DARTMOOR - WILD AND BEAUTIFUL
Situated in the southwest of England heart of Devon, Dartmoor is an ancient landscape of stunning views; awe-inspiring granite tors, heather-clad hill tops, rugged open spaces, mysterious deep-wooded valleys and fast flowing rivers make up the moorland.
It’s not surprising this great wilderness has provided inspiration for hundreds of years to many creatives, artists and authors alike - Conan Doyle’s Hound of the Baskervilles is the first that comes to mind. As well as Stephen Spielberg who was blown away by the beauty of Dartmoor when he filmed the smash hit War Horse not far from Princetown, home to one of the most famous -and forbidding looking - prisons in the UK.
Dartmoor has also been the setting for many a haunting tale. Stories of ghosts, ghouls and the Devil himself are often connected to Dartmoor; it’s said that these entities have lived and roamed the land for centuries. Of course, these stories are just that – stories, but it’s certainly clear to see why some people think that Dartmoor might have paranormal or mythical connections with its imposing tors, bewildering forests and bouts of thick, heinous fog.
In terms of its history, Dartmoor is internationally significant as one of the most important Bronze Age settlements in Western Europe. Less than a mile from the main road at Postbridge, ancient stone rows, hut circles and burial chambers dating from 1750-1600BC are easily accessible via a series of new marked heritage trails. You can easily imagine what life would have been like back then.
And environmentally, recent studies had revealed that the peatlands of Dartmoor are an under-estimated resource in the fight against climate change, due to their ability to store carbon in mires and blanket bogs. How fascinating?!
Dartmoor ponies - the emblem of the national park - are an iconic sight, living as semi-wild herds all over the moor. They, along with shaggy cattle and moorland sheep, play an important role in grazing the commons - they are also provide endless cute picture opportunities! As with any wild animal, please don’t disturb them and approach with caution.
Dartmoor also has a very gentle side. Safe, quiet areas where you can picnic with the family, easy to follow trails for strolling, walking and cycling, many lovely open spaces where the children can run to their heart’s content and a huge number of dog friendly places to stay, to eat and attractions to visit.
Dartmoor can be accessed a number of ways from Tavistock. We’re in a fortunate position to be on the western edge of the moors so you’ll find yourself surrounded by the unspoilt landscape in no time. For those who enjoy walking there are plenty of great footpaths and trails that head into the heart of Dartmoor, such as the West Devon Way and cyclists will rejoice at the sheer number of cycle paths to explore. There’s also several bus routes that can take you from the town centre into Dartmoor and a great number of car parks so you can drive onto the moors from Tavistock for further exploration.
For more information about all things Dartmoor visit www.visitdartmoor.co.uk