Things to do in Dartmoor

Visit Dartmoor: Best Things to do in Dartmoor National Park!

Dartmoor National Park is a sprawling, ruggedly beautiful, parkland located in Devon, England.

Welcome to Dartmoor. A captivating landscape, shrouded in mystery, where nature’s beauty intertwines with ancient myths and legends and breathtaking views. Embark on an unforgettable journey through the moors and tors of Dartmoor. Uncover hidden gems and immerse yourself in the ancient, rich history spanning thousands of years and the natural wonders of this remarkable region.

Experience the wilderness

Dartmoor National Park is one of the few places in the UK where you can experience true wilderness. With vast open spaces and minimal development, it’s the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Dartmoor’s geological history dates back over 280 million years. This history has left behind a landscape of granite tors, bogs, rivers, and forests that have become home to a unique array of flora and fauna.

Dartmoor National Park is also steeped in human history. With its prehistoric ruins, medieval settlements, and remnants of the industrial revolution scattered throughout the park, it’s a fascinating place to visit.

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Where is Dartmoor

Dartmoor is a region located in the county of Devon, in southwestern England. It is known for its rugged and picturesque landscape. Characterized by vast open moorland, granite tors (rock formations), deep valleys, and ancient forests. Dartmoor National Park offers visitors opportunities for hiking, cycling, and wildlife spotting. You can explore historical sites such as stone circles and Bronze Age remains. Dartmoor is approximately 30 miles north of the city of Plymouth and around 25 miles west of Exeter.

A Good Place to Start

DARTMOOR PF (26) -Pathfinder Guide

Much of central Dartmoor is an uninhabited wilderness almost free of villages, farms, trees and roads. From this mass rise Dartmoor’s rivers, including the Lyd, Tavy, East and West Dart, Bovey, Teign, Taw and Okement. Nearly all of which flow southwards to the English Channel. The large numbers of tors that dominate Dartmoor are the remnants of hard masses of granite, drastically reduced in size and moulded into their present shapes by millions of years of weathering. Bowerman’s Nose, Hound Tor and Haytor Rocks are famous examples. Includes 28 circular, graded walks all tried and tested by seasoned walkers. The routes range from extended strolls to exhilarating hikes, so there is something for everyone.

Exploring Dartmoor National Park

Scorhill Stone Circle, Things to do in  Dartmoor National Park
Exploring Dartmoor’s hidden wonders is a must-do for any adventurer looking to get off the beaten path.

Over the years I have spent many hours walking and exploring Dartmoor National Park. It’s quite difficult to explain the remoteness and ruggedness of this wild and often desolate place.

For me, it’s almost like coming home. Dartmoor was one of the first really wild places I ever visited. To walk all day and not see another person was not something I had ever experienced before. I liked it, and unconsciously, I think, have sought out other similar places my entire life.

Dartmoor Stone Circles

Dartmoor Stone Circles: Mystical Enigmas in Dartmoor National Park

Hidden within the enchanting landscape of Dartmoor National Park, a treasure trove of ancient wonders awaits exploration. Among the most captivating features are the Dartmoor stone circles—mesmerizing testaments to the rich history and cultural heritage of the region. These enigmatic circles, shrouded in the mists of time, continue to bewitch and intrigue both locals and visitors alike.

Believed to have served as ceremonial and ritualistic gathering places, these stone circles transport us to a time when our ancestors sought solace in communion with nature and the divine. They remind us of the profound connection between humanity and the natural world.

Exploring Dartmoor’s stone circles is like embarking on a journey through time, where the past whispers its secrets. As you walk amidst these hallowed grounds, you can’t help but feel a sense of awe and reverence for the ancient souls who once stood where you now stand.

Dartmoor National Park and its stone circles encapsulate the captivating fusion of nature, history, and spirituality.

