Dartmoor Walking Tours
Walking in Dartmoor National Park
2024 dates: July 7th – 14th.
A guided walking week of great variety. We have run this walking tour for over 20 years…
Dartmoor (in Devon) is where Martin grew up and first began his love affair with wild places…
Experience going up onto the magnificent heights of Dartmoor National Park, which rises to a little 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 Bonsai 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 past few ice ages.
It is probable that during the Stone Ages, the high moors were covered in forest, except on the exposed high tops. Man has shaped the Moors over many centuries, through tin streaming dating back to The Broze Age and farming practices. 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 almost 400 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 guesthouse 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 https://duchyhouse.co.uk, a small and homely B&B right in the middle of the moors at Princetown, where it’s a short drive to reach many iconic places within the National Park. You’ll enjoy a warm friendly welcome from Caroline and Richard, with tasty and nourishing breakfasts each morning. Each evening, we’ll visit different local pubs for dinner.
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 first made their homes about six thousand years ago – when the total population of Britain did not exceed 100,000.
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. The peculiar jointing of the granite has intrigued people for centuries and until relatively recently, it was rumoured that the rock basins on many of the boulders were Druids sacrificial pools for holding blood! Of course, today we have a much better geological explanation!
2024 holiday price £1,700 pp, with a £105 single room supplement. Includes full guidance, transport, B&B and evening meals. Not included – lunches and drinks.