Top 8 facts about Dartmoor National Park


Image: Wikimedia Commons

Located in the uplands area in Davon in the southwest part of England is a gem. This gem has so much to offer; is, an amazing place to visit, and is very much, unlike the other national parks which you may know!. Welcome to Dartmoor National Park. The 952-kilometer square park of vast lands and rolling valleys has been moorland which has been protected by the park for many years. The moor in itself is seldom dry. This is made possible by the peats- decaying vegetation which absorbs water from the rain and slowly distributes it, therefore not drying up as fast as other areas! Very fascinating! The vast land in Davon was designated as a national park in 1951, an area vast, diverse, with granite, hut circles, rivers and streams, ponies, secluded villages, and shrubs. The park has not lost its luster and is enjoyed by the thousands of people who visit every year, because of its diversity and uniqueness. 

Here are some fascinating facts about the Dartmoor National Park, which you can visit free of charge!

1. Management

Image: Wikipedia

A park of this caliber and stature has to have a proper management system to keep it running and in check. The Dartmoor National Park is managed by the Dartmoor National Park Authority. There are about twenty-two individuals, who are drawn from the government, the Devon County Council as well as the local district council. They take care of the day-to-day operations of the park and ensure you get there and have fun. The park is easily accessible; one can get there by driving and one can also use a bus, as there are buses that go there regularly! The Dartmoor National Park is co-owned by private landowners as well as commoners, the Ministry of Defence, Forest Commission, Southwest Water, and the Dutchy of Cornwall. 

2. Fascinating history

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The Dartmoor area in itself has a great history attached to it, and one should not lose out on that! As a place with granite, there is a great mining and geological history to be learned at the Dartmoor National Park! Local legends and folklores have a place in the history of the place and the good people at the Dartmoor National Park Authority do a good job of organizing guided tours at the park for guests. There are also planned talks and events where people get to be taught a lot of things and to hear a lot of history about the area and the best things about it. 

3. So many fascinating things to do here! 

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The Dartmoor National Park is a place of very many activities! There is a ton to do and these activities cater to everyone, regardless of age. There are activities for children as well as adults, and even pets such as dogs, are allowed into the park! You can walk and play with your dogs since the place has dog-friendly trails and also dogfood! Your puppy will not feel left alone when you go for your trip, so don’t leave them behind! One of the most interesting things here is catching a glimpse of the view from the modern Castle Drogo! There is also a monastery at Buckfast Abbey and you can buy some good bread here. Do not miss out on festivals and events such as Chagstock and The Two Moors Festivals!

4. Cycling in the park!

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Love cycling and you need the feel of a national park? With spectacular scenery and great trails, you will love and enjoy cycling here at the Dartmoor National Park. This is the place to combine rest with hobbies. The Dartmoor National Park allows adults and children to cycle within the park as it has over 350 kilometers of paths and byways! There is however need to get guidance on places and trails where one can cycle and one can get a detailed map at the National Park Visitor Centers at the park. There are trails like Wray Valley Trail, Dartmoor way, Haldon Forest Trails, the Granite Way, Granite & Gears Princeton to Burator Route, Granite & Gears Princeton Railway Route as well as Drake’s Trail! So many options!

5. A military firing range facility

Image: Wikipedia

A part of this great park is used as a military firing range, and has been used for that purpose for over two hundred years! The general public also has restricted access to the firing range, and is a tourist attraction in itself! 

6. Source of granite

Image: Wikipedia

Did you know that Dartmoor National Park is Britain’s largest source of granite? Yes, it is. I bet most people know national parks to be mainly meant for wildlife. Dartmoor is very unique. 309 years ago, according to geologists, granite- an ingenious rock made of quartz, alkali feldspar, and plagioclase, was intruded at depth as a pluton- a rock which crystallizes from magma into the earth’s surface. There are very many tors in the park as well. A tor is a hill or a rocky peak, said to be from the Celtic era also known in Scottish Gaelic as ‘bulging hill’. It is estimated that there are well over 400 tors at the national park! On one of the tors, is St Michael’s Church. 

7. Rivers and more rivers

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Dartmoor is a very diverse park. The highest grounds at Dartmoor act as catchment areas for the rivers in the area! These rivers are a source of power for industries like quarries and tin mining. Some of these rivers offer visitors an opportunity to fish, which is a fascinating experience in itself! People can also canoe there. Dartmoor gets its name from one of the rivers, River Dart a river with two tributaries- East Dart, and West Dart which meet at Dartmeet. 

8. Lovely scenery

Image: Wikiwand

This park is one of the most diverse national parks you will ever see. The place is vast, which means that there are a ton of things to do. Like horse photography classes, visiting the National Park Visitor Center- Hayton, visiting King Arthur’s Cornwall in Tintagel, and even enjoying a hot air balloon tour!