Haytor Vale, Dartmoor National Park

Haytor Vale, Dartmoor National Park
  • Village in the eastern section of Dartmoor below the National Park's most famous tor
  • Walk to Haytor Rocks and Hound Tor. Enjoy huge views across Dartmoor and down to the South Devon coast. Learn about the area's history in the Haytor National Park Visitor Centre. Explore Haytor Down and visit the beautiful Haytor Quarry
  • Relax at The Rock Inn in Haytor Vale or drop down to Ullacombe Farm Shop
  • Discover the East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve and the remarkable Lustleigh Cleave. Spend a day at Becky Falls
  • Visit nearby Widecombe-in-the-Moor and the Dartmoor gateway town Bovey Tracey with its many visitor attractions
  • Main photo: the view of Haytor Rocks from Rippon Tor in winter. The B3387 runs between the two tors connecting Haytor Vale with Widecombe-in-the-Moor


Where is Haytor Vale in Dartmoor National Park?

Haytor Vale is a village located in the eastern section of Dartmoor below Haytor Rocks which is the National Park’s most famous tor.

The Dartmoor gateway town Bovey Tracey sits below Haytor Vale and Widecombe-in-the-Moor is to the west.

Given its location near Bovey Tracey, the A38 and A382, Haytor Vale is a superb place from which to explore Dartmoor, Exeter, the Exe Estuary, South Devon, The English Riviera and Plymouth. It’s a great spot.


Directions to Haytor Vale

Take the A38 Devon Expressway to the Bovey Tracey area. Follow the A382 to the Dartmoor gateway town. At the second mini roundabout, turn left and drive the B3387 past Parke Estate (National Trust). The road forks. Take the left fork and continue on the B3387 to The Edgemoor Hotel, Yarner Wood and then Haytor Vale.


Parking in Haytor Vale

There’s plenty of parking by the Haytor National Park Visitor Centre and along the B3387 by Haytor Rocks. Wander back down to the village to visit, for example, The Rock Inn.


Why holiday or weekend break in Haytor Vale?

To help you choose the Haytor Vale area, we’ve listed some of the local attractions below.


The Rock Inn at Haytor Vale

The Rock Inn is a seriously good local foodie place with a terrific wine cellar at fairly affordable prices. The food is locally sourced Dartmoor meat and Teignmouth seafood, as much as possible, with chef's preparation and staff service all excellent. Great beer garden across the road, dogs on leads are welcome and there are Dartmoor ales on tap.


Haytor National Park Visitor Centre at Haytor Vale

Haytor National Park Visitor Centre sits below Dartmoor's most famous tor Haytor Rocks. There's a large car parking area and public toilets on site.

Information boards tell the story of the local area, specifically Haytor Rocks and Haytor Down. As is the case with all the visitor centres, there's an excellent range of free tourist information in addition to books and local crafts for sale.


Haytor Rocks above Haytor Vale

Paths rise from Haytor National Park Visitor Centre to Haytor Rocks. It's a short, sharp walk that gets the blood pumping but nothing too strenuous.

Note that car parks line the B3387 here because it's such a popular place. There's a car parking area at the top of the hill next to Haytor Rocks for easy access.


Other tors near Haytor Vale

Saddle Tor also located by the B3387 just south west of Haytor Rocks. It's a short walk to its rocky outcrops from the car parking area below.

Rippon Tor is a much bigger tor overlooking the Haytor Rocks area.

Hound Tor (East Dartmoor) is across the valley from Haytor Rocks.

We'd also recommend visiting the cluster of tors above Widecombe-in-the-Moor.


Haytor Quarry and Haytor Granite Tramway near Haytor Vale

Haytor Down is peppered with disused quarries and crossed by an old tramway on which granite was transported from the moors down to Stover Canal and then to the coast at Teignmouth from where the rock was shipped out to be used in many famous buildings.


The Templer Way from Haytor Vale

As is the case with many old railways and mineral tramways in South West England, the Haytor Granite Tramway is today a long distance walking path connecting Dartmoor to the South Devon coast. The Templer Way is 29 kilometres or 18 miles in length.


