Dartmoor Walking Tours
Dartmoor National Park
2022 dates: tbc, most likely in July.
A guided walking week of great variety.
Dartmoor (in Devon) is where Martin grew up and began his love affair with wild places…
Experience going up onto the magnificent heights of Dartmoor National Park, which rises to over 2,000 feet above sea level in places, where you will be above all the trees and normal life will be below you – and then at times into the depths of the beautiful deeply wooded valleys that surround the high granite massif.
See early man’s numerous prehistoric remains and marvel at his tenacity in making the moors his home in the distant prehistoric past. The hard granite core of England’s West country is here revealed in all it’s magnificence – in weather beaten tors (tumbles of rock stacked one on another) of incredibly shaped granite boulders, where all kinds of wildlife find their refuge.
In the deep wooded valleys below, discover quiet green beauty, with twisted old oak trees draped in ferns, tumbling moorland streams full of huge granite boulders covered in bright green moss, finding their way steeply down towards the sea. There are several areas of old Bonzai oak forest that have grown up serenely over aeons, amidst the protection of the huge granite boulders (known as Clitter) that have eroded down the slopes during the ice ages.
It is probable that during the Stone Ages, the high moors were covered in forest, except on the highest exposed tops. Man has shaped the Moors over many centuries, through farming practices and what we see today is perhaps not what it once was!
The walks offer a great range of contrasts and are steeped in history too. With 368 square miles of national park to explore, the possibilities are endless. Even if the weather should be un-friendly on any particular day, there are many other places of interest to visit too – such as stately homes and castles, waterfalls, beautiful gardens and pretty moorland churches – not to mention such famous places as Castle Drogo, Cotehele House, Buckland Abbey (once the home of Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh) all owned and maintained by our National Trust and the well known Widecombe in the Moor, with “Uncle Tom Cobbly and all….” The phrase comes from a Devon folk song “Widecombe Fair”.
The 2012 film ‘War Horse’ was filmed in various locations including Ringmoor Down on Dartmoor, not far from where our hotel is located. The movie is an adaption of Michael Morpurgo’s 1982 children’s novel of the same name set before and during WWI. The director, Steven Spielberg, was very impressed by Dartmoor, in particular saying:
“I have never before, in my long, eclectic career, been gifted with such an abundance of natural beauty as I experienced whilst filming War Horse. With two and a half weeks of extensive coverage of landscapes and skies, I hardly scratched the surface of the visual opportunities that were offered to me.”
Now a huge box office success, ‘War Horse’ was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture, two Golden Globe Awards and five BAFTAs.
Your accommodation for this tour will be at the Harrabeer Country House a small and homely hotel right on the edge of the moors, where it’s a short drive in our mini bus up onto the high moors above. You’ll enjoy a warm friendly welcome from Michael and Amanda Willatts, with great imaginary cuisine.
To view photos from our Dartmoor Walking Holidays please see the photo gallery below. Also go to our Facebook page.
See Dartmoor through the eye of someone who grew up here and knows where to find beauty, solitude and all the interest that abounds, where our prehistoric ancestors made their homes about six thousand years ago.
Impressive granite outcrops dot many of the high hill tops… great places for scrambling up to get the best views – the highest hill being a little over 2,000 ft ASL.
2021 estimated holiday price: £1,400 pp, with a £175 single room supplement.