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Dartmoor Sunset Photograph

Guide to Walking on Dartmoor

Forested valleys, dramatic granite tors and windswept moorland characterise the ancient landscape of Dartmoor. Humans have settled here for over 10,000 years, and this tucked away region of the South West contains the largest collection of bronze age ruins, stone circles, burial mounds and hut circles in the whole country. Over 200 granite outcrops dot the landscape, and there is plenty to explore and challenge all levels of walkers. Not to mention the thousands of wild Dartmoor ponies that roam the landscape!

High Dartmoor

This is the remote region of Dartmoor, with most of it accessed only by walking. It’s beauty is in the isolation and wildness, with windswept moorland disappearing into the horizon. There are plenty of peat bogs around here, with changeable weather and poor footpaths. For this reason, navigational skills are highly recommended for walking in this region. 

Walking on Dartmoor Photo

Once you are prepared however, this area contains some of the most fascinating walks you can take, with granite tors to scramble and a never ending collection of stone circles and burial mounds to explore. Take a trip to Fur Tor, the most remote part of Dartmoor, or take a stroll to the picturesque village of Belton and the enigmatic Nine Maidens stone circle.

Dartmoor walking guide ponies

Lowland Dartmoor

The lower reaches of Dartmoor are full of fast flowing rivers, forested valleys and picturesque towns and villages. You can still reach the iconic moorland from here, but it is generally more crowded than the upland areas of the region. Walk up an appetite along the beautiful River Dart before an afternoon tea in the market towns of Ashburton and Bovey Tracey - both excellent starting off points for exploring Dartmoor. Be sure not to miss Widecombe In The Moor, an iconic, centuries old village that is home to the famous Widecombe fair. All these towns make fantastic bases for exploring the lower reaches of Dartmoor, where you can find magical glens, ancient woodland and hidden waterfalls.

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