Covering 368 square miles, Dartmoor National Park in Devon is one of 13 national parks in England and Wales. It is the largest and wildest area of open country in Southern England and attracts hundreds of walkers every year. With its rugged terrain, rushing rivers, ancient woodland and historic bronze-age stone tors, there is much to discover on Dartmoor.
Other than its expansive landscape, Dartmoor is home to a number of picturesque bustling market towns with independent stores, restaurants and cafes. The national park also contains various types of accommodation, from small guest houses and hidden camping sites to country house hotels nestled between rolling Dartmoor hills.
Tavistock is a market town situated on the River Tavy. The town is rich in history which can be seen from the stunning stone architecture, it was also the birth place of Sir Francis Drake. The town boasts a number of independent stores and quaint cafes situated by the riverside.
Weekly farmers’ markets are held in Tavistock and the town is also famous for holding the annual Goose Fair which dates back as far as the 12th Century.
Widecome in the Moor
Widecombe in the Moor is a small Dartmoor village which lies within the beautiful valley of the East Webburn River. The village is famous for its annual fair which is held in September, which gave rise to the well-known folk song ‘Widecombe Fair’.
The village church has recently undergone some well-needed restoration and is known as ‘The Cathedral of the Moor’ as it is such a large and splendid church for a small village.
Dartmoor’s beautiful landscape can be explored on foot, horseback on by bike. There are various walking routes you can do across Dartmoor, whether you wish to go it alone or take a guided tour with one of the many walking companies such as Dartmoor Nature Tours.
The Two Moors walking is a long distance trek which takes you from Ivybridge, the southerly edge of Dartmoor up to Lynmouth on the North Coast of Exmoor, stretching 102 miles, making an ideal week’s walk.
Other activities which can be experienced in Dartmoor include canoeing, clay pigeon shooting, letterboxing, fishing, horse riding and much more.
Dartmoor is home to a number of attractions, from historical to natural attractions. Becky Falls was voted Top Beauty Spot in Devon in 2007 and is situated in the heart of the Dartmoor countryside near Bovey Tracey. See waterfalls and a 60 acre ancient woodland estate with river walks, nature trails, a tea room, gift shop and restaurant.
Castle Drogo is a National Trust property and was the last castle to be built in England. Situated above the Teign Gorge, Castle Drogo experiences some dramatic views across Dartmoor.
Family attractions which are situated near to Dartmoor include Pennywell Farm which offers something for all the family, Dartmoor Prison Museum in Princetown or Woodlands Leisure Park near Dartmouth. Alternatively, the South Devon coast is situated just a short drive away and boasts beautiful safe sandy beaches.