: Dartmoor is home to a rich variety of wildlife, including birds of prey, deer, and rare species of plants. Keep your eyes peeled for red deer on the moors, or visit one of the many bird-watching spots in the park.
Here are some common questions and answers about The Park:
Q: Is Dartmoor National Park free to visit?
A: Yes, access to Dartmoor National Park is free, and there are no entrance fees.
Q: Can I camp in Dartmoor National Park?
A: Yes, there are many campsites in and around Dartmoor National Park, as well as designated wild camping areas. Always check the local bylaws before setting up camp, and be mindful of the park’s fragile ecosystem.
Q: Are dogs allowed in Dartmoor National Park?
A: Yes, dogs are welcome in Dartmoor National Park, but they must be kept on a lead at all times. This is to protect the park’s wildlife and other visitors.
Q: Is Dartmoor National Park accessible for people with disabilities?
A: Some parts of Dartmoor National Park can be challenging for people with disabilities, but there are still many accessible paths, trails, and visitor centers. Check with the park’s visitor center for more information on accessible routes.
Q: Is there mobile phone coverage in Dartmoor National Park?
A: Mobile phone coverage in Dartmoor National Park can be patchy, especially in remote areas. It’s always a good idea to carry a map and compass and to let someone know your route before setting out.