Scorhill Stone Circle

One of my favourite places on Dartmoor, if you can pick a favourite, is undoubtedly Scorhill Stone Circle. I have visited several times over the years and never tire of just sitting in the circle, looking out over the landscape, and listening to the wind and nature.

things to do on Dartmoor national park

Scorhill Stone Circle, a Bronze Age Stone Circle located Southwest of Gidleigh, dates back to the late Neolithic period. It mesmerizes with its 23 granite megaliths. Speculations surround its purpose, adding intrigue and mystique. According to local folklore, the devil played a role in its creation, fueling legends contributing to its allure. Find Out More About Scorhill Stone Circle in our article HERE

Dartmoor Tors

The Tors of Dartmoor are stunning rock formations that are scattered across the national park.

Things to do in Dartmoor : Tors

What are Dartmoor Tors?

Dartmoor Tors stand as iconic sentinels, gracefully punctuating the landscape of this awe-inspiring region. Rising from the undulating moorland of Dartmoor, these majestic rock formations captivate visitors with their rugged beauty and profound geological significance.

A Dartmoor tor is a distinct type of hill, crowned with weathered granite outcrops that have withstood the test of time. These resilient rocky outcrops, sculpted by nature’s hand, form a striking contrast against the surrounding moorland. Each tor possesses a unique character, their forms shaped by the forces of erosion and geological evolution.

How Many Dartmoor Tors Are There? Unravelling the Granite Giants

In the captivating expanse of Dartmoor, a question often arises: How many Dartmoor tors are there? These iconic granite formations, sculpted by nature’s hand, adorn the landscape with their rugged beauty and enigmatic charm.

While it’s difficult to pinpoint an exact number, estimates suggest that there are over 160 significant tors scattered throughout Dartmoor. From the towering majesty of Haytor to the atmospheric allure of Hound Tor, each has its place in the tapestry of Dartmoor’s landscape.

As you explore Dartmoor’s moorland, you’ll encounter these remarkable granite giants, some easily accessible while others are hidden away in secluded corners. They offer not only breathtaking views from their summits but also a sense of connection to the ancient forces that shaped the land.

The allure of Dartmoor tors extends beyond their geological significance. They are steeped in folklore, sparking the imagination with tales of giants, witches, and other mythical beings who once roamed these hallowed grounds. The tors have become beloved landmarks, inviting adventurers and nature enthusiasts to delve into their mysteries.

Discovering the Tors

What Are the Best 10 Tors to Visit on Dartmoor? Exploring the Granite Wonders

When it comes to experiencing the awe-inspiring beauty of Dartmoor, exploring its Dartmoor tors is an absolute must. These magnificent granite formations rise proudly from the moorland, offering breathtaking views and a glimpse into the ancient geological history of the region. Here are the top 10 tors that promise an unforgettable Dartmoor adventure:


As one of Dartmoor’s most iconic tors, Haytor stands tall, commanding attention with its striking granite stacks. The panoramic vistas from its summit are simply awe-inspiring, offering a mesmerizing blend of rugged moorland and distant horizons.

Hound Tor:

This tor exudes an air of mystery and enchantment. Its jagged silhouette and scattered granite boulders create a captivating sight. Exploring Hound Tor’s rugged beauty and immersing yourself in the tales of folklore that surround it is an experience you won’t soon forget.

Great Staple Tor:

Situated amidst the undulating landscape, Great Staple Tor offers a tranquil retreat. Its expansive views stretch across the moorland, inviting you to bask in the serenity of nature. It’s a perfect spot to unwind and connect with the peacefulness of Dartmoor.

Sharp Tor:

For those seeking an adventurous tor experience, Sharp Tor is a must-visit. Its challenging ascent rewards hikers with breathtaking vistas from the summit. The sense of accomplishment and the sweeping landscapes make it a truly memorable destination.

Bel Tor:

Nestled in the heart of Dartmoor, Bel Tor showcases the raw beauty of the landscape. Its weathered granite formations and untamed surroundings create a captivating scene that sparks the imagination. Photographers and nature lovers will find endless inspiration here.

