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Beautiful South Devon is not only known for its spectacular coastal path and stunning beaches, but also its close proximity to the rugged, picturesque landscape of Dartmoor National Park. Well within an hour’s drive of the South Hams, this is the perfect place to head for amazing Dartmoor day trips. Whether you fancy ‘letter boxing’, geo-caching, horse riding, or simply walking in this unspoilt National Park, this really is a fascinating place to spend the day. The setting of many ancient tales, and the filming location for Steven Spielberg’s 2012 film War Horse, you won’t be disappointed by Dartmoor’s exquisite beauty, a short distance from your holiday home.

Whether you’re looking for a challenging trek across windswept moors, or just a relaxing stroll through secluded woods, you’ve come to the right place. Dartmoor has it all. Blaze your own trail, be a pioneer, explore and take the less trodden route. If you are a keen, confident walker, try one of our hard or moderate routes, gather your kit and head out the door. If perhaps you are a little less confident of your surroundings, why not try a guided walk with one of the many superb walking groups or take advantage of the experience and knowledge of a walking guide.

Our top locations for amazing Dartmoor day trips

Spitchwick Common (car park postcode TQ13 7NT)
Situated near Ashburton, this is a perfect picnic and wild swimming spot – visitors can enjoy relaxing on the common, before taking a refreshing dip in the river.

Cadover Bridge and Lakes (car park postcode PL7 5EH)
This stunning area is a great starting point for many walks and trails. With spacious green areas, perfect for setting down your picnic blanket, not to mention natural pools for the children to paddle in, this encapsulates everything you would expect from a family day on Dartmoor. An ice cream van often frequents the area too! Burrator Reservoir is also nearby, popular with walkers and cyclists due to its wealth of footpaths.

Haytor (visitor centre postcode TQ13 9XT)
On the south eastern edge of Dartmoor, Haytor has spectacular views. A famed beauty spot, near to the historic village of Widecombe-on-the-Moor with its popular pubs, why not climb the imposing granite Haytor rock, before heading back for a well-deserved lunch!

Wistmans Wood, Two Bridges, Princetown (carpark postcode PL20 6QF, adjacent to the Two Bridges Hotel)
Enchanted woodland! 

This site takes it’s name from a small oak wood. This amazing woodland is important for the mosses and lichens that festoon the trees and the impressive granite boulders found on the site. However, this National Nature Reserve of 170ha mainly consists of a model example of the upland heathland and has a wealth of moorland birds. Wistmans Wood is in the Dart river valley and has views of wild Devon that you won’t find anywhere else in the country.

Bellever Forest, Postbridge

Bellever Forest near Postbridge is a beautiful place for a  walk.  Whether it’s a gentle stroll by the East Dart River or an exhilarating walk up to Bellever Tor it’s a beautiful and tranquil setting and a great place to visit with the whole family.  It’s also a wonderful place to bring dogs for a walk, with plenty of space for them to burn energy and the beautiful river for a swim or a quick drink of water.  It’s advisable to keep dogs on lead around the picnic area.

A circular route along forestry tracks with stunning views out across open moorland and the opportunity to make a detour up Bellever Tor. 3 mile loop.

A peaceful walk through the forest where you may stumble across silent hut circles, grazing ponies and even deer. 2.5 miles.

For more inspiration, click here to read our all about our top 5 Dartmoor walks.

Holiday cottages near Dartmoor

Church Thatch

Abbotskerswell

Church Thatch in Abbotskerswell near to Dartmoor day trips

Church Thatch is a desirable dog-friendly thatched cottage, providing a fantastic option for larger families of up to 12 people. Enjoy the traditional features like a wood burning stove and AGA, along with more contemporary touches like the Xbox 360.  Outside, the floodlit mini astro turf football pitch is a wonderful space for the children (and adults!) to burn off any surplus energy, after a day exploring the nearby moors.

Manor Cottages

Bratton Clovelly

Manor Cottages near Dartmoor day trips

A collection of four luxury barn conversions which can be booked together for a large group, Manor Cottages boasts superb holiday living for up to 16 guests.

Perfect for large group getaways and extended family holidays, guests can enjoy having their own separate space, whilst benefitting from social communal areas and luxury facilities. The properties are nestled on the owner’s Georgian Manor estate, where you can enjoy use of fabulous grounds featuring an outdoor heated swimming pool, tennis court, forest walks and not to mention a warming sauna.

Click here to find out more about Manor Cottages.

Wisteria Cottage

Scorriton, near Buckfastleigh

Wisteria Cottage near Dartmoor day trips

Wisteria Cottage is a characterful dog-friendly property that sleeps 2. Located in Scorriton, a working dairy farm village set on the east edge of Dartmoor, this countryside getaway provides the ideal base for a couple looking to explore the great outdoors.

Find out more about Wisteria Cottage, here.

Furneaux Hatch

Churchstow

Furneaux Hatch near to Dartmoor day trips

This delightful grade II listed cottage is in a wonderful location in the village of Churchstow, within an easy drive of Bantham Beach, Salcombe, Dartmouth and even Dartmoor. Finished to an excellent standard, this is a fabulous base for a family with a dog, looking for a rural bolthole – complete with wood burning stove!