Dartmoor

TOP 50   SCOTLAND   WALES   ENGLAND

 Haytor, Dartmoor, Britain's most south-westerly national park  (Paula French/Shutterstock)

Haytor, Dartmoor, Britain's most south-westerly national park (Paula French/Shutterstock)

Looking for some Great British adventure inspiration? You're in the right place. Here you'll get an independent, ad-free lowdown on Britain's top 50 adventure locations - the online yin to the paper yang of our Joyously Busy Great British Adventure Map.

Why Go To Dartmoor?

Dartmoor is the wildest place in southern or central England and a wonderful location for adventures of all kinds. Just some of the things you can do on Dartmoor that you can't do anywhere else...   

  • Hike up lots of tors, the wind-smoothed granite tops of Dartmoor's hills that give the place its otherworldly feel 
  • Soak up the atmosphere that inspired the Hound of the Baskervilles and provided the setting for Spielberg's War Horse
  • Wild camp perfectly legally as you hike or bike across this vast, barren landscape 

Want to find out more? Read on for great photos, articles, videos, top tips and other content to fire up your adventure appetite. Got a question? Ask away.


Tell Me More

Part farmland, part huge expanse of treeless hills with rocky bits called tors on top, Dartmoor has oodles of atmosphere. Famous as the setting for Conan Doyle's Hound of the Baskervilles and Spielberg's War Horse, there are also silly amounts of Bronze Age relics scattered about, including the longest stone row in the world. Highest point: High Willhays (621m). Plenty of other gems too - Haytor Rocks, Bellever Tor and Woods, great swimming spots, and the ancient, curly-treed Wistman's Wood. Wild camping actively encouraged. Big steep hills for cyclists. Clapper (stone slab) bridges abound, as do wild horses and tame cattle nibbling away at the grass, pleasingly oblivious to humans.

 River Plym woodland  (Helen Hotson/Shutterstock)

River Plym woodland (Helen Hotson/Shutterstock)

The essential journey on Dartmoor is the Devon coast-to-coast route via the Two Moors Way.

Beautifully read. “… the third largest county in England”.

You know... it's not always cool, but we're OK with some of these official tourist board promo videos (the soundtracks, though...)

Strong contender for most insanely dramatic soundtrack to a tourist video.

Also heavily over-soundtracked, this time with a panpipe-inflected mystery vibe.

Getting To Dartmoor, Maps & Guides

Getting there: 2 hrs by car from Bristol, 4 from London.

Travel times from where you are: See Dartmoor on Google Maps.

Maps: Find the right Ordnance Survey maps and / or get a month's free subscription to their excellent OS Maps app.

Guidebooks: Both Lonely Planet and Rough Guides offer a combined Devon and Cornwall book, and Bradt does a dedicated guide to Devon.

Walking route guidance: from the Visit Dartmoor site.

Tourist board: Visit Dartmoor or Visit Devon.


More Dartmoor Adventure Inspiration

Read about wild camping on Dartmoor from the Great Outdoors magazine. Get some local intel on great Dartmoor walks from the Two Blondes Walking. The Telegraph has a few ideas for things to do on Dartmoor too.

Dartmoor's official tourist site has some good suggestions for things to do there: cycling, canoeing, horse riding among them. It's also very pleasing to know the fine British tradition of woefully punny food trucks has reached Dartmoor...

We love the BBC's Ramblings podcast with Clare Balding, as you've probably guessed by now if you've browsed some of our Top 50 Adventure Locations pages. Here are two episodes invoving Dartmoor, and - appropriately - hounds:

I have never before been gifted with such an abundance of natural beauty as I experienced on Dartmoor.
— Steven Spielberg
 Wistman's Wood, Dartmoor, England  (Shutterstock)

Wistman's Wood, Dartmoor, England (Shutterstock)


What Next?

Click here to see 49 other Great British adventure locations and tell us about your adventures, plans and suggestions for these pages.


Britain's Best Outdoorsy Bits... Mapped!

Liking what you see, but fancy keeping it old school with an actual paper map? Our Joyously Busy Great British Adventure Map features all of Britain's best outdoorsy bits (including the Top 50), plus some enjoyably random and vaguely useful stuff too. Available either as a 2-sided fold-out map or a framed wall map (office furniture and fake plants not included).