Dartmoor offers a wealth of family-friendly activities and attractions, ensuring an unforgettable adventure for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re exploring ancient ruins, embarking on nature walks, or seeking thrills through rock climbing, Dartmoor’s diverse landscapes and rich heritage provide endless opportunities for discovery and enjoyment.

There are also plenty of family-friendly attractions nearby, from National Trust properties to Zoos. From outdoor explorations to exciting animal attractions, here are some of the best family-friendly activities to enjoy on Dartmoor.

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Family-Friendly Things to Do On Dartmoor National Park

Dartmoor National Park provides a playground for exploration and discovery, where children can immerse themselves in nature, history, and wildlife. From exhilarating hikes to fascinating historical sites, here are some of the best family-friendly activities to enjoy on Dartmoor.

Nature Walks and Hikes

There are so many walks on Dartmoor to choose from, catering to all levels of walkers. From dedicated trails to hikes off the beaten track, Dartmoor boasts an extensive range of walking experiences.

Take a leisurely stroll along one of the many designated paths, such as the Teign Gorge circuit or Bellever Forest walking trails, where you can admire breathtaking scenery, spot wildlife, and enjoy a picnic amidst nature’s tranquillity.

For more adventurous families, tackle one of Dartmoor’s iconic tors, such as Haytor or Hound Tor, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

Check out more family friendly walking routes on Dartmoor:


A unique Dartmoor tradition, letterboxing combines orienteering with treasure hunting, making it an exciting activity for families. Equipped with a map, compass, and a sense of adventure, follow clues to discover letterboxes containing stamps and logbooks. It’s a fantastic way to engage children in navigation skills while exploring Dartmoor’s hidden gems.

Wildlife Watching

Dartmoor is teeming with wildlife, providing ample opportunities for children to observe and learn about native species. Keep an eye out for Dartmoor ponies grazing on the moors, red deer roaming through the woodlands, and an array of birdlife soaring overhead.

Visit one of Dartmoor’s nature reserves, such as Emsworthy Mire or Bellever Meadows for a chance to spot rare species like the cuckoo!

Read: Best Places to See Wildlife on Dartmoor


Join the global treasure hunt phenomenon by geocaching on Dartmoor. Using GPS coordinates, families can search for hidden containers, or geocaches, concealed in various locations across the moors and woodlands. It’s a fun and interactive way to explore Dartmoor while honing navigation skills and uncovering hidden treasures left by fellow adventurers.

Rock Climbing and Bouldering

For families with older children seeking adventure, Dartmoor offers excellent opportunities for rock climbing and bouldering. Test your skills on the granite outcrops and tors scattered throughout the park under the supervision of experienced instructors. With a variety of suitable terrain for climbers of all abilities, Dartmoor provides a thrilling outdoor experience for the whole family.

Recommended spots for trying out rock climbing include the Haytor area, Fur Tor, Foggintor, Bonehill Rocks, East Mill Tor and Dewerstone.

Pony Trekking

Get up close and personal with Dartmoor’s iconic ponies by embarking on a pony trekking adventure. Several stables and riding centres across Dartmoor offer guided rides suitable for all ages and abilities, allowing families to explore Dartmoor’s landscapes from horseback. It’s a memorable way to experience the moors and create lasting memories together.

Picnics on Dartmoor

Take advantage of Dartmoor’s scenic beauty by enjoying a family picnic amidst stunning natural surroundings. Choose a picturesque spot along one of Dartmoor’s rivers, by a tranquil reservoir, or overlooking a panoramic vista, and savour a delicious picnic feast together.

Take a look at our pick of the best outdoor eating spots:


As night falls, Dartmoor’s dark skies come alive with stars, making it an ideal destination for stargazing enthusiasts. Most places on Dartmoor will be far enough away from light pollution to marvel at the celestial wonders above. Simply lie back on a blanket and enjoy the spectacle with the whole family.

Family Friendly Attractions on Dartmoor

While Dartmoor’s rugged landscapes and outdoor adventures often steal the spotlight, the region also offers a plethora of family-friendly attractions beyond its moorlands. From charming zoos and captivating museums to enchanting waterfalls and historic landmarks, Dartmoor’s diverse array of attractions promises memorable experiences for families with children of all ages.

meerkat at Becky Falls

Dartmoor Zoo

Nestled on the edge of Dartmoor, Dartmoor Zoo provides a fascinating opportunity to encounter a variety of exotic animals from around the world. Home to a tiger, lion, jaguar, and meerkats, among other species, the zoo offers educational talks, animal feeding sessions, and interactive experiences that families will love. Explore the beautifully landscaped grounds, learn about conservation efforts, and marvel at the wonders of the natural world.

