Dartmoor National Park
Something for Everyone
National parks can be very different from one another. Some have activities for those that love the water while others may have primarily high energy and climbing type activities. The best however, have everything one could ask for on a trip to the national park. Dartmoor National Park is one of these truly special places to go visit and among the almost 11 million people that visit this 368 square miles of outdoor paradise everyone can find a reason to return again and again to Dartmoor National Park. Here are just a few of the activities that you can expect to find on your visit
This is one activity that you have likely never heard of if you have not traveled to Dartmoor National Park Before. You have probably seen the high tech friendly game of geocaching, which is also available in this park, but unlike that activity, letterboxing does not have a technology based platform. It is actually a very fun activity for the whole family. In Dartmoor National Park, in the north and most remote area of the park the game began in 1854. James Perrott was the initiator. He put out a glass jar for travelers to place their visiting cards into and at some point, the game changed from that to visitors placing letters and postcards into the jar. The finder of the postcards could post them back to the original owner and it developed into quite a fun activity due to the fact that you have to find the container in hopes that someone has not beaten you to the prize and already collected the letters and postcards. No tech required, just good old fashioned fun for all.
Hiking the Trails
Hiking on the trails in a national park seems to be a given and self-guided hikes are often a favorite activity of individuals and families alike, but what makes a hike in Dartmoor National Park so enjoyable is the fact that you do not have to hike totally alone. You can choose from two additional options to ensure that you do not miss a single thing during your visit. The first option is hiring a ranger to take you through the trails and tell you a bit about the park along the way, but that can get expensive as there are fees associated with the service. The second option is a lot more economical, but does not diminish your ability to learn about the park. An app can be downloaded to your smart device and used on the different hiking trails, so you can have your guide in the palm of your hand. These resources are great teaching tools for children and an easier way to not get lost on the many trails through Dartmoor National Park.
Climb a While
Climbing is a wonderful way to stay fit and a great way to bring people together. Not all national parks encourage climbing as it can have a negative impact on the park with the effects of erosion on certain climbing surfaces. Dartmoor National Park however is famous for granite tors. These areas are not as prone to erosion as many of the other parks that have sandstone features. There are rules that you will have to follow if you choose this activity during your stay. The most important one is to work to minimize your impact on the park as a whole. Never climb in areas that are heavily populated with animals as the noise and your presence can make them act erratically and cause them stress. Another rule is to pick up after yourself. No matter if you were the one who left the mess behind or not, clean up the impact on the park is minimized.
Things to Know
Dartmoor National Park is a beautiful park to visit throughout the year, but you may be interested to know that not all people within the park are actually visiting. There are approximately 35,000 residents of the area that live within the borders of the park, so if you visit and love it, you may have a chance to live on the property provided that your budget can handle it.
If you cannot afford a home inside the park, you can live within the park, even if for only a few nights. Camping is a very fun thing to do, but there are some things to know. The fees for camping change throughout the year depending on the season and type of camping you choose. Wild camping is free, but will have some challenges as there are absolutely no amenities, but you will get a spectacular view of the stars with little light to be found on a moonless night. Make your next visit to a national park one that you will remember forever at Dartmoor National Park.
Heather-covered moorland, rocky granite tors, stone circles and medieval villages, iconic Dartmoor ponies, and vibrant villages with traditional events.
Key areas of interest
- Variety of walking and cycling routes for all abilities
- Only National Park in England to allow wild camping
- Internationally important archaeology, including longest stone row in the world
- Inspirational location for films, books and music
- Less than an hour from Exeter and Plymouth