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Why choose Dartmoor?
Dartmoor National Park’s purple heather coated moorland and incredible rock tors provide a natural playground for outdoor pursuits such as walking, off-road cycling, climbing and horse-riding. Situated in the heart of Devon, this vast untamed wilderness covers 368 square miles of countryside. Follow rushing rivers from the moorland down to dramatic wooded valleys. Discover mystical stone circles and spot the semi-wild Dartmoor ponies roaming across the hills. Steeped in history, the majority of the remains on Dartmoor date back to the Bronze Age. The most famous of these prehistoric settlements include Grimspound, Merrivale and Drizzlecombe. Some of these sites have inspired myths and legends, with Grimspound featuring in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’.
Places to Visit in Dartmoor
Visit the lively stannary towns of Ashburton and Chagford for superb restaurants, antiques and independent shops. The popular market town of Tavistock, home of the cream tea, is the only town in Devon to hold world heritage status. The town’s ancient Pannier Market, is open every day from Tuesday until Saturday and offers an eclectic mix of artisan goods to purchase.
Where are the best places to eat and drink in Dartmoor?
Dartmoor is home to some of the best produce in the UK. The area is renowned for high quality beef and lamb as well as fruit and vegetables. Many of the best restaurants in the area use locally sourced ingredients.
Warren House Inn - Located high up on the moor, this inn has been a haven for passing travellers and walkers for over 150 years - the log fire is believed to have been burning continuously since 1845. Serving classic pub food and special homemade pies, this is a great place to spend a couple of hours after exploring the moor.
Riverford Field Kitchen - Ingredients don’t come much fresher than this; the organic vegetables and herbs are picked daily from the farm and field kitchen garden. There is no set menu at the Riverford; instead a range of dishes are brought out to tables depending on what vegetables are in season. Advanced bookings are essential as there is only one sitting per meal - 12:30 for lunch and 7:00pn for supper.
Gidleigh Park - If you fancy a gastronomic delight then head to Gidleigh Park. Now under the stewardship of Head Chef Chris Eden, you can expect culinary delights made from the highest quality local ingredients. Located on the upper reaches of the River Teign, the setting and view is almost as impressive as the food.
What are the best attractions in Dartmoor?
Home to stunning scenery, captivating wildlife and rich history, Dartmoor is a place just waiting to be explored.
Wistman’s Wood is an ancient forest that has become a tangled mass of lichen covered oak trees and boulders. Given the spooky setting it is no surprise that many tales and sightings of spirits and ghosts have been reported over the years.
Lydford Gorge is a spectacular chasm in the hills that has a great three mile walking route around it. You will be rewarded with some fabulous views as the 30m White Lady waterfall is at one end of the gorge and the Devil’s Cauldron, an incredible whirlpool, is at the other.
Walk up to High Willhays, the highest point on Dartmoor and known locally as ' The Roof of Devon’. It is definitely worth the effort as there are superb panoramic views to enjoy from the top.
If you want to learn about the local history and architecture then visit Okehampton Castle and discover the remains of the largest castle in Devon. There are beautiful walks nearby and you can eat lunch at the picnic area by the riverside.
Visit Dartmoor Prison Museum and learn what life was like in one the country’s most notorious jails. On display are uniforms, memorabilia and accounts of famous prisoners and daring escapes.
If you are on holiday with small children then head to Pennywell Farm to meet hundreds of friendly farm animals, watch miniature pig racing and feed the lambs and goats.
What is the weather like in Dartmoor?
Weather on Dartmoor tends to be influenced by the mid Atlantic drift, due to its location near the coast. Dartmoor typically tends to be wetter and cooler than the surrounding land and the weather can change very quickly. It is best to always have a raincoat handy, especially if you are out walking.
Types of holiday
Browse our collection of carefully selected cottages in Dartmoor to find a comfortable base for an adventure in the moorland. Whether you are searching dog friendly cottages, cottages with a hot tub, or even a luxury Devonshire cottage, our travel experts can help find the perfect Dartmoor accommodation.