Discover Dartmoor

The possibilities are endless on Dartmoor, there is so much to discover including fascinating history, ancient legends, interesting geology and wonderfully diverse wildlife, fauna and flora. Dartmoor Ponies are an iconic sight living as semi-wild herds all over the moor. You can effortlessly find safe, quiet areas where you can enjoy a picnic, easy to follow trails for strolling, walking and cycling and a huge number of dog friendly places and attractions to visit.

If you are feeling even more adventurous, there is Kayaking, Bouldering, Climbing, Wild Running and Wild Swimming, all set in surroundings that will take your breath away.

We have put together what us at the Moorland Hotel think are the best bits of Dartmoor, but if you want to know absolutely everything about this fabulous place, have a look at www.visitdartmoor.co.uk for everything you could ever need to know.

Dartmoor is known for its changeable weather conditions so we recommend you pack for all eventualities.

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Close By

Haytor Rock, located just half a mile away from our front door is one of the most famous landmarks in the whole of South West England. At 1,550ft it has commanding views across South Devon, reaching Torbay on a clear day.  Below the rocks is the abandoned quarry granite pit, which is beautiful and interesting with left over winch gear, timber and machinery as well as parts of the retired granite tramway, which form part of the Templer Way.

Hound Tor not only offers fabulous views and walking, but it also was the filming location of a version of ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ and has a deserted medieval village just behind it which consists of a cluster of 13th century stone longhouses from the Bronze Age. This is located approximately a 2 ½ miles from The Tinpickle & Rhum.

Widdicombe-in-the-Moor is located less than 3 miles away from here; spend a while soaking up the atmosphere or go there on a Thursday for the weekly market. Widdicombe is known for Widdicombe Fair and as the village of Old Uncle Tom Cobley with names from the song appearing in the Parish Register. There is a steep decline from the moor to the village with spectacular views of the village and church below.

Becky Falls is a great day out for all the family located just 2.5 miles away including magical waterfalls and woodlands to explore with walking trails, as well as an animal farm which houses goats, rabbits, owls, meerkats and more.

Buckland Beacon is approximately 4 miles from us at The Tinpickle & Rhum. It is a great walk (with some steep inclines) with spectacular views from the top. It was used as one of the fire beacons in a chain for both Millennium and Queen Elizabeth’s Jubilee in 1935. The famed ten commandment stones sit at the base of the beacon, commissioned by the then lord of Buckland, Mr William Whitely of Wellstor in 1928.

East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve (4 miles away) consists of three adjacent sites – Yarner Woods, Trendlebere Down and the Bovey Valley Woodlands. It is a fabulous place to enjoy the outdoors and to encounter wildlife.

Letterboxing is an outdoor pursuit with similarities to orienteering. A small pot (the letterbox) containing a stamp and visitors' book is hidden on the moor, and a clue is written to lead others to its position. When a letterbox is found, the letterboxer takes a copy of the stamp, as well as leaving their own personal print in the visitors' book. Letterboxing began on Dartmoor, with the first box placed by James Perrott in 1854 at Cranmere pool. It is now popular in areas all over the world and is credited with being the inspiration for Geocaching.

Further Afield

Post Bridge (10 miles away) is a beautiful 18th century village featuring a medieval clapper bridge. Bellever Forest which is also here is a great spot whether you are looking for an exhilarating walk or a gentle meander through the forest. Choose from one of the way marked walking trails or join the historic bridleway, The Lich Way. There are also numerous archaeological sites to discover as you explore Bellever and it has a fascinating range of wildlife, including Dartmoor Ponies.

Dartmeet (8 miles away) is a famous beauty spot, where east and west branches of the River Dart meet in a steep, wooded valley. There is a fine example of a stone clapper bridge and many choose to gather here to picnic, laze in the sunshine or head off across the moor. Nearby is the wonderfully unique Pixieland and Brimpts Farm, the home of the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust.

Wistmans Wood (13 miles away) is a National Nature Reserve of 170ha mainly consisting of a model example of the upland heathland and has a wealth of moorland birds. Wistmans Wood is in the Dart river valley and has views of wild Devon that you won't find anywhere else in the country.

Fernworthy Reservoir (11 miles away) is adjacent to the idyllic village of Chagford and provides a tranquil setting for a lovely walk. Fernworthy boasts a rich abundance of wildlife and points of archaeological interest such as ancient stone cairns, hut circles and submerged clapper bridges.