Leigh Tor:

Offering a quieter retreat, Leigh Tor beckons those seeking solitude and a connection to nature. Its peaceful ambience and panoramic views make it an ideal spot for contemplation and reflection.

Rippon Tor:

With its commanding presence, Rippon Tor offers panoramic views that extend across the moorland and beyond. Its exposed granite slopes make it a favourite for photographers, especially during golden hour when the warm light bathes the landscape.

Bowerman’s Nose:

This unique tor resembles a weathered face, evoking intrigue and curiosity. Its distinctive shape and location amidst the rolling hills make it a fascinating destination for photographers and those with a penchant for legends.

Little Mis Tor:

Tucked away in a tranquil corner of Dartmoor, Little Mis Tor offers a more secluded tor experience. Its rocky outcrops and surrounding heather create a picturesque setting that invites exploration and discovery.

Vixen Tor:

Last but not least, Vixen Tor stands as a sentinel on the moorland, exuding a sense of strength and resilience. It’s rugged beauty and panoramic vistas make it a captivating destination for adventurers seeking a true Dartmoor experience.

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a nature enthusiast, these 10 Dartmoor tors offer an incredible journey through breathtaking landscapes, geological wonders, and mythical tales. So, lace up your boots, and embrace the spirit of exploration. Let Dartmoor’s granite marvels leave an indelible mark on your adventure.

Dartmoor Tor Map

Although I have looked I have yet to find a Dartmoor Tor Map. However, if you intend to explore Dartmoor to any degree, then a good map and compass are essential. The OS Explorer Active Map OL28 covers all of the Dartmoor regions. It shows all the Dartmoor Tors, Stone Circles and more.

Dartmoor Map | Weatherproof | Dartmoor National Park | Ordnance Survey | OS Explorer Active Map OL28 

Discover Dartmoor on foot, with 450 miles of public rights of way allowing you to immerse yourself in ancient oakwoods, moorlands and flower-rich wet grasslands haunted by rare birds and butterflies. 

The Highest Tor on Dartmoor: Yes Tor – A Majestic Peak Amidst the Moorland

Yes Tor stands proudly as one of the prominent peaks on Dartmoor, captivating adventurers with its majestic allure. Dartmoor’s highest peak, rising to a height of 619 meters (2,031 feet), this granite-crowned summit offers a thrilling hiking experience and rewards intrepid explorers with panoramic vistas that stretch across the moorland.

Ascending Yes Tor, you’ll encounter a rugged terrain adorned with heather and bracken, creating a picturesque setting that changes with the seasons. The path meanders through rolling hills, occasionally revealing glimpses of the surrounding tors and valleys, providing a sense of anticipation as you draw closer to the summit.

Reaching the top of Yes Tor is a moment of triumph, where a captivating landscape unfolds before your eyes. The breathtaking views encompass vast expanses of moorland, revealing the undulating contours of Dartmoor’s wild beauty. From this vantage point, you can truly appreciate the raw magnificence of the surrounding landscape.

As you stand atop Yes Tor, the wind whispers through the rugged terrain, carrying a sense of tranquillity and freedom. Take a moment to soak in the serene atmosphere, appreciating the harmony between nature’s grandeur and the human spirit.

Interested in exploring the Dartmoor Tors?

Take on the Dartmoor Tors Challenge!
This logbook contains 176 of Dartmoor’s infamous tors. Nestled among varied terrain and rolling hills, there are tors for both amateur and experienced hikers alike. Your challenge is to visit them all and record your adventures as you go! CLICK HERE

Exploring the hidden wonders of Dartmoor National Park is an adventure in itself. The park is filled with hidden gems waiting to be discovered. For those looking to get off the beaten path, exploring lesser-known parts of the park can be a rewarding experience.

Engage in Thrilling Outdoor Pursuits

Hiking and Walking Trails on Dartmoor: Discover the Beauty of the Two Moors Way

Dartmoor, with its untamed wilderness and rugged landscapes, offers a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure on foot. The region boasts an extensive network of hiking and walking trails, including the renowned Two Moors Way, providing opportunities to explore Dartmoor’s captivating beauty.

