Dartmoor National Park Things to Do

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    Me on top of Hay Tor Rock
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    Wistman's Wood
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Best Rated Things to Do in Dartmoor National Park

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    Trekking the 5 Tor (or 10 Tor) challenge

    by iris2002 Written Nov 12, 2006

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    Hameldown Dartmoor

    HAMELDOWN
    is an impressive ridge of granite on the east side of Dartmoor. Although it is quite high (532m) it is easily accessed and provides splendid views over a good part of Devon. A number of old, large cairns lie along the ridge. Some bones have been found inside some of them. Hameldown lies to the south of the famous Bronze Age four acre settlement of Grimspound.
    This is a very straightforward walk which involves a little climbing. Most of the walk is on the flat ridge of Hameldown following part of the Two Moors Way. You can park your car on the roadside at SX 697808 - but there's only room for 5 or 6 cars. Unless the weather is bad it is a dry walk with no boggy bits. But be careful of mist - although there is an obvious path for most of the walk. As described the walk takes about 1.5 hours at a leisurely pace. The walk may be extended by carrying along the Hameldown towards Widecombe.
    This area lies outside the army firing ranges.

    Related to:
    • Horse Riding
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Backpacking

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    DISCOVER DARTMOOR

    by iris2002 Updated Nov 21, 2006

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    Iris on Dartmoor

    Discover-Dartmoor

    Cast your worries and cares aside
    Hold hands and teeter across granite stepping stones
    Throw your head back and laugh at tall tales in the pub
    Grin ear to ear on reaching a towering tor summit
    Shriek with delight at the sight of ponies roaming free
    Giggle as you lie back on a picnic rug, surrounded by heather
    Jump for joy at landing a fish for your supper
    Glow with pride upon spotting a flashing kingfisher
    Indulge in quality time, spent with those you love and treasure

    Laughter the best medicine.
    Feel alive!
    Take time.
    Share precious moments.
    Appreciate the good things in life.
    Re-discover yourself.
    Enjoy.
    You deserve it.

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    • Adventure Travel

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    Stop the car..............

    by leics Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Cist and tree

    ...............just stop it somewhere safe, and preferably empty of people, and get out. Wrap yourself up if it's cold, put on your waterproofs if it's wet. Just walk a little bit; hear the silence, feel the isolation, imagine yourself on the moor as it once was. Get an ordnanace survey (OS) map and just look at how the archaeology is everywhere; the stone rows and circles, the cists, the cairns, the mine-working, the solid stone walls which enclose fields from prehistory. the deserted Medieval villages, the prehistoric roundhouse foundations.

    You can't explore Dartmoor from a car, you have to walk it to know it. But leaving the car for a little while, and actually being in the scene rather than just seeing it, will give you just a taste of what's out there.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Reservoirs

    by freya_heaven Updated Dec 21, 2004

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    Trenchford Reservoirs

    There are 8 reservoirs on Dartmoor covering 516 acres of the moor. These are Trenchford (1907), Burrator (1898), Meldon (1972), Fernworthy (1942), Avon Dam 1957), Tottiford (1861), Kennick (1884), Venford (1907). Only Meldon I do not have any recollection of visiting, but I imagine I must have at some time or other.

    I think of the reservoirs as almost being oasis in the bleakness of the moors, with most being surrounded by beautiful forest & of course the lakes themselves.

    Some you can get a fishing permit for and some you can walk all the way around with picnic areas over looking the water.

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    • Fishing
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    Widecombe In The Moor

    by freya_heaven Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Widecombe

    Widecombe I think must be the most visited tourist attraction on Dartmoor. A very prettly little village set in a valley surrounded by beautiful moorland. Coachloads decend to Widecombe and especially for the September Fayre.

    Gorgeous old church, granite village houses, some of which are now quaint gift shops full of trinkets & t towels. Wild ponys can usually be found on on the village green, plus a couple of cafes for the obligatory Devonshire cream tea.

    Widecombe is the home of the poem "Uncle Tom Cobbley" & his fiasco with his poor mule getting to the fayre with his friends, which had been sung by many a folk band.

    "Tom Pearce, Tom Pearce, lend me your grey mare,
    All along, down along, out along, lee,
    For I want for to go to Widecombe Fair,
    With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
    Peter Davy, Dan'l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
    Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
    Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all."

    To read the rest of the poem visit the web site I have provided.

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    Dartmeet

    by freya_heaven Updated Jan 3, 2005

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    Me, River Dart, Dartmoor

    Dartmeet is a lovely stretch of the River Dart, lots of rocks in the river to mess around & it is even possible to hop cross the river in the summer.

    It is here East & West Dart converge in to one main river. Dartmeet is also known as Badgers Holt, there is a plesant cafe, which serves anything from cream teas to a roast dinner, gift shop, toilets & very mini fowl area farm zoo.

    The main attraction here is the river, it gets packed here in the summer with people bringing picnics & staying for the day.

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    Clapper Bridge

    by freya_heaven Updated Jan 8, 2005

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    Clapper Bridge

    This horse packing Clapper Bridge was constucted by tin miners and farmers in the 13th century. Large granite slabs weighting 8 tons each, balanced on granite posts. As you can see from the photo you can still walk across it today, the larger bridge was constructed in the late 1700s. I have read Clapper Bridges are unique to Dartmoor apparently, there is also a section of a clapper bridge left at Dartmeet.

