The official tourism website for Dartmoor | Visit Dartmoor
Situated in the south west of England in the county of Devon, Dartmoor is a landscape of stunning views, awe inspiring granite tors, deep wooded valleys with fast flowing rivers, and rugged, wide open spaces.
Covering an area of 368 square miles and containing the highest land in Southern England (High Willhays at 2037ft), people have been drawn to this breath taking area for millennia.
Once home to a thriving tin and copper-mining industry and the source of much of the granite used to build its satellite villages and towns, Dartmoor’s history is diverse and deep. The many Neolithic and Bronze Age villages and fields which dot the slopes of its hills have huge archaeological significance; in fact, Dartmoor is home to more Bronze Age remains than anywhere else in the UK. For those interested in Prehistory there are Menhirs, Stone Circles and Stone Rows dotted all over the moor. The recent discovery of a Bronze Age grave on Whitehorse Hill made international news.
More recently, Dartmoor has been the source for much superb literature. Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous Sherlock Holmes story The Hound of the Baskervilles was based on the moor (around the infamous Dartmoor Prison) and both poet Ted Hughes and famous crime writer Agatha Christie were inspired here.
A National Park since 1951, Dartmoor is still very much a working environment. Sheep, cattle and ponies are raised here, and create a wonderful sight for the visitors, particularly in the spring and summer months when the foals are being born. They all play a vital part in maintaining the accessibility of the moor, by grazing and crushing down the gorse in particular.
For those who prefer something slightly less adventurous, there are plenty of opportunities for culture, arts and crafts, music, pub lunches, traditional cream teas and high end dining in the picturesque Dartmoor towns and villages which are dotted all over and around the moor itself.