Welcome to Dartmoor National Park, a unique landscape set in the heart of south west England. It was the fourth National Park to be designated in the UK in 1951. Dartmoor is a landscape shaped by millennia of human activity – water; woodlands; the patchwork of farmed fields – all set against a backdrop of breathtaking high open moorland.
Dramatic granite outcrops dominate the skyline; the remains of once giant mountains, eroded and frost shattered over millions of years to leave the iconic granite tors that you now see today.
Dartmoor is one of the most important Bronze Age landscapes in Western Europe, containing thousands of hut circles, the remains of human habitation, stone rows, standing stones, religious complexes and burial sites. The longest stone row in the world can be found on Dartmoor.
The National Park contains habitats of national and international importance, supporting a huge diversity of species. Dartmoor’s ponies play an important part in habitat management by grazing plants that cattle and sheep won’t eat.
Dartmoor National Park staff support and work with others to sustain this unique landscape enabling it to be enjoyed by all and to help its communities prosper. Specialist staff work across a whole range of practical projects, keeping traditional skills alive. The National Park works with many groups of volunteers to help manage this wonderful landscape and there are plenty of opportunities for people to get involved.
From high open moorland to specially designated easy going routes, Dartmoor can be enjoyed by everyone. Specialist staff work to maintain this access, carrying out repairs to car parks and maintaining Public Rights of Way – calling on the help of others when needed.
Dartmoor is a great place to enjoy the outdoors, from gentle strolls and quiet contemplation, to exhilarating adventure sports.
The Award winning National Park Visitor Centres at Princetown, Postbridge and Haytor are great all weather attractions and stepping stones to lead you to a better understanding of this special place.