The Two Moors Way: Discover the Splendor of Dartmoor

If you’re seeking an extraordinary adventure through the breathtaking landscapes of Dartmoor, look no further than the Two Moors Way. This long-distance trail weaves its way across the heart of Devon, connecting the wild beauty of Dartmoor with the picturesque charm of Exmoor.

Stretching approximately 102 miles, the Two Moors Way takes you on a captivating journey through diverse terrain, from the dramatic tors of Dartmoor to the rolling hills and wooded valleys of Exmoor. Along the way, you’ll traverse open moorland, ancient woodlands, and charming rural communities, experiencing the true essence of these two distinct moorlands.

As you embark on this trail, be prepared to be awe-struck by the vastness and grandeur of Dartmoor. Marvel at the granite tors that punctuate the landscape, their rugged silhouettes standing as sentinels of the moor. Immerse yourself in the rich history and folklore that permeate the region, and perhaps catch a glimpse of the famous Dartmoor ponies grazing peacefully in their natural habitat.

The Two Moors Way offers a unique opportunity to connect with nature, slow down and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you. It challenges you physically and rewards you with stunning vistas at every turn.

Whether you choose to conquer the entire trail or explore smaller sections, the Two Moors Way promises an unforgettable experience. It invites you to step out of your comfort zone, embrace the rhythm of the moors, and discover the hidden gems that Dartmoor has to offer.

Two Moors Way XT40 – long-distance route map

They are tough, durable, light, and 100% waterproof – virtually indestructible in normal use. They are light to carry, compact and not the great bulky package you get with a laminated map. The 1:40,000 map is detailed, with the route clearly marked. It also contains general information and useful telephone numbers to assist with planning and a full key.

Let Dartmoor’s wild beauty captivate your senses and leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.

In addition to the Two Moors Way, Dartmoor is dotted with numerous other hiking trails that cater to varying levels of experience and interests. From leisurely walks through picturesque valleys to challenging hikes up towering tors, there’s something for everyone.

As you venture along these trails, you’ll witness Dartmoor’s unique ecosystem, abundant wildlife, and traces of human history. Keep an eye out for the iconic Dartmoor ponies grazing peacefully in the distance, or the remnants of ancient settlements that whisper tales of the past.

Be Prepared

Remember to come prepared with appropriate footwear, maps, and provisions for your journey. Dartmoor’s weather can be unpredictable, so be sure to check the forecast and dress accordingly.

Cycling Adventures

If you prefer two wheels over two feet, Dartmoor provides exhilarating cycling opportunities. Pedal your way through the undulating terrain, immersing yourself in the natural beauty that surrounds you. From leisurely rides along quiet country lanes to challenging mountain biking trails, there’s a cycling adventure for everyone.

Rock Climbing and Bouldering

For adrenaline junkies seeking an adrenaline rush, Dartmoor’s tors offer a playground for rock climbing and bouldering enthusiasts. Test your skills and conquer the granite faces of these ancient formations while revelling in the unmatched views that await you at the top.

Learn about Dartmoor’s mining heritage

Mining has played a significant role in Dartmoor’s history, and visitors can learn about this industry at places like the Dartmoor National Park Visitor Centre and the Dartmoor Prison Museum.


Grimspound – Ancient Village or Settlement Dartmoor National Park

Unveiling the Mysteries of Dartmoor’s Ancient Settlement

Nestled amidst the untamed beauty of Dartmoor, Grimspound stands as a testament to the rich history and enduring legacy of this rugged landscape. This captivating archaeological site offers a glimpse into the lives of our ancient ancestors and their remarkable ability to thrive in the harsh moorland environment.

Located near the village of Manaton, Grimspound is an expansive prehistoric settlement enclosed by a circular stone wall, reminiscent of a time long past. Stepping into this ancient enclave, you can’t help but feel a sense of wonder and curiosity about the lives of those who once called this place home.