Buckfastleigh Otter Sanctuary and Butterfly Farm (10 miles away) is a thoroughly enjoyable and educational place to visit. It is run by a small dedicated team who look after them and teach viewers about the otters. Make sure to be there for otter feeding time.

South Devon Railway (Buckfastleigh Station 10 miles away) is a steam train which is a seven mile long former Great Western Railway branch line, built in 1872 and runs along the stunning valley of the River Dart between Buckfastleigh and Totnes (Riverside). It is a great day out to see a lot of South Devons beautiful scenery. Buckfast Abbey (10 miles away) offers visitors a tranquil refuge from the hectic pace of everyday life. The Abbey is a working monastery where a community of Benedictine monks live self-sufficiently, welcoming visitors from all around the world.

Paignton Zoo (20 miles away) houses over 2500 animals over 85 acres with specially designed habitats including the Savannah, the Wetlands and the tropical forest. Grimspound prehistoric settlement (8 miles away) dates from the late Bronze Age (about 1450–700 BC). The remains of 24 stone roundhouses survive here, within a massive boundary wall about 150 metres in diameter. The journey takes approximately 20 minutes by car.

Merrivale group of monuments (15 miles away) is one of the finest on the moor. Side by side here are the remains of a Bronze Age settlement and a complex of ritual sites, including three stone rows, a stone circle, standing stones and a number of cairns – earth mounds associated with burials. The monuments were probably built over a long period, between about 2500 BC and 1000 BC. The journey from here is approximately 35 minutes by car.

Dartmoor Prison Museum (15 miles away). Learn about ‘life inside’ one of the world’s most famous and notorious jails. Some of the artefacts and documents on display will surprise you but will certainly enable you to form an opinion about prison life. Vividly portrayed are more than 200 years of this prison’s turbulent history ranging from the beginning, when Dartmoor was a Prisoner of War Depot for French and American prisoners of war, to the later convict era through to today.

Active Dartmoor

Walking
Dartmoor National Park is a wonderful place for walking whether you’re looking for a challenging trek across windswept moors, or just a relaxing stroll through secluded woods or around a beautiful reservoir. You can join a guided or circular walk or for more confident walkers, you might prefer a more challenging hike over remote moorland.  Dartmoor offers more than 47,000 hectares of dramatic open landscape where we will be happy help you find the perfect walk for you. We have an array of great walking routes for all abilities starting at our doors that we will happily recommend, however if you would like to start planning before your trip, here are some websites you might find useful:

Walking
Dartmoor National Park is a wonderful place for walking whether you’re looking for a challenging trek across windswept moors, or just a relaxing stroll through secluded woods or around a beautiful reservoir. You can join a guided or circular walk or for more confident walkers, you might prefer a more challenging hike over remote moorland.  Dartmoor offers more than 47,000 hectares of dramatic open landscape where we will be happy help you find the perfect walk for you. We have an array of great walking routes for all abilities starting at our doors that we will happily recommend, however if you would like to start planning before your trip, here are some websites you might find useful:

Dartmoor Walking Dartmoor Walks Dartmoor Walks - National Parks Dartmoor Walks - Walking Devon

 

Cycling
With the recent peak in interest towards cycling here after the Tour de Britain staging Haytor as the finishing line, crowning it with the title of ‘King of the Mountains’, the interest in Cycling in Dartmoor has increased with a great following and development of trails. Whether you are an avid mountain biker, an experienced road cyclist or would prefer a leisurely cycle on an easy trail, there is something for everyone.

Easy Cycle Routes Travel Devon - Cycling 


Horse Riding

Horse riding on the open moor is an exhilarating experience and gives a totally different perspective than walking. You can ride out on the open moor (provided that it is common land), trot along woodland trails and bridleways, or follow historic byways linking towns and villages. If you are riding your horse in the area and would like a spot to eat or just a cup of tea and a break, come through our bridal gate, tie up your horse and pop in or lounge on one of our outdoor tables. The websites listed below include some information which may come in useful with general information about horse riding in Dartmoor as well as a link to a local stables who offer fabulous riding tours.

Horse Riding - Babeny Stables Visit Dartmoor - Horse Riding Horse Riding Dartmoor Guide

What's On In Dartmoor

Dartmoor is not just granite tors and walking trails, there is a jam packed calendar of all sorts of fun events with something for everyone. There are music festivals, local fairs, park runs, craft events, local markets, food festivals, art exhibitions, traditional country fayres and anything else you can think of.

We will try our best to keep you up to date on great events coming up close by.