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From shore to moor: a guide to Dartmoor

One of the things that makes Devon such a great place to go on holiday is the county’s diverse landscape.

At Ladram Bay we’re big on beaches but if you’re after a change of scenery, there is nothing quite as unique as Dartmoor National Park.

The UK is home to 10% – 15% of the world’s moors and here in the Southwest we’re lucky enough to have three of them; Exmoor, Bodmin Moor and the focus of this post, the stunning Dartmoor.


Dartmoor in south Devon covers 368 square miles and is protected by National Park status as Dartmoor National Park. It’s home to the highest point in Southern England – High Willhays (see map: yellow pin) which at 2,037ft above sea level provides a dramatic backdrop.

With this adventurous, beautiful and wild area on our doorstep, we thought we’d put together some of the best activities Dartmoor has to offer, including walking, animals and of course food.

Walking on Dartmoor

Dartmoor has a range of walks for all abilities, we’ve added 3 of our favourite routes into an interactive map so you don’t stray too far off the beaten track.

Fernworthy Reservoir

Pin Colour: Green

If you aren’t looking for anything too strenuous, a relaxing 2.7 miles (4.36 km) route, is Fernworthy Reservoir. The route is largely flat with a few steps, gates & stiles. There is a great picnic spot with benches overlooking the water and also has bird hides and brown trout fishing nearby. The nearby village of Chagford has some lovely pubs, the pick of the bunch being The Three Crowns. 

Short Stroll: walking-dartmoor

Ilslington Trail

Pin Colour: Blue

For a longer walk, the Islington Trail is a moderate 4.3 mile (6.89 km) circular walk that takes you through south-east Dartmoor. It’s starts & ends at the Carpenters Arms which means you can reward yourself afterwards with one of their fine locally-sourced pub lunches!

Mid-Length Ramble: dartmoor-walking dartmoor-walking

Teign & Turrets Trail

Pin Colour: Orange

If you’re after something more challenging and to experience undulating countryside the Teign & Turrets Trail starting at Chagford square is for you. A good four hours & 5.8 miles long (9.44 km), this walk follows the Teign, one of Dartmoor’s most iconic river and is packed with inclines, fun descents and breath-taking views.

Longer Jaunt: walking-route-dartmoordartmoor-walkingdartmoor-walking

Guided Tours of DartmoorSherlock-on-Dartmoor

A full day trip, Dartmoor Safari covers all the best bits of Dartmoor with a guided tour. You will be shown the sites that inspired Arthur Conan Doyle to write ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’, be led through an exploration of the rugged landscape & historic villages and even introduced to the beautiful Dartmoor ponies.

A good mix of walking & a private car to take you to the next spot, this is a very convenient way of seeing all that Dartmoor has to offer.

Animals on Dartmoor

While you may be lucky to spot a Dartmoor pony on a walk, there is nothing as good as seeing ponies first hand at the Miniature Pony Centre.

As well as ponies, there is a range of animals to see and care for, as well as gardens, walks and a good spot for cream tea!

Pin Colour: Brown

The locations we’ve picked are just a few of our favourites. Dartmoor has lots to offer but go with a plan – its a big area and quite remote in parts so the last thing we want is for you to get lost.

A member of the Ladram Bay Reception team are always available to offer advice and point you in the right direction.

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