John Noblet explore what is sometimes called ‘England’s last great wilderness’. On Dartmoor, you can be further from a road than anywhere else in England.
Walks for all Ages Dartmoor features 20 circular walks of up to 6 miles, suitable for all the family, that have been carefully chosen to show a snapshot of all that the moor has to offer.
There are walks on the wild side, in river valleys and around some of the towns and villages. The ‘must see’ places such as Haytor and Widecombe, Postbridge and Princetown are also included.
Describing the local area at the start of each walk, John then provides a detailed description of the walk with snippets of information as you go along.
Including Ordnance Survey mapping and superbly priced at just £5.99, Walks for all Ages - 20 Circular Walks in Dartmoor is the perfect accompaniment for a stroll in the area.
01. Haytor 3 miles
02. Widecombe in the Moor 4 miles
03. Parke and Bovey Tracey 2½ or 4 miles
04. Lustleigh 3¾ miles
05. Steps Bridge 4½ miles
06.Chagford 3½ or 4½ miles
07. Belstone 4½ miles
08. Okehampton 3 or 4 miles
09. Dartmoor’s Highest Tors – Yes Tor and High Willhays 5¼ miles
10. Sourton and Meldon Reservoir 3½ or 6 miles
11. Grimspound 4 or 6 miles
12. Postbridge and Bellever 4 or 5 miles
13. Wistman’s Wood and the Tinners’ Parliament 3½ miles
14. Princetown 4.5 miles
15. Merrivale Antiquities 2 miles
16. Double Waters 4½ or 6 miles
17. Burrator Reservoir 4 or 5 miles
18. Ivybridge and the Erme Valley 1¾ or 3 miles
19. Venford Reservoir 1 or 3 miles
20. New Bridge in the Steps of Dr Blackall 3 miles
Dartmoor is a very special place and is sometimes called ‘England’s last great wilderness’. On Dartmoor, you can be further from a road than anywhere else in England.
The National Park covers an area of 365 square miles. This high, sometimes wild, moorland is the highest land south of the Peak District. It has a wealth of history and there is evidence of four thousand years of human activity at every turn. There are Bronze Age (2000 BC to 500 BC) stone rows, stone circles and hut complexes, tinners’ workings from the Middle Ages (13th and 14th centuries) and later 19th-century industrial remains to be seen on almost every walk.
There are many ancient trackways across the moors that are hundreds of years old. Some originate from the pre-Reformation abbeys at Tavistock, Buckfast and Buckland whilst others connected the Stannary towns of the medieval tin mining industry. Some are named, such as the Abbot’s Way, the Jobber’s Path and the Lych Way, and are still marked by ancient bridges and waymarking crosses.
Dartmoor is, however, much more than just a wild open space. There are rivers that flow to the north to find their way to the Bristol Channel and rivers that flow south to the English Channel. There are picturesque villages and ancient towns, each with its own individual character. Flora and fauna are varied with ancient woodlands and heather-clad moors. The indigenous and iconic ponies can be found in many areas whilst buzzards and skylarks soar overhead.
Legends abound. Many stories, such as the Hound of the Baskervilles and Uncle Tom Cobley, are based on fact. Others require more imagination but are part of what makes Dartmoor unique.
The walks in this book aim to show a snapshot of all that the moor has to offer. There are walks on the wild side, in river valleys and around some of the towns and villages. The ‘must see’ places such as Haytor and Widecombe, Postbridge and Princetown are included.
Walkers are, however, reminded that the upland areas of Dartmoor are open and exposed and care needs to be taken. In particular:
- Although the walks have been chosen as suitable for all ages, sensible stout walking shoes, ideally light walking boots, are essential.
- Weather conditions can change rapidly. In all but the most settled conditions waterproofs should be taken.
- Most of Dartmoor is ‘open access’ land, i.e. there is ‘a right to roam’. However, some areas are privately owned and there may not be a right of access. Dartmoor is still very much a working environment, particularly farming and military use.
- Visitors need to be aware that there are three areas of Dartmoor that are used by the military for training purposes. These are clearly marked on OS maps as ‘Danger Areas’ and access is sometimes restricted. Details are published in advance and red flags are flown, but only one walk in this book is within such an area.
- Mobile phone coverage is generally poor.
- Sat nav postcodes are given for the start point of each walk. However, as Dartmoor is sparsely populated these are only approximate. Grid references are also provided, which provide a more accurate location.
Published: February 2015
Size: 220 x 120mm
Author: John Noblet