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Finding Our Adventure: Top 3 Walks in Dartmoor

05th November 2021 | Finding Our Adventure
Finding Our Adventure have put together their three favourite walks from their time in Dartmoor. These three walks cover all abilities and offer a range of distances to suit every walker and explorer.

We arrived at the Bailey Headquarters to pick up the new Adamo 69-4 motorhome. We were excited to take it on our road trip, as it’s on a new Ford Transit base. We drive an Mk7 Ford Transit, and we wanted to see how different the two were.

After a few minutes of driving, we could already tell how much quieter and smoother these new vans were, in addition to the spacious living area of the motorhome.

Our destination was Dartmoor National Park. We had never been before and were excited to see what this vast moorland had to offer. We couldn’t wait to get out into the fresh air and see what hikes we could find. We were also incredibly lucky that the weather was forecast for warm sunshine all week which was a bonus.

There are essentially two main roads in and out of Dartmoor that cross at Two Bridges. With vast areas of military land in the North, we would be spending most of our time in the centre of Dartmoor. The two roads with their many free parking places make it very easy to explore by motorhome.

To get an idea of what Dartmoor National Park was all about, we decided that we needed to get out and discover some of the amazing walks in the area. Exploring somewhere new on foot is often the best way to explore and learn about a place.

We have put together our three favourite walks from our time in Dartmoor. These three walks cover all abilities and offer a range of distances to suit every walker and explorer.

Our Bailey Adamo 69-4 Motorhome.

Postbridge and Bellever Forest

Postbridge and Bellever is the ideal place to explore the ancient past of Dartmoor. There are several trails to help you enjoy the area. As you walk through this stunning landscape, archaeological evidence surrounds you. Stone cists, burial cairns, stone rows, and hut circles are evidence of how people lived on the high moor thousands of years ago. When exploring the moor, please be sure to wear appropriate footwear and clothing. Postbridge is famous for its Clapper bridge, which you can walk over, and is one of the best-preserved examples of a clapper bridge. We would recommend parking in the forestry commission car park located opposite the Postbridge Visitor Centre as it is free. The visitor centre is worth a visit. It shows the history, alongside explaining various historical remnants among the landscape you will discover along the trails. We took the History Hunters trail, which takes you through Bellever Forest and gets you up and close to historical Bronze Age remnants. Along this easy route, you will find archaeological evidence of the past, such as stone rows, hut circles, burial cairns, and cists. Collect a trail quiz from the Postbridge Visitor Centre, explore this ancient landscape and discover more of its secrets.

Hannah Overlooking a Clapper Bridge in Postbridge, Dartmoor.

Wistmans Wood

This enchanted 9-acre woodland is one of the highest oak woodlands in Britain, upland Oakland wood. The wood is perched on the sloping valley of the West Dart River. The small copse used to be part of a much bigger landscape of trees dating back thousands of years. The ancient oak trees are estimated to be 500 years old. In 1964, due to biodiverse significance and importance, the woodlands have been protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The tree branches and woodland stone covered floor are home to several different mosses and lichens. The low hanging branches and stone-covered floor protect it from the destructive grazing from the ponies and cattle that wander among the moors.

There is a car park opposite the Two Bridges Hotel which is free, but small. You will also find a few lay-bys on the road you could park, but we would recommend either visiting during the off-peak season or getting there early. The walk is relatively easy and will take around 30-45 minutes until you reach the woodland. You also have the option to create a circular walk by carrying onto Longaford Tors, Littarford Tors, and finally Crockern Tor (5 miles and will take 2 hours in total depending on your speed).

Jonny Overlooking the Stunning Landscape Near Wistmans Wood, Dartmoor.

Burrator Reservoir

The Burrator Reservoir is the longest walk in our guide, hiking about 12km in total. We parked in a small car park off the B312, close to Sharpitor, before hiking on the moorland to Devonport Leat. We followed the Leat through the beautiful woodlands and moorlands, passing Ponies and other hikers before reaching Burrator reservoir and crossing the first of two dams. The first dam was the larger of the two. It offered a tall drop on one side and magnificent views across the Burrator reservoir. The walk leads you around the other side of the reservoir and across the much smaller second dam, then northwards again. There is a small peninsula with the ruins of Longstone Manor. The minor detour is worth it to see the remains of what would have been a magnificent building.

On the final stretch of what became our favourite hike in Dartmoor, you will come across several small bridges of different sizes and materials, from beautiful stone arch bridges to simple metal-plated river crossing. There is then the final section retracing your steps past Sharpitor before reaching the car park.

Jonny Walking Towards the Burrator Reservoir, Dartmoor.

We hope these walks inspire you during your trip to Dartmoor National Park. There are so many different walks and hikes that you really could spend hundreds of hours hiking the moorlands and exploring remote areas of Dartmoor. The history and rugged beauty really make this landscape mesmerizing.

Follow more from Finding Our Adventure on their website.

Our Bailey Adamo 69-4 Motorhome.