Things to Do
Dartmoor National Park is just an hour’s drive from the English Riviera, South Devon’s beautiful bay. It’s the largest wild area of open countryside in the south of England and the main attraction is its sheer natural beauty, with rolling hills, towering rock formations (called tors) and lush, green landscapes.
Dartmoor stars in Steven Spielberg's stunning brand new film adaptation of War Horse, the story of a Devon horse shipped to France to serve in both the British and German armies during World War I. Filming on location, Spielberg was quoted as saying "I have never before, in my long and eclectic career, been gifted with such an abundance of natural beauty as I experienced filming War Horse on Dartmoor." Sites include the small village of Meavy, Sheepstor, Burrator Reservoir and Bonehill Rocks near Widecombe-in-the-Moor.
Natural beauty, amazing trails
There are dozens of walking trails on the moors and if you want to make it even more fun for the kids check out ‘letterboxing’, where you track down secret hideaways and add your name to the list of visitors.
There are frequent village fetes and music festivals across the moor all year round including Chagstock, Dartmoor Festival and IvyLive. Dartmoor is also the inspiration for local musician Seth Lakeman, whose songs tell the tales of this wild and unique landscape.
Wildlife on the Moor
Then there’s the wonderful wildlife: look out for Dartmoor ponies, foxes, otters, weasels, stoats and deer. Bird lovers will be able to spot cormorants, grey herons, owls, snipes and peregrine falcons, and it’s even been rumoured that there are secretive big cats loose on the moor.
History and more
As well as the natural beauty of Dartmoor, there are also a variety of attractions that are within an easy drive of the English Riviera including Castle Drogo and Buckfast Abbey. For a great family day out, take the kids to the Dartmoor Miniature Pony Centre, Buckfast Butterfly Farm, Canonteign Falls or Pennywell Farm to get up close and personal with the animals.
Agatha Christie's Dartmoor
Queen of Crime Dame Agatha Christie was born in Torquay, and the neighbouring moors provided inspiration for her works. In fact, she completed her very first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, at the Moorlands Hotel near Haytor. The Agatha Christie Literary Trail through the English Riviera and South Devon also points out Sittaford Tor and its surroundings, which feature in The Sittaford Mystery.
For further details of things to do and events, please visit the official Dartmoor website.
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