- Areas to visit
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For further information visit the Discover Dartmoor website.
While Dartmoor is probably most famous for its ruggedly beautiful landscape, there’s a lot more to this most dramatic location than just its spectacular good looks. Visit Devon’s most famous moor and you’ll discover a world where wildlife, history and culture come together to create unforgettable Devon holidays.
Dartmoor is not just about the landscape, the ponies or the dramatic granite tors. There’s plenty of heritage and history to discover, going all the way back to Neolithic times and throughout the ages. Dartmoor encourages you to get out and about, to explore and discover its secret places and hidden gems. This living, breathing, working landscape is as rich and as fascinating now as it was hundreds of years ago, and those who live and work on the moor are determined that, with care and a sense of stewardship, the future of Dartmoor is both sustainable and green. From ancient woodland to tradition, folklore and farming on horseback, Dartmoor has it all.
Leading the way for the arts, all things organic, a haven for literary greats and explorers, you will be walking in some awesome footsteps. It served as the inspiration for Conan Doyle’s classic Sherlock Holmes tale The Hound of the Baskervilles and has also played a significant role in modern cinema, acting as the backdrop for the blockbusting film War Horse.
Dartmoor has the largest number of archaeological remains in Europe. So if it is stone circles, menhirs, stone crosses and ancient villages that get you excited, look no further.
Dartmoor is home to all manner of wildlife, and various parts of the moor have been designated as Special Areas of Conservation. From the native Dartmoor ponies wandering the moor, to rare butterflies, birds, bees and even the occasional ‘Beast of Dartmoor’ - there’s every type of wildlife to be found on Dartmoor.
Bringing the moor bang up to date (quite literally!), its wild landscape also serves as a training ground for some of the country’s most elite troops, including the Royal Marine Commandos.
Come down from the high peaks of the moors and the towns and villages scattered across Dartmoor have something for everyone. Visit Chagford and you’ll come across some of the best art in the county, whereas places like Tavistock and Moretonhampstead have spectacular and thriving markets where you can buy outstanding local produce or examples of local craftwork.
The fertile lands surrounding Dartmoor supply the inns and restaurants that have been serving thirsty and hungry patrons for, in some cases, hundreds of years. And we’re not talking burgers in buns here - check out our interactive map of Devon and you’ll find everything from rustic inns and farmhouses to fine dining experiences, set against the most stunning natural canvas.
If all this sight seeing seems a little low-key to you, then you might want to take advantage of some of the more extreme sports on offer. The River Dart offers canoeists some of the best water in the UK, while yompers, cyclists, climbers and ramblers are attracted by the challenges offered by the terrain.
If it’s family holidays in Devon you’re after, check out the ancient art of letter-boxing or plan a visit to Dartmoor Zoo, the subject of the Hollywood film, We Bought a Zoo.
Devon holidays offer much more than the traditional sun, sea and sand approach - although we’ve got that, too! For further information on Dartmoor and other Devon attractions, simply browse our website and make your Devon holidays just what you want them to be.
Some of Devon's most beautiful countryside lies around the traditional market towns of Holsworthy and Hatherleigh. This is Ruby Country, named after the local Ruby cattle and where the War Horse book is based. Tranquil villages, winding lanes and rolling landscape make a wonderful base for cycling, rambling, horse riding and fishing.
West of Dartmoor lies the Tamar Valley, a UNESCO Mining Heritage Site and designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It really is a green and pleasant land, with rolling hills, rich wildlife and the winding River Tamar which gives the region its name as well as providing a natural border between Devon and Cornwall.
In the Tamar Valley you'll find something for all tastes - world class downhill biking at Gawton Woods, history and heritage at every turn in the form of a great mining past that is being brought back to life, spectacular walking along the Tamar Trails, trips on river and train, delightful villages, local attractions and a haven for wildlife. With a mix of local produce, welcoming pubs and places to stay to suit all tastes and purses, the Tamar Valley is not to be missed.