Princetown, Dartmoor National Park

Princetown, Dartmoor National Park
  • Dartmoor's most famous village/town, Princetown is located on high moor in the central section of the National Park. It sits between Dartmoor's north and south moors and is home to the imposing Dartmoor Prison
  • Learn more about Dartmoor National Park in the Princetown National Park Visitor Centre. Discover Dartmoor Prison's history in Dartmoor Prison Museum
  • Walk the high moor and visit some of Dartmoor's most extraordinary prehistoric sites at Merrivale
  • Cycle one of the Granite and Gears cycling routes down to the wonderful Burrator Reservoir
  • Relax in one of the many pubs and cafes in Princetown
  • Main photo: Dartmoor Prison


Where is Princetown in Dartmoor National Park?

There are two major trans-moorland roads on Dartmoor. The B3212 and the B3357 meet at Two Bridges in the heart of the National Park. Princetown is on the B3357 close to Two Bridges.


Why holiday or weekend break in Princetown?

To help you choose Princetown, we've listed some of the local attractions below.


Princetown National Park Visitor Centre

Visit the Princetown National Park Visitor Centre to learn about Dartmoor National Park.

Explore Dartmoor Prison Museum by the famous Dartmoor Prison.

We'd also suggest you visit the Postbridge National Park Visitor Centre which provides specialist information on Dartmoor's prehistory.


English Heritage's Merrivale near Princetown

Having read about Dartmoor's prehistory in the two National Park Visitor Centres, head to English Heritage's Merrivale (English Heritage) which is just down the road from Princetown.


Cycling the Granite and Gears routes from Princetown

Mountain bike the Granite and Gears Princetown Railway Cycling Routes and Granite and Gears Princetown and Burrator Cycling Route from Princetown. You can hire bikes from Princetown Cycle Hire/Fox Tor Cafe Cycle Hire.

Other cycle routes we'd recommend include Drake's Trail that runs between Tavistock and Plymouth and the Granite Way which runs between Lydford and Okehampton.


Walking Dartmoor's high moor and tors from Princetown

Princetown is a great place in which to base yourself for a walking holiday. Try the Princetown, North Hessary Tor and Foggintor Quarries Circular Walk.

Wander up to the massive granite outcrops that top Great Mis Tor.

Explore the Staple Tors. Great Staple Tor is one of the most photographed, and impressive, tors in the National Park.

Wander down to Burrator Reservoir.

For hardened walkers, head up onto the north and south plateaus.


Other outdoor activities in and around Princetown

In addition to cycling and walking, try other Dartmoor adventure activities.

Go horse riding from Cholwell Farm Riding Stables.

Climbing and bouldering are very popular. In the local area try Sheeps Tor.

Wild swim in one of Dartmoor's many rivers. Spitchwick (Deeper Marsh/Spitchwick Common) is a Dartmoor classic.

In season, canoe the River Dart.


Foggintor Quarries near Princetown

Experience the beauty of the local quarries and industrial ruins. Foggintor Quarries is an amazing place.


Burrator Reservoir south west of Princetown

Explore Burrator Reservoir. You can cycle, or walk, around the reservoir. The views from the tors that fringe the water are remarkable and worth the yomp.

Try Sheeps Tor and Leather Tor.


Two Bridges and Wistman's Wood National Nature Reserve north east of Princetown

Follow the B3212 to Two Bridges. Wander out to the delightful Wistman's Wood National Nature Reserve.

From Two Bridges, push into the heart of the National Park at Postbridge and Bellever. Pop into Postbridge National Park Visitor Centre and stand on the famous Postbridge Clapper Bridge.

Picnic and wild swim at Bellever Forest. Walk to the top of Bellever Tor for huge panoramic views. The tor is a well-known Dartmoor beauty spot.


Visiting National Trust properties from Princetown

Visit some of the many National Trust properties in this part of Devon. Buckland Abbey (National Trust), The Dewerstone and Saltram House are easily accessible by car.

We'd also recommend travelling to Lydford Gorge (National Trust), Cotehele House and Castle Drogo (National Trust). Finch Foundry (National Trust) is a fascinating place on the northern border of the Park.


Exploring the Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a UNESCO World Heritage Site from Princetown

Drop down to Tavistock and the Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Tavistock is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Highlights in the Tamar Valley include Morwellham Quay, Calstock and the National Trust's Cotehele House.

If you have time, we'd also recommend day trips to Plymouth and the South Devon and East Cornwall coastlines. Wembury, in South Devon, is great. A ferry runs from Plymouth to Cawsand in East Cornwall.


Local towns and villages in the Princetown area

Try Tavistock and Postbridge.