The county of Devon normally conjures up visions of cream teas, sandy beaches and children paddling and exploring rock pools. This family friendly holiday destination is also home though to Dartmoor – the largest area of wilderness in Southern England. From babbling brooks through bluebell laden woodland to wild and rugged open moorland, there is plenty on offer for families looking for an outdoor adventure. What’s more, in this moody landscape that inspired the likes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and abounds in mystery, folklore and ghost stores, here is a place that is far from the location of a ‘boring’ walk and will get the childrens’ imaginations running wild! From spotting Dartmoor ponies to exploring the remains of Bronze Aged settlements or paddling in the rivers, there’s lots to explore.
Defined by its granite topography, Dartmoor is well-known for its tors – its highest points topped by exposed granite tops. Dartmoor is also famous as the original location of Letterboxing – a form of orienteering whereby people are led by clues to concealed pots out on the moors containing a visitor box and stamp (so that those finding it can record their success). If you have older children who enjoy a good treasure hunt, this is a fun way of combining a day out hiking on the moors with learning some valuable outdoor skills and giving the day an added dimension!
Here are a few useful websites which will get you started with planning as well as a selection of tried and tested Baby Routes walks at the bottom of the page. Happy wandering!
- Dartmoor National Park – the official website has everything you need to know about visiting Dartmoor. The website also has links to their ‘Easy Going Dartmoor‘ publication and walks – a series of ideas for accessible walks for disabled visitors and those with young children and walking with pushchairs.
- Letterbox 100 Club – an unofficial club with tips and guides (and a catalogue of clues for purchase) to get you started with letterboxing on Dartmoor.
- Easily Accessible Paths Dartmoor – a list of easy access routes in Dartmoor suited for pushchair and wheelchair users, provided by the Devon county government website.
- Dartmoor Tourism Website – another great source of information and ideas for things to do, places to go, stay and eat and more in Dartmoor.