Best Dartmoor Outdoor Activities, Dartmoor, Dartmoor National Park

Best Dartmoor Outdoor Activities, Dartmoor, Dartmoor National Park


This is the most popular activity on Dartmoor. Walk the high moors and visit the National Park's famous tors. We'd also recommend walking Dartmoor's many gorges and valleys. They're magnificent. There are plenty of other types of walks which take you around reservoirs or to prehistoric sites. Top walks include:

Dartmoor's Highest Points Circular Walk (High Willhays/Yes Tor). The two highest points on Dartmoor, and in southern England, sit close to one another on a broad ridge in the north west of the National Park above Okehampton.

Teign Gorge Circular Walk (Fingle Bridge to Castle Drogo). Dartmoor is known for its high moor and tors. The high ground is fringed by remarkable valleys and gorges. The Teign Gorge is one of the best. This walk is a Dartmoor classic. Many think it's up there with the best walks in the UK.

Haytor Rocks to Hound Tor Circular Walk. Iconic Dartmoor tors. If you're on holiday in Dartmoor, these are essential visiting. A beautiful walk in the east section of the National Park.

For more, read our Best Dartmoor Walks listing.



Road cycling and mountain biking have become increasingly popular over the past decade. There are many cycling routes on Dartmoor covering all levels of fitness and ability. Either bring bikes or hire them when on holiday in the National Park. Whilst there are specific events, these are some of the most popular routes and trails on Dartmoor:

Drake's Trail on the west and south west side of Dartmoor running between Tavistock and Plymouth. Named after Sir Francis Drake who was born outside Tavistock and lived in nearby Buckland Abbey (National Trust).

Granite Way. Top family cycling route running between Okehampton and Lydford on the north west and west side of Dartmoor. Crosses the amazing Meldon Viaduct with super views of Dartmoor's highest ground.

Granite and Gears Princetown Railway Cycling Routes is another great family cycling route running from Princetown to Burrator Reservoir.

Granite and Gears Princetown and Burrator Cycling Route. This is a more demanding route for the more experienced cyclist. It also runs between Princetown and Burrator Reservoir but follows a more demanding route.

Dartmoor Way. 95 miles around Dartmoor with a 27 mile link across the moors.

For more, read our Dartmoor Cycling listing.


Horse riding

Riding horses on the National Park's high moors and in its gorges and valleys is a special experience. There are plenty of stables on Dartmoor. The best include:

Babeny Farm Riding Stables in the heart of the National Park.

Cholwell Farm Riding Stables on the west side of Dartmoor.

Shilstone Rocks Horse Riding by the famous moorland village Widecombe-in-the-Moor.

For more, read our Dartmoor Horse Riding listing.


Wild swimming

Spitchwick (Deeper Marsh/Spitchwick Common). Dartmoor's most popular wild swimming spot is situated on the River Dart below the Dart Gorge on the east side of the National Park. Heaving in high summer.

Sharrah Pool. Wonderful stretch of river in the Dart Gorge.

Salmon Leaps, Castle Drogo Weir and Drewe's Pool. Increasingly popular stretch of river below the National Trust's Castle Drogo in the north east section of Dartmoor.

For more, read our Best Dartmoor Wild Swimming listing.



If you don't fancy wild swimming in Dartmoor's rivers and natural pools then head for one of the National Park's many outdoor swimming pools. Try:

Chagford Swimming Pool (Outdoor).

Moretonhampstead Swimming Pool (Outdoor).



Popular climbing spots include The Dewerstone and Hound Tor (East Dartmoor).

Popular bouldering spots include Hound Tor (East Dartmoor) and Bonehill Rocks.

For lessons, try VIXON Climbing.

Dart Rock Climbing Centre. Indoor climbing centre on the east side of the National Park by Buckfastleigh.

River Dart Adventures Climbing Centre. Part of the River Dart Adventures at the River Dart Country Park on the outskirts of Ashburton on the east side of the National Park.

The Quay Climbing Centre (Exeter). Indoor climbing at Exeter Quayside.



Canoe the River Dart and River Teign.

Tamar Trails Canoe Tamar. Canoe the River Tamar on the west side of Dartmoor. Magnificent experience.

For lessons, try Spirit of Adventure, Adventure Okehampton and Outdoor + Active (South West Lakes Trust).


High ropes courses

Tamar Trails Tree Surfers. Great family fun on the west side of Dartmoor.

Go Ape Haldon Forest Park. More great family fun on the north east side of Dartmoor.



The Dartmoor School of Fly Fishing.

The Arundell Arms Fly Fishing School. Voted best fly fishing school by The Field magazine.

Westcountry Angling Passport.



Cranmere Pool and Ducks' Pool are iconic Dartmoor letterboxes on the north and south moor respectively.



Go Segway Haldon Forest Park. Quirky outdoor experience in Haldon Forest Park on the north east side of Dartmoor.



Tamar Trails Centre.

Adventure Okehampton.



Dartmoor Hawking. Amazing experience. Fly birds of prey on Dartmoor.


Parks and activity centres

River Dart Country Park with River Dart Adventures.

Adventure Okehampton.

The Dartmoor Centres (Dartmoor Training Centre and Pixie's Holt).

Haldon Forest Park.

Tamar Trails Centre.

Roadford Lake Country Park.


Specialist companies

Spirit of Adventure.

Adventure Okehampton. Experience the Big Oke Abseil which is an extraordinary abseil from Meldon Viaduct. Try also gorge scrambling and weasling.

Moorland Guides.