Dartmoor National Park - discover a great holiday

Frequently Asked Questions

Activities at Haytor
Activities at Haytor
Activities at Haytor
Activities at Haytor

Leisure Information

Where can I get information on walks_
Some books are listed on this website or alternatively you can email the High Moorland Visitor Centre (HMVC@dartmoor-npa.gov.uk) for a copy of the Dartmoor Visitor featuring information on Dartmoor National Park Authority Guided Walks and a whole array of Walking Guides.

Can I walk my dog on Dartmoor_
Dogs have lived and worked on Dartmoor for many hundreds of years and are still very welcome. You owe it to your best friend to ensure that while he, she or they may be having a good time, it is not at the expense of others. Follow this simple code of conduct and the rewards will be great:
Please clean up after your dog; keep dogs under close control at all times; don't let your dog worry livestock or wildlife; you should keep your dog on a short lead on areas of open country and common land during bird nesting season (1st March to 31st July) and during the lambing season on enclosed farmland (1st December to 30th June).

Where can I take my bike on Dartmoor_
You can cycle on public roads, byways and public bridlepaths, but there is not open access for bicycle across the moorland. There are miles of quiet lanes to explore at your own pace, but if you like pre planned routes the Dartmoor way 90-mile circular route will present you with a good few days cycling. Some local short day and half day rides are also available through information centres. The Granite Way from Okehampton and the Plym Valley Cycleway on the southwest edge of the National Park provide safe traffic free routes for families. If you are a keen off road cyclist or mountain biker the Dartmoor National Park Authority's Off Road Cycling Map (available from Information Centres) will keep you and your bike amused for hours. For more information download Dartmoor National Park Authority's Cycling leaflet or email hmvc@dartmoor-npa.gov.uk.

Where can I go horse riding on Dartmoor_
You can ride on most open moorland, public bridleways, byways open to all traffic and other permitted routes.
If you don't have your own horse then there are a number of riding stables on Dartmoor. For more details on these, email Okehampton Information Centre for a free Dartmoor Holiday Map Guide listing Dartmoor riding stables on oketic@visit.org.uk. Or download Dartmoor National Park Authority's Horse Riding leaflet.

Can I camp on Dartmoor_
Dartmoor National Park Authority has a Backpack Camping code published in the Dartmoor Visitor:
"All Dartmoor, even the high moorland, is owned by someone. The owners of unenclosed moorland do not normally object to backpack camping. You will not fall foul of local bye-laws as long as you keep to the simple commonsense camping code.
Do not camp on moorland enclosed by walls; on the roadside or within 100 metres of the road; anywhere within sight of roads or houses; in reservoir catchment areas; on very small commons surrounded by farmland; on areas of common which are heavily used for information recreation.
Remember: Litter, human excrement and waste water are pollutants. They cause offence and can be dangerous. Take all litter home and deal with other waste in a sensible way.
Don't light fires. If you use a camping stove, stand it on a rock. Don't over-use a site. Stay in small groups and keep away from other parties. Avoid pitching on the mark left by another tent. Don't stay on one site for more than two nights.
Many small farms welcome backpackers and offer simple amenities, which make the experience more enjoyable. Please leave the area as you would wish to find it."

When do the firing ranges operate_
There are three Ministry of Defence live firing ranges on the north part of the Moor, to which the public has access except when the ranges are in use. Please note that no firing takes place during peak holiday periods. Firing times are available on 0800 458 4858 or by visiting [linkhttp://www.dartmoor-ranges.co.uk,www.dartmoor-ranges.co.uk].

Can I catch a bus across Dartmoor and back_
The Transmoor Link bus goes across Dartmoor between Plymouth and Exeter. Pick up a copy of the 'Discovery Guide to Dartmoor by Bus and Train' from Dartmoor Information Centres or call DevonBus on (01392) 382800, email devonbus@devon.gov.uk or visit www.devon.gov.uk/buses/.

Where can a disabled visitor go on Dartmoor_
Visit Dartmoor National Park Authority's website www.dartmoor-npa.gov.uk and read their Easy Going Dartmoor information (in A-Z section) for the less able visitor.

How can I get onto Dartmoor_
You can drive onto Dartmoor and park in the many public car parks or use public transport.

How do I get to Dartmoor_
Call the Traveline on 0870 608 2 608 for public transport information to Dartmoor. Alternatively you fly to either Plymouth or Exeter where you can hire a car or use public transport. Fly to Plymouth with Air Southwest on www.airsouthwest.com or to Exeter with Flybe on www.flybe.com.

Can I get to the Eden Project from Dartmoor_
The Eden Project in Cornwall is approximately an hour and a quarters drive from the centre of Dartmoor.

Where can I see the stone rings / stone circles_
Visit the Archaeology page in our Things to Do section for more information.

Where can I fish on Dartmoor_
Discover many activities including fishing in the Things to Do section of our website or visit South West Lakes Trust website on www.swlakestrust.org.uk.

When is Widecombe Fair held_
The second Tuesday in September at Widecombe-in-the-moor on Dartmoor.

When is Goose Fair in Tavistock held_
The second Wednesday in October.

Educational Information

I am doing a study on Dartmoor for my coursework. Where can I get some information_
Dartmoor National Park Authority has lots of Factsheets (in A-Z section) on its website at www.dartmoor-npa.gov.uk that can be downloaded. These include Recreation & Tourism, Climate & Weather, Dartmoor's Tin Industry, Farming History, Geology & Landforms, History of Dartmoor, Habitats of Dartmoor, Planning, Dartmoor Ponies and a General Factsheet.

Interesting Dartmoor Facts

What is the highest Tor on Dartmoor_
High Willhays in north Dartmoor is the highest tor at over 620m.

How big is Dartmoor_
Dartmoor spans 368 square miles (953 sq. km) - approximately 22 miles (35 km) east to west and 24 miles (38km) north to south.

Why are they called tors and who made them_
For more information click here download Dartmoor National Park Authority's Tor Formation leaflet.

Did Agatha Christie visit Dartmoor_
Agatha Christie was born in Torquay, Devon, but was a frequent visitor to the Hay Tor area of Dartmoor.

Where was Charles Kingsley born_
Charles Kingsley (1819-1875), author of many novels including the Water Babies was born in the pretty village of Holne on Dartmoor and was the son of a vicar.

Where was Sir Francis Drake born_
Sir Francis Drake was born in Tavistock and lived in Buckland Abbey which is now owned by the National Trust.

Who owns the cattle, sheep and ponies grazing on Dartmoor_
All the cattle, sheep and ponies grazing on Dartmoor are owned by farmers. Please don't feed them as they are attracted to the roadside and can be seriously injured or killed by passing traffic.

Something Different

What can you tell me about Sherlock Holmes_
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was said to have been inspired to write the Sherlock Holmes' mystery 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' from tales he heard about Dartmoor while staying at the Duchy Hotel in Princetown, which is now the High Moorland Visitor Centre.

Can I stay anywhere that is haunted on Dartmoor_
Visit Myths & Legends in the Things to Do section of our website and look up the Haunted Accommodation.

What is Dartmoor Letterboxing and how do I do it_
An intriguing pursuit much like a treasure hunt which tests both local knowledge and navigational skills. Letterboxes are hidden at a number of sites around Dartmoor and contain a visitor's book and a rubber stamp. Visitors need to bring their own ink pad to take an impression of the stamp. Click here to download Dartmoor National Park Authority's 'Guide to Dartmoor Letterboxing' Leaflet.

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