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5 Places to Visit on Dartmoor

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Explore Dartmoor with us!

How do we even start trying to describe the beautiful landscape and features of Dartmoor National Park? There are 368 square miles of granite Tors, steep wooded river valleys, heather-covered moorland and time-forgotten villages.

Every day, people visit Dartmoor to enjoy the spectacular open views, take in nature and wildlife, take a gentle stroll or do something more sporting. There are castles and history here, the highest point in the South West and southern England is found on Dartmoor and there are many attractions and beauty spots the family can experience.

The only question is, where do you start? We’ve pulled together our top 5 places in Dartmoor that we highly recommend you plan for your Dartmoor visit...

High Willhays Dartmoor
High Willhays and Yes Tor

High Willhays, at 621 meters, is the highest point in Dartmoor, the South West and the UK south of the Brecon Beacons in Wales.

Yes Tor is the second highest point, at 619 meters. They are connected by a simple path overlooking the surrounding moorland and are reachable from parking at the nearby Meldon Reservoir for the easiest route to the summits.  

From the top of both Tors are 360 views and rock piles to pose against for the camera. Being so high, and right in the centre of Dartmoor and Devon, the weather can be as wild and unpredictable as the moors but you’ll regret missing the opportunity to visit.

Okehampton Castle
Okehampton Castle

The remains of the largest castle in Devon stand proudly in an area of woodland and beautiful scenery, Okehampton Castle is an English Heritage site found to the very north of Dartmoor. Spend your time there exploring the extensive ruins, listening to its history via the audio tour, walking through the surrounding countryside and even enjoy a picnic by the river that flows through the grounds.

The site is said to be haunted. It began taking shape in days of the Norman Conquest before becoming a grand castle in the 14th century. Sadly in 1538 it was abandoned and left to decline.

But to this day Okehampton Castle is a must visit for those looking to experience all Dartmoor has to offer.

Clapper bridge at Postbridges in Dartmoor
Postbridge Clapper Bridge

Found right in the heart of the National Park, visiting Postbridge encompasses everything Dartmoor has to offer, making it a must visit. The central position, friendly village atmosphere and beautiful moorland scenery show Dartmoor at its best!

The village itself is remote and forgotten in time, where a classic Post Office provides cream teas and ice cream. The East Dart River flows past the village, where a Clapper Bridge (pictured above) dates back to the 12th century and an 18th-century granite bridge is right next to it for cars.

It’s also in Postbridge that you’ll find one of three Dartmoor National Park Visitor Centres spread over the moors. Pop in for gifts and all the information there is on the area. There are three set paths, each one taking a different route with various lengths, details can be found at the visitor centre in the Bellever car park. Whether you go up to the top of the Tor or down to the water, you’re sure to be taken back by the stunning beauty of the place. Keep an eye out for lots of wildlife including Dartmoor ponies, and see if you can find another historical Clapper Bridge in the forest.  

Lydford Gorge Tavistock
Lydford Gorge

A trip to Lydford Gorge is full of surprises. The deepest gorge in the South West is filled with walks, wildlife and stunning scenery along the bottom of the gorge. Two highlights of Lydford are the waterfalls and the eerily named Devil's Cauldron!

Whitelady Waterfall is 30 meters high, and the Devil’s Cauldron pothole is viewable from a platform above. You’ll hear the water rumbling through the valley from the cauldron before you see it. There are many other hidden treats between the two.

With the walls towering up over you, a walk through the gorge goes in a circular motion. On each end is a National Trust centre with shops, dining facilities, toilets and picnic areas. Car parking can be found at either the Whitelady Waterfall or the Devil’s Cauldron end, and visitors can enjoy the unique walks between the two.

Burrator Reservoir on Dartmoor South Devon
Burrator Reservoir

Last on our list is Burrator Reservoir, situated within Dartmoor near Plymouth and Tavistock. Many people visit Burrator to enjoy the tranquil water and peaceful woodland surrounding it, a contrast to the usual Dartmoor moors.

Surprisingly, Dartmoor and Devon, in general, has relatively few lakes, making Burrator a rare find.

Lazy days by the water’s edge can be spent relaxing on a natural beach or on the green grass, strolling around the woodland or fishing for rainbow and brown trout (permit needed).

As an added bonus, to the left of the reservoir as you approach, leave your car by a waterfall to make the sights extra special. 

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