The striking moorland views are what makes Dartmoor so special, but there is much more to see and do throughout Dartmoor National Park. Whether you’re after enjoying a gentle stroll, a more exhilarating bike ride, a tasty bite in a cosy pub, or to learn more about the local history, there is certainly something for everyone on Dartmoor.
We explore some of the must-visit places to go on our doorstep of Dartmoor National Park, from walks in nature to historical attractions.
There’s so much to explore in Dartmoor; it’s well worth staying a few days to make the most of this beautiful area of the UK. We recommend booking a hotel in Chagford, Dartmoor so you can experience everything the area has to offer.
One of the most famous parts of Dartmoor, Haytor has spectacular views across the moors and the surrounding area, making it a great place to go if you want to take it all in. Take a stroll up to the iconic Haytor Rocks to get the best view around, before exploring the moorland.
Head to the National Park Visitor Centre in Haytor for maps and information on where to go and what you can spot. There’s plenty of wildlife in this area, with sightings of rare butterflies and birds.
From Haytor, you can walk a few miles over to Hound Tor – an area believed to have been the inspiration for the book ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’. Near Hound Tor, you can also find the remains of the abandoned medieval village, which is well worth exploring.
Wistman’s Wood is one of the most beautiful places on Dartmoor. An ancient valley full of moss and lichen, the area looks magical.
If you visit Wistman’s Wood, please be gentle and tread carefully. The wood is home to some incredibly rare lichen, and it is important that it is kept safe. Visitors are asked not to walk through the woods over the lichen and moss or to remove branches or pick lichen.
The Duchy of Cornwall owns Wistman’s Woodand; it is managed by Natural England and has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. As well as the lichen, there is ancient history to be seen here, with the ruined walls of over 100 prehistoric huts found amongst the moorland.
Nestled amongst the natural wonders of the Dartmoor National Park sits Castle Drogo, a dramatic architectural feat managed by the National Trust. This 20th Century castle was the last to be built in England, with construction completed in 1930.
As well as wandering through the castle’s interior, you can also stroll around the gardens or explore the extensive estate, covering an ancient gorge and river trails, where you’re bound to spot plenty of wildlife.
Castle Drogo is only a 25-minute walk from Mill End Hotel, making us the perfect base for exploring Dartmoor.
Image Credit: WyrdLight.com under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported
Postbridge is a hamlet in the centre of Dartmoor and is a fascinating place to discover the local archaeology.
There is a Visitor Centre in Postbridge, which you can visit for information and exhibitions on the local area, as well as maps and walks.
What makes Postbridge so interesting is the bridge – one of the best examples of a clapper bridge in the country – which is believed to date back to medieval times. It is thought that the bridge was used to replace stepping stones, so that packhorses could cross over the river.
Bellever Forest is very close to Postbridge, and offers plenty of routes for walking and cycling. Within the forest, you can find more points of archaeological interest, including stone rows, roundhouses and a burial cist.
These are just a small selection of the places you can visit on Dartmoor – there are many more attractions and things to do in the area to keep you entertained while you stay in this magical part of the UK.
If you’d like to explore Dartmoor National Park yourself, book a stay at Mill End Hotel, which is conveniently located in Chagford, within the Dartmoor National Park, with all of these attractions less than half an hour away.