Sign Up
Newsletter Signup
Free Fodor's Newsletter

Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.

Passport: Your weekly travel wrap-up
Today's Departure: Your daily dose of travel inspiration

The West Country Sights

Dartmoor National Park

  • Tavistock Rd. Map It
  • Princetown
  • Park (National/State/Provincial)

Updated 05/28/2014

Fodor's Review

Even on a summer's day, the brooding hills of this sprawling wilderness appear a likely haunt for such monsters as the hound of the Baskervilles, and it seems entirely fitting that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle set his Sherlock Holmes thriller in this landscape. Sometimes the wet, peaty wasteland of Dartmoor National Park vanishes in rain and mist, although in clear weather you can see north to Exmoor, south over the English Channel, and west far into Cornwall. Much of Dartmoor

consists of open heath and moorland, unspoiled by roads—wonderful walking and horseback-riding territory but an easy place to lose your bearings. Dartmoor's earliest inhabitants left behind stone monuments and burial mounds that help you envision prehistoric man roaming these pastures. Ponies, sheep, and birds are the main animals to be seen.

Several villages scattered along the borders of this 368-square-mile reserve—one-third of which is owned by Prince Charles—make useful bases for hiking excursions. Accommodations include simple inns and some elegant havens. Okehampton is a main gateway, and Chagford is a good base for exploring north Dartmoor. Other scenic spots include Buckland-in-the-Moor, a hamlet with thatch-roof cottages; Widecombe-in-the-Moor, whose church is known as the Cathedral of the Moor; and Grimspound, the Bronze Age site featured in Conan Doyle's most famous tale. Transmoor Link buses connect many of Dartmoor's towns and villages. The High Moorland Visitor Centre in Princetown is a good place to start your trip, as are centers in Postbridge and Haytor. You can also pick up information in Ivybridge, Okehampton, Moretonhampstead, Tavistock, and Buckfastleigh.

Read More

Sight Information

Address:

High Moorland Visitor Centre, Tavistock Rd., Princetown, PL20 6QF, England

Map It

Phone:

01822-890414

Updated 05/28/2014

Advertisement

Map View

Map of



Add Your Own Review

When did you go?

Minimum 200 character count

How many stars would you give?

Experience

Ease

Value

Don't Miss

Advertisement