Close Icon
Rock on dartmoor - dartmoor day trips

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. 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 treading the wealth of Dartmoor walks situated 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 and boasts an abundance of Dartmoor day trips. Blaze your own trail, be a pioneer, explore and take the less trodden route.

If you are a keen, confident walker, try one of the hard or moderate routes, gather your kit and head out the door. If you are a little less confident, 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.

5 Favourite Dartmoor day trips

Use the quick links below to navigate to a particular Dartmoor place, or read on for our full guide to Dartmoor day trips.

  1. Spitchwick Common
  2. Cadover Bridge and Lakes
  3. Haytor
  4. Wistmans Wood
  5. Bellever Forest

1. Spitchwick Common

Car park postcode: TQ13 7NT

spaniel dog on rivers edge.

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.

2. 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 which is popular with walkers and cyclists due to its wealth of footpaths.

3. Haytor

Visitor centre postcode: TQ13 9XT

a view of haytor rocks and across dartmoor national park.

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!

4. Wistmans Wood

Car park postcode: PL20 6QF (adjacent to the Two Bridges Hotel)

This site takes it’s name from a small oak wood. This amazing and enchanted 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.

5. Bellever Forest

Car park postcode: PL20 6TP

View of bellever forest and the river dart on a summers day.

Bellever Forest near Postbridge is a beautiful place for a Dartmoor walk. Whether it’s a gentle stroll by the East Dart River or an exhilarating walk up to Bellever Tor, it’s beautiful and tranquil setting is 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 a beautiful river for a swim or a quick drink. It’s advisable to keep dogs on lead around the picnic area.

There is 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).

Or why not try a peaceful walk through the forest, where you may stumble across silent hut circles, grazing ponies and even deer (2.5 miles).

Holiday cottages near Dartmoor

Church Thatch


church thatch living room with sofas and log burner.

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.

Find out more about Church Thatch here.

Manor Cottages

Bratton Clovelly

Exterior shot of Manor cottages on Dartmoor.

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. Here you can enjoy use of their 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.

Furneaux Hatch


Exterior shot of Furneaux hatch - where to stay near dartmoor.

This delightful Grade II listed cottage is situated in the wonderful village of Churchstow. Within an easy drive of Bantham Beach, Salcombe, Dartmouth and a variety of Dartmoor day trips.

Finished to an excellent standard, this is a fabulous base for a family with a dog, looking for a rural bolthole. With the added luxury of a wood burning stove for cosy evenings.

Visit our website for more information on Furneaux Hatch.

Book a holiday cottage near Dartmoor