I have a lot of messages from people keen to get out and explore Dartmoor but wanting a bit of inspiration and suggestions of where to go. It can be easy to think that the moor is inaccessible to those who aren’t rigged out in loads of outdoors gear, or comfortable with maps and a compass.
Whilst it’s always sensible to ensure you have clothing and footwear that’s appropriate for the weather, it really is very easy to head onto the moor to enjoy the views and open space without having to ever stray far from the car.
There are popular spots with car parks and facilities that, whilst busy, can provide a good base to take short walks and have rocky or river adventures without feeling too far from others or at risk of getting lost. Haytor, for example, has a visitor centre and toilets with car parking and clear routes up on to the tor.
If you’d like to get further away from the crowds but not go too far off the beaten track, then you can turn right off the main road from Bovey Tracey to Haytor before you reach the Visitor Centre. Here you will find smaller car parks/pull ins where you can follow clear paths to enjoy amazing views out to sea at Teignmouth and frequently come close to wild ponies.
If you’ve got children or dogs who want to have a good scramble on the rocks, then Bonehill provides the perfect place. As it is just above Widecombe, there are good options for refreshments and toilets nearby.
If you’d like to explore a river, then Bellever is a good destination as there is a large car park and toilets nearby, as well as great paddling spots and wide banks perfect for picnics while you dry off.