    These bridges cross the East River Dart at Postbridge. This is another popular tourist area, with a visitor centre in the hamlet car park.

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    Buckfast Abbey

    by freya_heaven Written Jan 4, 2005

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    Buckfast Abbey

    An Abbey has been on this site since the 10th century. Henry the 8th supressed the Catholic church in the mid 1500s, so from 1539 the Abby was disbanded & damaged. In 1882 the Abbey was reopened with the monks themselves rebuilding the Abbey.

    The most impressive part of the Abbey I feel is the huge round ornate window on the far end, from memory I think it is in its own private chapel. There are rose gardens for you to wander around a pleasant cafe & gift shop.

    Buckfast Abbey has half a million visitors a year. So can be busy weekends & obviously Sundays

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel

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    The River Dart

    by freya_heaven Written Dec 21, 2004

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    River Dart

    The River Dart and other small rivers & streams are a wonderful attraction & playground, both on Dartmoor & in Devon has a whole.

    The Dart begins its journey deep in the moors, East and West Dart joining in to one river at Dartmeet. With many tributaries joining it as it weaves its way southwards eventually entering the sea at Dartmouth. Rafting, swimming, canoeing, fishing, & further downstream sailing, rowing & boating are all activities to be enjoyed. Plus of course just sitting next to it enjoying the view.

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    • Water Sports
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    Princetown

    by freya_heaven Written Dec 22, 2004

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    Dartmoor Prison, Princetown

    Princetown is situated on the bleak west of Dartmoor. Home to the infamous high security prison which dominates the approach road to Princetown. The prison originally held French & American prisoners of war in the early 1800s & changed to a domestic prison in 1850. There is talk of the prison closing, when this happens there will be very little work in this tiny town.

    The Dartmoor Vistor Centre here is well worth a visit, apart from that there is really nothing to see in Princetown apart from the views, a couple of pubs, a post office, shop & cafe.

    Related to:
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    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

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    Look at the walls...........

    by leics Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    ..............they are everywhere, stone-faced and entwined with tree roots, or standing bare and stern-faced against the wind. Some date back to prehistory, others to Medieval times. A close look will show the skill and craftsmanship involved. Take the time to notice.

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Haytor

    by freya_heaven Updated Jan 3, 2005

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    Haytor

    Haytor is the most distictive Tor on Dartmoor and one of the most easily accessible with it being very close to the road & carparks nearby. Within about 10 minutes of hill walking you can be at the base of the of the huge granite tor. Views from here down towards the sea and over the surrounding moorland are magnificent. If you have a head for heights you can attempt to climb the tor itself, but it isnt as easy as it looks, dangerous too if you are not competent.

    The horse pulled tramtracks are still visible here, from days of the granite quarry near by. There is a Dartmoor Authority Information Centre, toilets and usually in season an icecream van in the largest carpark. On the one day of the year we may have snow, Haytor is packed with people making the most of it.

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    Newbridge

    by freya_heaven Updated Jan 3, 2005

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    me aged 10, Spitchwick

    Newbridge is an ideal area to spend a day, the river is deep enough to swim here, although I would only recommend it if you are a strong swimmer. Even in summer the water is freezing, you have been warned!

    There are also large grassy areas where you can play ball games, sunbathe and picnic etc. Plus toilets & a Dartmoor information centre. It is also a popular starting point for canoeists.

    Newbridge is also known to locals as Spitchwick!

    Related to:
    • Water Sports
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    • National/State Park

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    Tavistock

    by freya_heaven Updated Jan 8, 2005

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    Derek & Freya, Dartmoor

    I have only recently discoved what this ancient stannery town on the western edge of Dartmoor has to offer. A 9th century Benedictine Abbey sits in the heart of the town, which was destroyed by Vikings soon after it was built but quicky restored. Tavistock's most famous son is Sir Francis Drake in the mid 15th century. (he was in command & defeated the Spanish Armada)

    The town sits on the River Tavy and plays host to one of the countrys most popular Goosey Fayre on the second Wednesday in October. Traditionally the fayre dating back to the 12th Cenury is when local farmers came to sell their geese after chasing then through the streets of the town. We went for the first time this year & now it is more of a commercial even although we did see a few geese.

    This is a lovely place to explore & wander around with some lovely gardens along the river, I shall definately be returning soon.

    Related to:
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    Templers Way

    by freya_heaven Updated Jan 3, 2005

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    Templers Way

    This is what remains of the Templers Way Tramway at Haytor. The granite tramway was opened 1820 to transport granite from the quarry at Haytor down to the Stover Canal at Veniford, a distance of 10 miles. From here it was taken to Teignmouth on the South Devon coast by barge, then shipped to London. Horses & ponys were used to pull the trams, apparently 18 horses for each group of 12 trams were used.

    The contact was undertaken by George Templer, hence the name. Today it is popular walking trail, with many part of the tramway still visable long the way.

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    • Architecture
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Dartmoor National Park Things to Do

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