Within Grimspound’s protective walls, you’ll find the remains of 24 stone roundhouses, expertly constructed using the granite boulders that dot the landscape. These dwellings were once inhabited by Bronze Age farmers, seeking shelter and a sense of community amidst the harsh Dartmoor terrain.

Grimspound is a testament to the enduring spirit of our ancestors and their ability to adapt and thrive in challenging environments. It’s a reminder of the deep roots that connect us to the past and the importance of preserving and understanding our shared history.

So, venture to Grimspound and embark on a journey of discovery. Explore the ancient ruins, absorb the tranquil beauty of the moorland, and allow yourself to be transported to a time when Dartmoor’s landscape was shaped by the hands and hearts of those who came before us.

Get lost in the forests

Dartmoor National Park is home to many ancient woodlands that are filled with wildlife and natural beauty. Some of the most popular forests include Bellever, Wistman’s Wood, and Hembury Woods. Take a stroll through the trees and soak in the tranquillity of the forest.

Meet the ponies

The Dartmoor ponies are a symbol of the national park and can be seen grazing throughout the area. These hardy ponies have lived on Dartmoor for centuries and are an important part of the landscape. Take a moment to appreciate these beautiful animals and snap a photo or two.

Stargazing Dartmoor: Embark on an Enchanting Journey through Dark Skies

Dartmoor, with its vast open spaces and minimal light pollution, offers an ideal destination for stargazing enthusiasts. When the sun sets and darkness blankets the moorland, a whole new world emerges in the night sky, beckoning you to explore the wonders of the cosmos.

Dark Skies

One of the greatest appeals of stargazing on Dartmoor is the presence of dark skies. Away from the glare of city lights, the moor becomes a celestial theatre, revealing a tapestry of stars that ignite the imagination. The sheer brilliance of the Milky Way stretching across the heavens is a sight to behold.

Find a cosy spot, spread a blanket beneath the twinkling sky, and let the wonders of the universe unfold before your eyes. Marvel at the constellations, each with its own mythical tales and intriguing histories. Watch as shooting stars streak across the sky, leaving trails of celestial beauty in their wake.

Best Places for Stargazing on Dartmoor

Where are the best places to see the stars on Dartmoor?

There are many spots to stop and enjoy the stars on Dartmoor. You can even drive up on the moor and sit in one of the many Car Parks. If you are a bit more adventurous, you could walk up to the top of a tor for a better stargazing experience!

Haytor: This iconic granite tor not only offers breathtaking views of the moorland during the day but also serves as an excellent vantage point for stargazing at night. Nestle among the rocks, lay back, and be captivated by the dazzling display of stars above.

Hound Tor: Standing as a majestic sentinel, it offers a mesmerizing setting for stargazing under the enchanting embrace of dark skies. This iconic granite tor holds the promise of an unforgettable celestial experience.

As the daylight fades and night blankets the moor, venture to Hound Tor to witness a breathtaking display of stars. With its elevated position, Hound Tor provides an unobstructed view of the celestial dome above, allowing you to immerse yourself in the beauty and grandeur of the night sky.

Meteor Showers and Planetary Alignments

During celestial events, such as meteor showers or planetary alignments, Dartmoor becomes an even more enchanting stage for stargazers. Witness the dance of shooting stars during the Perseids or the majestic presence of Jupiter and Saturn aligning in perfect harmony.

To enhance your stargazing experience, consider bringing a telescope or binoculars to get a closer look at the celestial wonders above. Apps and star charts can help you identify the various constellations and celestial bodies that grace the Dartmoor skies.

Whether you’re a seasoned astronomer or a curious beginner, Dartmoor’s dark skies offer a captivating canvas for your stargazing adventures. Immerse yourself in the tranquillity of the moor, where the magic of the universe unfolds above, and let the beauty of the cosmos ignite a sense of wonder within you.

With so much to see and do, Dartmoor National Park is the perfect destination for anyone looking to explore the great outdoors and uncover the hidden wonders of the UK.

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