Once a high altitude woodland, Dartmoor is now a dramatic moorland, with rolling hills topped with craggy tors, bogs and wetlands, waterfalls, a large amount of neolithic monuments and a few rare examples of ancient high altitude woodland that have survived until today.
Dartmoor with its ancient history and heritage has many stories of folklore to more modern stories like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Hound of the Baskervilles and many Agatha Christie novels. In fact Sabine Baring-Gould, once Squarson of Lewtrenchard Manor, was inspired to write many books both fiction and non-fiction related to the moor. One his more important works was ‘Songs of the West’ which first recorded many folk songs including, amongst others, Widecombe Fair.
Why not have a look at the Visit Dartmoor website for some ideas.
We have listed some sites of interest below
Lydford Gorge is a National Trust property situated 5 miles from Lewtrenchard Manor. The whole walk is approximately 3 miles long and provides an enchanting riverside walk to the spectacular 90ft White Lady waterfall. It is not suitable for people with heart complaints or walking disabilities, and stout shoes are recommended.
Lydford Gorge – Lydford, near Tavistock, EX20 4BH
Tel – 01822 820320 www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lydford-gorge
DARTMOOR PRISON MUSEUM
Vividly portraying more than 200 years of this prison’s turbulent history ranging from the beginning, when Dartmoor was a Prisoner of War Depot for French and American prisoners of war, to the later convict era through to today.
Dartmoor Prison Museum – Princetown, Devon, PL20 6RR
Tel – 01822 322000 www.dartmoor-prison.co.uk
Surrounded by open moorland, Meldon is a breathtaking reservoir lake 900 feet above sea level teeming with native wildlife and easily accessed from the Granite Way and Meldon Viaduct.
Meldon Reservoir – near Okehampton, Devon
This viaduct was built in 1874 and spans 165 metres over the remains of mineral mines. The views from the viaduct span across to Meldon Dam and reservoir to the south west.
Meldon Viaduct – near Okehampton, Devon
BLACK-A-TOR COPSE AND WISTMANS WOOD
Black-a-Tor Copse and Wistmans Wood are some of the best examples of high altitude oak woodlands in Britain. The lichens and mosses that drape the trees are nationally important- and grow here in this unique clean air woodland.
Black-a-Tor Copse – near Okehampton, Devon
Wistmans Wood – Princetown, Devon
Burrator reservoir is situated within Dartmoor in a wooded valley, and the tranquil water and surrounding mixed woodland contrasts with the open moor and the rugged Dartmoor tors beyond.
Burrator Reservoir – near Yelverton, Devon, PL20 6PE