The History Of Dartmoor
From dinosaurs and earthquakes to the forming of the famous granite blocks, Dartmoor came to be approximately 370 million years ago. After the Ice Age, people began to inhabit the area, animals began to graze and, over time, the landscape adapted to its guests, with cairns (burial sites) and plenty of ceremonial areas.
You will also find curious stone formations and beloved ponies at almost every turn.
Dartmoor is also known for its myths and longstanding legends.
Think the likes of pixies, headless horsemen, scary dog apparitions and more.
Nowadays, the Dartmoor is protected and has National Park status – it is often referred to as Dartmoor National Park.
It’s the perfect place to explore with your partner, your friends or your family, perfect for a delicious picnic.
Dartmoor is also host to the famous Ten Tors challenge – 2400 students, in 400 teams of six teenagers (depending on age) face hikes of 35, 45 or 55 miles over the rough terrain of Dartmoor.
Along the way, they visit ten nominated tors and checkpoints in under two days.
The Best Things To Do In Dartmoor
Don’t be stuck for things to do in South Devon when you visit; head to Dartmoor and you’ll struggle to fit everything in!
Here are a few of our favourites…
- Dartmoor Railway is known to be so much more than a train journey. Visitors can explore the beautiful countryside and captivating Dartmoor. There’s much more to do than just appreciate the trains – full of history, there’s a tea room, a museum and plenty of adventure for the whole family.
- Castle Drogo can be found high above the Teign Gorge. Boasting installations and treasures, it has been under refurbishment for the last few years to ensure that it is watertight. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens this structure might look like it belongs to ancient times, but it was in fact built 100 years ago, making it the last castle in England.
- Dartmoor Zoological Park boasts 33 acres of woodland and the largest collection of Big Cats in the region. Perfect for all the family, you can enjoy pubic talks, feeding times and many animal encounters.
- Dingles Fairground Heritage Centre captures the magic of a bygone age and offers plenty of nostalgia for visitors of any age. Explore the exhibits, learn about vintage engineering and appreciate the stunning artwork displays. A must for any fairground enthusiast.
- South Devon Railway is a multi-award-winning railway and the West Country’s best-loved tourist attraction. Renowned for being the longest established steam railway in the South West, the railway boasts seven miles of the former Great Western Railway branch line dating to 1872.
- Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust helps to preserve the traditional native Dartmoor Pony. Visit the new Visitor Centre at Parke, Bovey Tracey, in partnership with the National Trust and you can support their mission. Not just educational, the Trust also allows visitors to interact with the ponies and offers courses for those who want to learn more.
- Pennywell Farm is a day out for every generation. Situated in the lush Devon countryside, this is a working award-winning organic farm where everyone can help handle and feed the animals that live there.
- Haytor Rocks is arguably Dartmoor’s most famous tor. On a clear day, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views including the South and East Devon coastline, Cosdon Hill and Great Mis Tor to the west.
There’s much more to discover – you can see a full list of attractions here. There are also some beautiful moorland towns to explore, each boasting local artisans, heritage and independent stores.
Where to stay
We hope it’s obvious, really!
Our family-friendly accommodation in South Devon is the perfect place to retreat to after a day on the moors.
Let us look after you – you’re guaranteed a home away from home at Langstone Cliff.
Now that you have read some of these things to do in South Devon, why not book a room directly with us for the very best rates?