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in the county of West Yorkshire

Pictures of Dartmoor National Park

a National Park in the county of Devon

About Dartmoor National Park

An exploration of the hauntingly beautiful Dartmoor National Park cannot be under-taken in just one short visit. To truly explore and appreciate this vast moorland region with its wealth of pleasing market towns and villages, heritage sites, waterfalls and unique hills and valley's, could well take a lifetime - so spell-binding is the scenic beauty and mystery of the moors. From the beautiful village of Belstone in the north of the moors, to bustling Ivybridge in the south, is a magical mystery tour of overwhelming splendour and interest, unsurpassed by any other place in the land.

Of interest to all who come here are the hardy Dartmoor ponies, who together with sheep and cattle, wander the moors at will. These lovely creatures are considered 'wild' but interestingly, all the ponies have owners and are rounded up each autumn.

Widdecome-in-the-Moor is a much loved village whose fame spread through the song telling the tale of 'Old Uncle Tom Cobbley' and his friends. The village still holds its annual fair, a lively event attended from miles around, and Uncle Tom is commemorated by the village sign. I am constantly reminded of this happy place by a piece of porcelain bought there many years ago, showing Uncle Tom surrounded by Tom Pearse, Harry Hawk, Jan Stewer, Bill Brewer, Daniel Whiddon, Peter Davey and Peter Gurney!

The pleasant town of Ashburton prospered as a Tin-mining town and later, in medieval times wool became the focus on which the town's fortunes depended. Some of the town's most important buildings were built with 'wool' money. Its church is extremely handsome, it dates from the 15th-century and has a splendid tower and a medieval roof. The market town of Buckfastleigh was also an important centre for the wool trade on which its fortunes were founded. These days this attractive town benefits from tourists who flock to Dartmoor, it offers a pleasant starting point for touring. Amongst its many attractions is magnificent Buckfast Abbey. The Abbey was built in the 10th-century by Benedictine monks, the interior has stunning mosaic flooring. Buckfastleigh also has a Butterfly farm and an Otter Sanctuary. The town has regular markets and several festivals are held throughout the year.

Manaton village lies in a high moorland position and is best known for rock and boulder climbing. The River Bovey flows close to this lovely old stone village which shows delightful cottages scattered around a pleasing village green. There are spectacular views all around. Just beneath Manaton, giant size boulders form the back-drop for the gushing waters of the Becka Falls, an impressive sight viewed in rising mist, following rain.

Another delightful place is Moretonhampstead set in the idyllic Teign Valley. To follow the Teign's course across the moors is to experience some of Dartmoor's loveliest countryside as the river moves through quiet, sheltered valley's and boulder strewn gorges. A short distance from Moretonhampstead, the Teign flows under a 16th-century bridge. Fingles Bridge, is thought to have been part of a pack-horse track in medieval times. All along here the river banks are quite beautiful and show wonderful species of river-wildlife. Other riverside beauty spots include Dartmeet and Huccaby.

The pleasant village of Chagford, like Manaton, makes an ideal centre from which to explore the moors on foot, or join in a pony trekking trip. Some of the most spectacular viewpoints for walkers include Buckland Beacon, Chinkwell Tor and Kestor Rock to name but a few.

Dartmoor is a splendid, wild and untamed land within a land. It is a region of dark granite rocks and towering tors. Some of these tors, such as Belliver and Vixen Tor have fired mans imagination for decades. In the famous Sherlock Holmes adventure 'Hound of the Baskervilles' they certainly struck a chill in Dr. Watson's heart! In certain moods, Dartmoor can be awesome and daunting as granite tors rise steeply over marshy bogs and rolling moorland, and dark clouds descend filling the air with an unforgiving menance. This is only one face of the fascinating diverse scenery of Dartmoor, mostly it is bright and shining, a land of myths and legends abounding through hilltop and lowland villages. A land criss-crossed by farmsteads and agricultural holdings, great houses, ancient churches and relics from old industries which for centuries moorland folk, garnered a living. A land of towering forests teeming with wildlife, dancing rivers and merry little streams, but most of all, it is a spirited, gloriously uninhibited and joyous land, that fortunately has remained just as nature intended - sublime, and supremely beautiful.

