Dartmoor National Park
‘It’s a wonderful place, the moor. You cannot think of the wonderful secrets which it contains.’ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s descriptions of Dartmoor have captured the public imagination for over a century. The author was inspired to write his most famous novel The Hound of the Baskervilles whilst staying at The Duchy Hotel, now the National Park Visitor Centre, Princetown.
Bear witness to millennia of human existence. Prehistoric stone circles and standing stones are scattered across the high moor and the remains of Iron Age hillforts, medieval settlements and imposing granite crosses stand testament to Dartmoor’s long history.
Centuries on and life thrives here. Dartmoor’s blanket bog, upland oakwood, caves and mines are among habitats of international importance, supporting fascinating and rare wildlife.
The world’s largest land slug is regularly found in Dartmoor’s woodlands and the blue ground beetle, one of the rarest ground beetles found in the UK, is mainly restricted to Dartmoor.
Dartmoor is home to some 34,000 people and the former tin mining town of Chagford was voted by the Sunday Times newspaper as the best place to live in rural Britain.
The Great Western Mainline train service runs through Devon, linking Exeter, Newton Abbot, Ivybridge (just on the southern edge of the National Park), Totnes and Plymouth with Bristol, London, and the rest of the country.
From May to September, every Saturday you can get the Haytor Hoppa bus from Newton Abbot to Widecombe. Every Sunday you can get the Dartmoor Sunday Rover train from Exeter to Okehampton. The best ways to explore Dartmoor are by bike, horseback or on foot, see the website for the best trails.
Bristol 2hrs | 160km
London Heathrow 3hrs 30mins | 290km
Plymouth Ferry Port 25mins | 11km
Dover Ferry Port 4hrs 40mins | 429km
Plymouth 25mins | 11km
Exeter 30mins | 43km
London 4hrs | 354km