Emsworthy Local Nature Reserve near Haytor Vale

Emsworthy Local Nature Reserve sits below Haytor Down in the eastern section of Dartmoor National Park. It's very easily accessible and is known for its spring bluebell showing and cuckoos.

Note that Emsworthy is referred to as Emsworthy and Becka Brook Mire on the information board to which we referred. The board gives the following advice. 'You are strongly advised to follow the recommended routes to avoid extensive boggy areas. These linear routes, through Emsworthy, lead out on to common land. Please note: the Becka Brook stream area is extremely boggy. It is also an area of high nature conservation interest. There is no northern access point on this parcel of land.'


Holwell Lawn near Haytor Vale

Haytor Rocks and Hound Tor are arguably the most famous and frequently visited tors in Dartmoor National Park. Between them are Holwell Tor, the pretty Becka Brook with its recently installed clapper bridge and Holwell Lawn.

Holwell Lawn is covered with horse and pony jumps used by the local pony club. It offers superb views of this area of the National Park. Cuckoos can be heard on their return from Africa in April/May. However, Holwell Lawn is best known for its spring showing of bluebells.


English Heritage's Hound Tor Abandoned Medieval Settlement near Haytor Vale

Explore Dartmoor and you'll encounter a high number of abandoned sites dating from the medieval period. The most famous is English Heritage's Hound Tor Abandoned Medieval Settlement.

A hamlet, Hound Tor Abandoned Medieval Settlement consists of eleven buildings including longhouses and barns in which corn was dried. The buildings were surrounded by gardens and fields for crops and livestock.

Along with nearby Hutholes Abandoned Medieval Settlement, the hamlet at Hound Tor dates to the 13th and 14th/early 15th centuries. According to an information board at Hutholes, 'one major reason' for its abandonment 'was the steadily worsening weather making it increasingly more difficult to grow, ripen and dry crops.'  As the Black Death devastated communities elsewhere in Devon, the suggestion is that people moved from the fringes of the moor like Hound Tor to lower, more productive ground.


Bowerman’s Nose near Haytor Vale

On the western side of Hayne Down, near the moorland village Manaton, is a tall stack of granite called Bowerman's Nose. When viewed from various angles, the stack of granite takes on the form of a human being with a big nose. Local legend suggests that Bowerman was a Norman hunter who was turned into stone by witches. His hounds form nearby Hound Tor.


The Ten Commandments Stones at Buckland Beacon near Haytor Vale

Buckland Beacon offers one of the best views in Dartmoor National Park. In addition to the views, look out for The Ten Commandments Stones. Carved by W.A.Clement in summer 1928, The Ten Commandments Stones were commissioned by a local landowner W.Whitely to celebrate Parliament's 1928 rejection of a new Book of Common Prayer. In addition to the Ten Commandments, there are other verses carved into the stones.


East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve near Haytor Vale

England's first National Nature Reserve, the East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve consists of parts of the Bovey Valley, Trendlebere Down and Yarner Wood.


Lustleigh Cleave near Haytor Vale

Explore one of Dartmoor's most beautiful steep-sided valleys or cleaves. Walk to Hunters Tor at the top of Lustleigh Cleave to enjoy huge views over the village North Bovey to Dartmoor's north moor.


Bovey Tracey from Haytor Vale

Drop down to the Dartmoor gateway town Bovey Tracey and visit its many attractions.


Widecombe-in-the-Moor and Dartmoor’s high moor from Haytor Vale

Spend a day exploring the pretty village Widecombe-in-the-Moor and the surrounding area.


South Devon and The English Riviera from Haytor Vale

Haytor Vale overlooks South Devon. Discover The English Riviera, Dartmouth, Salcombe and Totnes.

See our sister site Love South Devon for more information.


Exeter and the Exe Estuary from Haytor Vale

Drive the A38 to Exeter. Walk, or cycle, down to the Exe Estuary.

See our sister site Holiday in Exeter for more information.


Other local towns and villages near Haytor Vale

For villages, try Manaton, Lustleigh and Widecombe-in-the-Moor.

For towns, try Bovey Tracey and Moretonhampstead. Chagford is up the road from Moretonhampstead. We'd also recommend visiting Ashburton and Buckfastleigh.