New walking routes offer fresh inspiration to enjoy Dartmoor

Dartmoor Princetown Walk. A walker makes his way from South Hessary Tor back to Princetown.

A series of ‘Welcome to Dartmoor’ walking routes have been launched to introduce people to Dartmoor’s history, heritage and habitats.

Dartmoor National Park Authority has developed routes to encourage less confident walkers to explore the National Park and understand the landscape they’re seeing. Each walk gives people opportunities to eat and drink locally and make it part of their Dartmoor experience.

It’s been funded with £5,000 from the Heart of the West Local Enterprise Partnership (HotSW LEP) to support the rural economy and tourism.

Routes vary in distance, from 3km to a more energetic 10km, and can be downloaded for free from Dartmoor National Park’s website (https://www.dartmoor.gov.uk/enjoy-dartmoor/outdoor-activities/walking/walking-routes).

There are six walks to choose from.

Princetown (3km) – An easy access route that takes you on top of the moors to South Hessary Tor where people can soak in the wide expanse of the moors and far reaching views.

Ilsington (5km) – A wander through a timeless village and stunning green lanes with views of Haytor Rocks in the distance.

Hexworthy (5km) – A walk with one steep climb taking in historic farmsteads, mediaeval packhorse routes and a landscape steeped in tin mining history.

Dartmeet (5.5km) – An exploration of the river valley of the East Dart with ancient river crossings and opportunities to learn about Dartmoor’s mining past.

Buckfastleigh (5.8km) – Meander through Buckfastleigh and the Abbey village of Buckfast discovering interesting features such as weavers’ cottages and church ruins.

Four Villages (10km) – a longer circular walk through South Tawton, South Zeal, Sticklepath and Belstone with plenty of options for a pub pit-stop along the way.

Dartmoor National Park Authority’s Recreation Strategy Development Officer Jennifer Manning said: “Lots of people are discovering and rediscovering the joys of walking, both for mental and physical good health.

‘The Welcome to Dartmoor walks are a perfect way for people to discover a little more about these places and enjoy food or drink in one of the local businesses too. We hope people continue to support businesses outside of the main visitor season.”

Chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership Karl Tucker said: “We’re keen to support our partners at Dartmoor National Park Authority in bringing increased enjoyment and understanding of the landscape and its heritage to local residents and visitors, as well as promoting our local food and drink businesses.

‘Having grown up walking on Dartmoor I welcome any initiative that encourages people to explore the moor and enjoy the fantastic countryside, views and wildlife it offers. It is a truly special place, and one of the Heart of the South West area’s world-class natural assets.”

The Authority is keen to hear from businesses or town/village organisations that would like to would like to work together and develop more Welcome to Dartmoor routes.

Contact the Recreation and Access team by email (mailto:recreation@dartmoor.gov.uk?subject=Welcome%20to%20Dartmoor)

Ben Fox

Author: Ben Fox

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