Dart Valley Nature Reserve, Dartmeet, Dartmoor National Park

Dart Valley Nature Reserve, Dartmeet, Dartmoor National Park

The Dart Valley Nature Reserve is located in the Dart Gorge. In our opinion, the Dart Gorge is one of the most beautiful places in Dartmoor National Park. Whilst we've positioned the Dart Valley Nature Reserve on Google maps, we'd recommend studying the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map for detail. With the map in front of you, follow the River Dart from Dartmeet as it winds through the Dart Gorge on its way to New Bridge and Deeper Marsh/Spitchwick Common. Roughly speaking, give or take a bulge or cut in the outline of the reserve, the Dart Valley Nature Reserve covers this area.

Given its natural beauty and relatively easy access from South Devon and The English Riviera, the Dart Valley Nature Reserve is very popular. This means that there are plenty of parking areas. The most obvious spots from which to start are New Bridge at the south east end of the reserve, Dartmeet at the north west end and the two car parks by Venford Reservoir to the south.

The reserve includes Yartor Down, Sharp Tor (Dart Gorge/East Dartmoor), Mel Tor, Luckey Tor and Aish Tor. The Two Moors Way cuts through here as does the Dartmoor Way. They follow the same route along the northern lip of the Dart Gorge. For further information on local flora and fauna, please see the Devon Wildlife Trust website, link provided.

If time and fitness permit, we'd recommend you walk the Dart Valley Nature Reserve using this route but please bear in mind that it's a long way and the footing can be difficult in the gorge.

For views, stand on top of Sharp Tor or Mel Tor on the north side of the river. Our favourite is the view from Bench Tor that rises above the southern border of the Dart Valley Nature Reserve near Venford Reservoir.

In the area, we'd recommend visiting Combestone Tor and Venford Reservoir, The Ten Commandments Stone at Buckland Beacon and Ashburton.