What can I do in Dartmoor National Park?July 11, 2020
Where to start?
There is something for everyone!
Walking and cycling on Dartmoor
Of course, there are stunning moorland views and amazing walks to suit all abilities. You must do at least one walk while you are here! We recommend Birch Tor and Vetifer Tin Mine, Trenchford and Tottiford Reservoirs or Wistman’s Wood near Two Bridges; all are fairly gentle walks. If you are feeling more adventurous you can download free Dartmoor walks from Walking Britain or see Visit Dartmoor. Dartmoor Walks and Rides specialise in guided walks and bike rides, including e-bikes. If you are staying at The Old Dairy, Dunsford, there are maps and books of walks available for your use.
Dartmoor has numerous archaeological sites including Neolithic standing stones and the remains of Bronze Age settlements. Sundry Dartmoor walks pass close to these sites. Look out for Spinster’s Rock, Grimspound, Nine Maidens stone circle and the Merrivale stone rows.
Myths and legends of Dartmoor
To understand more about Dartmoor, The Museum of Dartmoor Life at Oakhampton may be a good place to start. The Dartmoor Visitors Centres at Postbridge, Princetown and Haytor are also good sources of information. The Legendary Dartmoor website details all manner of locations for traditional events, folktales and ghostly goings-on including the Dunsford ghost. There was an old story around Dunsford, that when a dwelling was left unoccupied a ghost would come down the chimney and take up residence in the house!
Talking of hauntings, if ghost hunting is more your thing, at The National Trust’s Lydford Gorge, a lady in a flowing white gown will appear in ghostly form to save you from a watery grave should you chance to fall into the river. Also owned by the National Trust, Buckland Abbey was once the home of Sir Francis Drake who is now believed to haunt the Abbey. Among local haunted inns we can recommend are The Three Crowns at Chagford with a ghostly soldier creeping up the hallway in the dead of night and at The Cridford Inn, Trusham, a nun and a Civil War cavalier are said to haunt the premises!
Artisans of Dartmoor
Try the Dartmoor Artisan Trail, which is a self-guided art, craft and food trail that links a group of Dartmoor’s artists and craftspeople, providing a chance to see and experience a range of traditional skills. A half day with the blacksmith making your own poker is not to be missed! A number of these artisans are within very easy reach of The Old Dairy.
Also, very close to The Old Dairy, in fact you can walk there via the Dunsford Stepping Stones, is Swanaford Vineyard, with tours and tastings running every Sunday until the end of September.
And after all that, you can be sure that a warm welcome awaits you at The Old Dairy. Where you can pour a drink, relax and watch the River Teign flow past the French windows? Perfect!
Please go to olddairydunsford.co.uk for booking details and availability.