Places to visit include; Castle Drogo, The Dart Valley Railway, Yelverton Museum, Burrator Reservoir, Harford Moor, Princetown, Ventford Reservoir, Hound Tor Medieval Village, The Miniture Pony Centre and Warren House Inn, an ancient public house in one of the most solitary spots on Dartmoor.

Things to do; Walking, Climbing, Riding, Pony Trekking, Cycling and Fishing. Dartmoor has interesting antique shops and galleries, displaying the work of local artists. Village and small town shops cater for every day needs, whilst the larger towns provide bigger and better shopping facilities. The many inns and public houses on the moor are warm and welcoming, they provide hearty food and good ale!

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Recommended towns & villages near Dartmoor National Park

Postbridge, Dartmoor in Devon

Postbridge (19 Pictures)

in the county of Devon

(1.0 miles, 1.5 km)

Postbridge is a tiny hamlet, yet this richly wooded area, at the heart of the moor has become a natural starting point for the thousands of visitors who annually come to explore the splendour and wonders of the moor...

Dartmeet in Autumn

Dartmeet (14 Pictures)

a Picturesque Village in the county of Devon

(2.9 miles, 4.6 km, direction S)

A popular tourist and beauty spot on Dartmoor. It is the meeting point of the two major tributaries of the River Dart: the East Dart and West Dart...

village square at Drewsteigton, Devon. summer 2005

Drewsteignton (43 Pictures)

a Picturesque Village in the county of Devon

(9.8 miles, 15.8 km, direction NE)

This attractive village is one of the most beautifully laid out of all Devon villages with pretty cottages set around a fine village square...

Okehampton Castle in Devon

Okehampton (15 Pictures)

in the county of Devon

(11.7 miles, 18.8 km, direction N)

There has been a settlement at Okehampton since the Bronze-Age, later it became a prosperous Saxon town with the Saxon Lords being overthrown at the time of the Conquest...

St. Peters Church at Zeal Monachorum, Devon

Zeal Monachorum (4 Pictures)

in the county of Devon

(16.8 miles, 27.0 km, direction N)

Set amid the rolling agricultural heartland of Devon, Zeal Monachorum is the very epitome of the perfect, tranquil Devonian village...

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Recommended attractions near Dartmoor National Park

Grey Wethers Stone Circle, near Okehampton, Devon

Grey Wethers Stone Circle (1 Pictures)

(3.7 miles, 5.9 km, direction N)

This unique double ringed circle is less dramatic than most and is interesting for the fact that the circles lie side by side.....

One of the huts at the Bronze-Age village of Grimspound, on Dartmoor

Grimspound (4 Pictures)

(3.7 miles, 6.0 km, direction NE)

Dartmoor often makes its visitors uneasy with haunting tales of terror as immortalised in the stories of Conan Doyle, and this.....

Fernworthy Stone Circle, near Chagford, Devon

Fernworthy Stone Circle (1 Pictures)

(4.2 miles, 6.7 km, direction N)

Fernworthy Stone Circles are set against the majestic backdrop of some of Dartmoor's highest peaks, in a beautiful forest spot.....

Kitty Jay's Grave, near Widecombe on the moor, Devon

Jay's Grave (1 Pictures)

(5.2 miles, 8.3 km, direction E)

As English legends go, that of Jay's Grave is a very sad and lonely one. The ancient Dartmoor legend of Jay's Grave is about a.....

Road in Dartmoor, Hound Tor, Dartmoor, County Devon, England

Hound Tor Medieval Village (1 Pictures)

(5.7 miles, 9.2 km, direction E)


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