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Walking In Dartmoor

Read our guide for Walking In Dartmoor and Find and Book experiences, courses, activities and tours! Browse through the list of experiences, either instantly book onto your dates or enquire to book. All you have to do is turn up and enjoy! If you’ve got any questions about any specific experience, send a message and the providers will aim to get back to you as soon as possible. Have a specific experience in mind that we don’t have listed? No problem, drop us a message and we’ll send your quote around to hundreds of the best experience providers nationwide and come back with you the best quote, making it easy for you to make the most of your spare time!

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Dartmoor National Park

Dartmoor is three hundred and seventy square miles of stunning moorland in the county of Devon. These picturesque National Park lands are visited by over ten million people every year, and it’s easy to see why. The wilderness of Dartmoor has inspired artists and novelists to create unique masterpieces, whilst archaeologists are drawn to explore the moor’s stone circles and diverse medieval remains.## Walking in Dartmoor For walkers there are several great reasons to explore Dartmoor. Firstly because it’s the last true wilderness in southern England, and with that comes a great sense of escapism that is so sought after by many walkers. You can lose yourself in Dartmoor, in all sense of the word! Secondly is the great variety of terrain that exists, meaning longer walks can be full of surprises and different vistas, or for shorter walks you can keep coming back and seeing something different each time! And finally there’s also the geological and archaeological interest. The tors for which Dartmoor is famous are impressive, but scattered in and amongst these are the remains of human habitation too, including prehistoric monuments and stone circles, Iron Age hill forts and more recent mining remains.Here’s a few of our favourites though to get you started!
dartmoor walking

Walking the Tors (and myths) in Dartmoor

Parking up near Saddle Tor it’s possible to explore 4 of the more famous tors on this 8.5km walk. Home to a phantom pony, Saddle Tor is the first on the route here, followed by Haytor Rocks (home to more myths about a lady leaping to her death only to be saved by her billowing dress allowing her to float to the ground and elope with her true love), before a lengthy spell via Becka Brook Valley. Also home to more myths - of course - about a dragon’s lair. Hound Tor is up next, supposedly the one that inspired Arthur Conan Doyle to write the Hound of the Baskervilles, and also supposedly where a hunter and his hounds interrupted a coven of witches, who promptly turned them all to stone. Finally you come to Greater Rocks on your way back to the start. I’m still looking for a myth attached to this one!

Walking in Okehampton

Okehampton is a great starting point as it’s on the main route across Devon and into Cornwall, but also sits right on the edge of the northern section of Dartmoor, offering very quick and easy access to the wildness of the moor. This northern sections contains some of the highest land in southern England, and hikes from here can include great features including the remains of Okehampton Castle, the ancient ford at Cullever Steps and Belstone Tor.

Walking Teign Gorge in Dartmoor

A nice short walk which will leave quite an impact! Starting at Fingle Bridge head out along the top of the gorge on the right hand side. After you pass the impressive Castle Drogo descend to the steep-sided Teign Gorge, spectacularly overhung with twisted oaks and beeches.
dartmoor long distance walks

Walking the Lydford Gorge in Dartmoor

Whilst this can be incorporated into a longer walk it’s another one that can be achieved with some smaller family-friendly routes too. Close to the village of Lydford the River Lyd has carved out an incredible route through a thickly-wooded ravine, and featuring the spectacular White Lady Waterfall. There are some steep sections and some narrow rocky sections can be tricky in wet weather, so care must be taken.

Walking Burrator Reservoir in Dartmoor

Burrator was the first reservoir to be built in Dartmoor in 1898 and is well worth exploring, providing many great picnic spots too. There are several tors surrounding it, including Sharpitor, Leather Tor and Sheeps Tor, providing some good little climbs and some lovely views down over the reservoir and beyond.
national parks walks near me

What to Wear for Hiking?

Getting the right hill walking equipment can be the difference between a fantastic day out and 50 shades of grim, or in a worst scenario an embarrassing call to mountain rescue. So what is essential walking kit? This differs based on where you’re going hill walking and what the weather is.
The climate can change very quickly in the UK, so essential walking clothing will protect you for all weathers. As one of the main hill-walking legends himself put it “There's no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing”, Alfred Wainwright. Make sure you’ve got full body waterproofs, both a jacket and trousers. Take a carrier bag to waterproof out your bag. And add a carrier bag to protect essential items like your phone. Make sure you're wearing appropriate footwear for the terrain. And don’t underestimate how much of a beating they can take climbing hills, especially with rocks or scrambling. Bring spare warm layers such as a hat, gloves, neck scarf and spare fleece and warm clothes (enough to make you feel warm when not on the move).
forest walks near me

What to Pack for Hiking or Long Walks?

Depending on the conditions of your walk you’ll need to pack differently. If you’re going on a route that’s not well marked make sure you have the means to navigate.
  • Navigation tools: a map with a compass (even if it’s a backup to your digital tools), for the worst case scenario of the digital navigation tools running out of battery.
  • Mobile phone: fully charged. Don’t rinse through the battery using instagram in case you need to call for emergencies.
  • Take a good backpack, preferably with a built in hydration system so you can constantly take on water as you move, making it easier to stay hydrated throughout the day.

For Long Distance or Mountain Walks:
  • First Aid Kit and Medicines: very important if going up particularly challenging terrain
  • Head touch and spare batteries: In case it gets dark due to the sun setting or a storm setting in, a head torch can be very useful, if not vital.
  • Group Shelter: can be used to set up quick camp, in the case of an almost immediate storm, should you wish to shelter temporarily.
  • A whistle: In case fog sets in and you need to help others find you.

For Winter Mountaineering:
  • Crampons and Ice axe: for winter mountaineering, the use of crampons to get grip on snow and ice, and ice axes to aid with grip can be used. It’s essential to practice using these before going on a mountaineering expedition as they can take some getting used to.
  • Walking poles: Not always essential, but can be used to take weight off your feet and ease impact on your knees and hips. They can help with keeping good posture and can make it easier to walk if used correctly.
  • Belay device, harness and ropes: If going up particularly challenging, steep areas or ridges with big drop-offs, sometimes the use of ropes can aid safety in the case of an accidental fall. If climbing, these are essential pieces of kit.

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