Castle Drogo

Castle Drogo is an early 20th-century castle – and the last castle to be built in England. Now managed by the National Trust, visitors can explore the impressive building and picturesque gardens. Enjoy scenic walks around the estate and take in panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Castle Drogo is located within walking distance of Mill End Hotel if you like a stroll!

Image Credit: Graham Taylor / Buckland Abbey / CC BY-SA 2.0

Buckland Abbey

Immerse yourself in history and heritage with a visit to Buckland Abbey, a former Cistercian monastery turned Tudor stately home located near Yelverton on the edge of Dartmoor. Explore the abbey’s medieval architecture, stroll through the tranquil gardens, and discover the fascinating stories of its former residents, including Sir Francis Drake. Children can participate in interactive trails, craft workshops, and outdoor play areas, making Buckland Abbey an engaging and educational attraction for families.

Pennywell Farm

Pennywell Farm is a delightful attraction that promises a day of farmyard fun for the whole family. Meet friendly animals including pigs, goats, sheep, and rabbits, and participate in hands-on activities such as animal feeding and cuddling sessions. Watch entertaining shows such as pig racing and falconry displays, and enjoy tractor rides, adventure playgrounds, and indoor soft play areas. With plenty of entertainment opportunities, Pennywell Farm guarantees smiles and laughter for visitors of all ages.

House of Marbles

Located in the village of Bovey Tracey, just a stone’s throw from Dartmoor, the House of Marbles is a delightful attraction that appeals to visitors of all ages. Step inside this whimsical wonderland to discover a treasure trove of marbles, games, toys, and crafts. Watch skilled artisans demonstrate glassblowing techniques, marvel at the intricate marble runs, and experience history in the Games Museum.

Becky Falls

Tumbling through ancient woodland near the picturesque village of Manaton, Becky Falls is a natural wonder that captivates visitors with its beauty and tranquillity. Follow scenic trails that wind through the lush forest, crossing wooden bridges and gazing upon moss-covered boulders. Marvel at the sight and sound of the waterfall as it cascades over granite rocks into a crystal-clear pool below.

With nature trails, children’s activities, and a charming café, Becky Falls offers a perfect day out for families seeking adventure and relaxation.

River Dart Country Park

Offering a thrilling blend of outdoor activities and natural beauty, River Dart Country Park is a popular destination for families seeking adventure on Dartmoor’s doorstep. The park features woodland trails, riverside walks, and an array of adrenaline-pumping attractions.

Test your skills on the high ropes course, zip line across the river, or navigate the inflatable obstacle course on the water. With playgrounds and picnic areas, River Dart Country Park is an ideal spot for a fun-filled family day out.

Buckfast Butterfly Farm and Dartmoor Otter Sanctuary

The Buckfast Butterfly Farm and Dartmoor Otter Sanctuary offers an enchanting escape into the natural world. Visitors can wander through the butterfly house, where colourful butterflies are fluttering freely. Meanwhile, the accompanying otter sanctuary provides insight into the playful antics and conservation efforts of these charismatic creatures.

The feeding times at 11.30am, 2.00pm and 4.00pm are the best times to see and enjoy the otters, so plan your visit around these times.

Powderham Castle

Powderham Castle is a fortified manor house that was built in the 14th century. This grand estate has been the ancestral home of the Courtenay family, The Earl and Countess of Devon, for over 600 years. Visitors can explore the castle’s opulent interiors, gardens, and grounds.

While exploring the castle, there are fun trails and activities suitable for all ages to complete, plus plenty of fun for the family, from playgrounds to a petting zoo!

Dartmoor and its surrounding area offers a wealth of family-friendly attractions and activities that cater to every interest and age group. Whether you’re exploring the wonders of nature, delving into history and heritage, or simply enjoying a day of fun and adventure, Dartmoor’s diverse array of attractions promises unforgettable experiences and cherished memories for families seeking adventure and discovery.

If you’re looking for a family friendly hotel on Dartmoor to act as your base to explore the area, then Mill End Hotel is the perfect place! Offering larger suites to fit the whole family, plus dog friendly rooms if you’re bringing along the pup too, book your stay with us now to enjoy a family holiday to one of the most beautiful places in the UK!