Home Newsletter Locations Diary
Topic Alpha County Sections By

Travellers Resource



Location Guide

Designated one of the National Parks of England and Wales in 1951. It is a beautiful moorland landscape with wooded valleys and wind swept Tors. It is the largest area of moorland in southern England. It's also one of the wildest areas in the country and one of the few southern uplands. It is a rich habitat for wildlife and has a wealth of archaeological remains.

The National Park is named after the River Dart, whose source rises on the moor, with the West and East Dart rivers merging to form the River Dart at Dartmeet.

The majority of the Dartmoor National Park lies over a granite plateau - 600m above sea level, rising to a height of 621m, the park also includes the rich fertile lands to the north and south of the moor, known as the 'Hams'. It is 953 sq. km. in area, with about 33,400 people living in it. All the land is owned, but the public is able to roam freely on unenclosed, open moorland on both foot and horseback. There are also about 966 km of public rights of way.

Dartmoor Clapper Bridge at Postbridge

The isolated landscape with weather conditions (mist, rain and snow) that can change in minutes, creates a truly natural spectacle - 'nature' at its best. For this reason only the hardiest of wildlife can survive the winter conditions here.

Dartmoor was the setting for the Sherlock Holmes' novel 'The Hound of the Baskervilles,' based upon a local legend.

Walking country

Dartmoor is hiking country, and can become very busy on the most popular routes during the summer months. Any walk across the moor is likely to lead you to the remains of old stone buildings from Dartmoor's industrial past.

Prehistoric remains are found all over the moor, though exact dates of many of them are often in dispute, as well as ancient clapper bridges - crossing streams and rivers, stone crosses; barrows, standing stones, circles, tumuli and cairns all contribute to the wealth of features.

Nature watching

Dartmoor has a variety of habitats due to the difference in altitude between higher and lower areas.

In upland areas where conditions are more harsh, only the hardiest of breeds survive including the famous Dartmoor ponies. They will eat almost anything from grass and heather to gorse which they bash to remove the prickles. They are important for conservation of the moorland - without them the area would return to wood and shrubland.

The lower areas of Dartmoor are great for bird watchers. At Yarner Woods you'll find birds that don't live in the upland areas of Dartmoor - these include the Pied Flycatcher, the Treecreeper and the Nuthatch.


Lichen are very hardy plants which can survive in some of the most extreme cold conditions. Their bodies comprise fungal threads and minute algae in one of nature's most intriguing partnerships. Dartmoor is a good place for lichen spotting especially in wooded areas in its lower reaches, notably the Bovey River Valley where there are a wide range of species. They provide clues to what has happened in the past, how much it rains, and what the quality of the air in an environment is like.

Look out for the Knicker Elastic Lichen, so named because of its springy structure, and Cladonia with its red tips where fungal spores can fly off to find algae and create a new lichen. And you may find the  Lichen Spotting Fields Studies Council Guide helpful.

Lichen identifier - British Lichen Society and Field Studies Council.

Dartmoor covers a very wide area and has a number of different facilities and visitor attractions in it. Throughout the year it is a beautiful place to visit with deep wooded gorges, tumbling rocky rivers, lake-like reservoirs, cairns, and places such as Princetown a historic settlement at its heart which grew around its famous prison, Postbridge a settlement in the heart of the moor known of its medieval clapper bridge as well as its granite Tor's such as Haytor.

Those listed in the planning grid below are towards the centre and just give a flavour of what could be available to the photographer, but there is so much more.

Location: Dartmoor,  Devon

Grid Reference: SX778785 Ceremonial County: Devon

Map Link: VIEW MAP

Aerial photo:

Getting there: Take the B3387 towards Widecombe in the Moor. Yarner Wood and the East Dartmoor Woods and Heath Reserve is two miles from Bovey Tracey along this road.

Access: Limited wheelchair access. Pay and display car parks around the area.
Website: www.dartmoor-npa.gov.uk
Other Useful Websites: www.virtuallydartmoor.org.uk     www.walkingdartmoor.co.uk
Email: hq@dartmoor-npa.gov.uk
Address: Dartmoor National Park Authority, Parke, Bovey Tracey, Newton Abbot, Devon
Postcode: TQ13 9JQ Telephone: 01626 832093
Opening Times: All year round.

Charges: Free public access. Free entry to Yarmer Woods. Pay & display car parks around.

Nearby Locations:
Other Location Pages:
Other Relevant Pages:

Notes: All year round of wading birds, butterflies, amphibian life, freshwater fish, Dartmoor ponies, Lichen etc. Wildlife watching of wading birds, butterflies, amphibian life, freshwater fish and Dartmoor ponies. Lichen identification.


Remember to have waterproof clothes and footwear, binoculars and other equipment in case of an emergency. Magnifying glass and Lichen Spotting Fields Studies Council Guide.


Please let us know any other information that we can add to the Grid(s) or page and any errors that you discover. Before making a long trip to any location it is always wise to double check the current information, websites like magazines may be correct at the time the information is written, but things change and it is of course impossible to double check all entries on a regular basis. If you have any good photographs that you feel would improve the illustration of this page then please let us have copies. In referring to this page it is helpful if you quote both the Page Ref and Topic or Section references from the Grid below. To print the planning grid select it then right click and print the selected area.

Please submit information on locations you discover so that this system continues to grow.


By: Tracey Park Section: National Parks Key:
Page Ref: dartmoor Topic: Routes    Last Updated: 07/2009


This page:

Link directly to this page, with text or the button on right.

Text linking:  Dartmoor on Photographers Resource

Linking Instructions                            http://www.photographers-resource.co.uk/

Photographers Resource, all the information for the photographer