Dartmoor is a beautiful area of England that offers so many things to do and see. Whether you’re looking for outdoor activities such as walking or pony trekking, or experiencing the history of the land through museums and historic sites, there is plenty to keep you busy! Here are some of our favourite things to do in Dartmoor:
Walk on Dartmoor
Dartmoor is one of the most popular places in England to go walking. There are many trails of varying length, and you can also walk along the moors or on rivers and streams.
If you’re new to walking on Dartmoor, it’s a good idea to start with something short like one of our guided walks. These typically take around 3 hours and give an introduction into what it feels like to be out there on your own (without being too challenging).
If you want something longer or more challenging then we recommend checking out our self-guided walks section where there are over 30 routes available for download as PDFs or apps (for iPhones/iPads etc).
Go on a pony trek
Pony trekking is a great way to explore Dartmoor. You can go on a guided trek or take a pony out yourself and let it lead you through the moorlands. The ponies at the Dartmoor Pony Centre are friendly, well-trained and surefooted so they’ll be able to take you wherever you want to go.
Visit the Birdland centre
Located just outside of Okehampton, Birdland is a wildlife park that is home to over 200 species of birds. It’s a great place for children to learn about birds and enjoy the outdoors.
In addition to their extensive collection of exotic birds, they also have some endangered species such as kakapo (a flightless parrot).
Take a trip to Buckfast Abbey
Buckfast Abbey is a Cistercian monastery in Buckfastleigh, Devon, England. The abbey was founded in 1018 and was the first Cistercian monastery in England. The monks at Buckfast are known for producing a tonic wine named after the abbey: Buckfast Tonic Wine (or simply “Buckie”).
Visit the Museum of Dartmoor Life
Located in Moretonhampstead, the Museum of Dartmoor Life is a great place to learn about the history of Dartmoor. The museum is open from March to October and offers guided tours, exhibitions and workshops for children. It also has a cafe and gift shop where you can pick up some souvenirs or snacks before heading out into nature again!
Visit Princetown Prison and Dartmoor Gaol
You can visit the prison and gaol, located in Princetown. The prison was built in 1806, and it was originally intended to be a place where criminals could work while they were serving their sentences. Today, it’s open to the public so you can get a feel for what it would have been like to live there–and learn about Dartmoor’s history at the same time!
Experience the wildlife of Dartmoor, including red deer, badgers and moles!
Dartmoor is home to many different species of wildlife. Here are a few that you might spot on your visit:
- Red Deer – these iconic animals can be found grazing in open fields and woodland areas throughout the park. They can be identified by their large antlers, white spots on their hind quarters and distinctive bellow call.
- Badgers – these nocturnal creatures are very secretive and rarely seen out in daylight hours, but they’re often heard at night when they make loud “clicking” noises while digging up worms or other food sources from underground tunnels they’ve created with their powerful front claws! If you’re lucky enough to see one during its daytime sleep cycle (which lasts around 12 hours), take plenty of photos! You may even get close enough for some great shots without disturbing it too much if you keep quiet while approaching it slowly so as not scare away any potential prey nearby.”
There is so much to do in this beautiful place!
Dartmoor is one of the most beautiful places in England. It’s a national park, so you can explore the moors on foot, by bike or by car. There are many places to visit on Dartmoor which include tors (small hills) and wells. You can go for pony treks at this time of year as well!
Dartmoor has lots of wildlife too – recent studies have shown there are over 100 species of birds living here!