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Where to go on Dartmoor

Dartmoor is a vast and captivating expanse of natural beauty full of dramatic landscapes, mysterious legends, and diverse ecosystems. If you get the chance to explore this beautiful National Park, enjoy rugged terrain, granite tors, ancient ruins, and lush valleys. It is an unforgettable experience for nature enthusiasts, history buffs, and anyone wanting to immerse themselves in the outdoors. Below we have listed some of our favourite places to check out if you are wondering where to go on Dartmoor!

Avon Dam

A visit to the Avon Dam is both wheelchair and pram friendly. Walk up to the Dam itself from the car park at Shipley Bridge, along the paved trail. Or for a bigger (and sadly less accessible) walk, turn it into a seven-mile circular. Head past the Dam to Huntingdon and Petre’s Cross and walk along the old Zeal Tor tramway.

Whether you take the shorter more accessible route, or the longer circular version, both options are a great way to explore the open moorland and beautiful rivers of Dartmoor. There are toilets at the car park at Shipley Bridge.

Bellever Forest

This enchanting forest features an ancient stone circle. It is the perfect location for a leisurely walk or cycle. It truly caters to everyone’s needs. Whether you are looking for an exhilarating walk, a gentle meander, or to learn some history, this is where to go on Dartmoor. Take the waymarked trails or head down the historic bridleway (Lych Way) and discover the archaeological sites. The forest is also an excellent place to see Dartmoor ponies, so keep your eyes peeled!

Buckfast Abbey

Just outside of Dartmoor you will find the Benedictine Abbey, home to a working community of Benedictine monks. It is renowned for its stunning architecture, peaceful gardens, and tranquil atmosphere. There is so much history to learn here, from before the original Abbey fell into ruins to after it was brought back to life by its current group of inhabitants, an exiled group of French monks. There are often different exhibits and events held here throughout the year, so check out their website, or simply sit and relax in the grounds. This is also where the infamous Buckfast Tonic Wine is made!

Burrator Reservoir

Surrounded by rolling hills, this reservoir offers serene waterside walks, fishing opportunities, and breath-taking views. Offering woodlands and water, simply head here for the day or combine it with a walk! Stroll, fish, and take in the views!


A vibrant, lively town on the northern edge of Dartmoor. It is locally famous for its artisanal food and drink. You will find lots of local producers of cheese, cider, and meat here, so go hungry because you’ll want to have a taste of everything!

The town is a great place to explore. It is rich in history, having been used to produce lots of cotton and textiles in the past. Visit the nearby Scorhill Stone Circle, one of the most impressive and well-preserved prehistoric monuments in the region! It is the perfect stop for history buffs!

Hike, bike, horse ride, or simply visit the historical and cultural sites that surround the town.


If you are looking for where to go on Dartmoor, head to the meeting point of the East Dart and West Dart rivers. It is a picturesque spot for picnics, paddling and enjoying the serenity of nature. Simply relax and enjoy your surroundings near the Dartmeet car park or embark a three hour (5.5km) circular walk.

The walk begins where the east river meets the west river and takes you on a journey to explore the river valley of east Dartmoor. See ancient river crossings and learn about the moors mining history. Whether you want to relax, play, hike, or learn, Dartmeet is the spot.


Grimspound is an extensive Bronze Age settlement featuring a circular stone enclosure. It is the best-known prehistoric settlement on Dartmoor. The remains of twenty-four stone roundhouses survive here, within a massive boundary wall. There are great views of the site from Hookney Tor and the high ground on Hameldown. Visit here to gain a glimpse into the lives of its prehistoric inhabitants. If you are looking for where to go on Dartmoor, Grimspound offers more than just a hike.


The most famous granite tor on Dartmoor. The one that everyone talks about. It is a striking landmark and a popular climbing spot. Enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding moorland; you can even see the sea on a clear day!

Get off the beaten track and discover hidden gems at the quarry. It is home to a unique tramway that transported granite from the high moors to the port of Teignmouth. Follow the Templer Way Walk to explore!

Or if you want to do less of the walking and more of the learning, head into the Visitor Centre. Located just below the Tor, learn more about the history of the moors and its wildlife. The Visitor Centre is also where to park when visiting, and the Centre has toilets.


Princetown is the highest settlement on Dartmoor and is home to the infamous Dartmoor prison. Due to its elevation, the town offers breath-taking vistas from all sides. There is a lot of history in the town, predominantly shaped by the prison.

The prison was first established to house French prisoners during the Napoleonic wars but was also used during the 19th century for local prisoners. It was used during World War Two to imprison conscientious objectors and as accommodation for American and Canadian troops, whilst they practiced for the D-Day landings.

The town essentially grew because of the needs of the prison, which has led it to becoming how it is today. You can still see much of its historical roots in the buildings.

The town is a great place to come and explore on its own. Enjoy the views and learn about local history! There is also a Visitors Centre here, so it’s a great starting point for anyone wanting more information on where to go on Dartmoor.


Spitchwick is a locally loved hidden gem. It is the perfect place for a family day out. Pack a picnic and your swimsuit, and you will be set! There is a large grassy common where families hang out and the river is a stone’s throw. It is a great spot to cool off on a warm day. Further down the river, there are places for cliff jumping for the dare devils of the group. Spitchwick offers something for everyone!


Tavistock is a historic market town on the edge of Dartmoor. It is a place to explore in and of itself. Known for its charming architecture, bustling market, and the ruins of Tavistock Abbey UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is a great place to start a trip to the moors. There are lots of excellent places to eat and drink on the wonderful high street. Make sure you enjoy a good feed before or after your walk!

Pop into the market, on market days, to try some local delicacies and perhaps even buy some local bits to take home with you! Tavistock encompasses all that makes a countryside town.

For more ideas for Your Devon Escape, why not check out our journal for recommendations.  Or make us all jealous by sharing your adventures with #yourdevonescape or tag us on Facebook @YourDevonEscape, on Instagram @your_devon_escape or TikTok @yourdevonescapeltd

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