In just a few weeks, it will be bank holiday, the last bank holiday for the year before Christmas. If you plan on making the most of this bank holiday, you need to start preparing now. There are lots of things to do, places to see and activities to enjoy this August in the south west of England and the job of this post is to help you get your planning started.
Dartmoor in Devon is one of the few places in England that appears as though nature went all out of its way to create interesting landscapes and stunning scenery for human consumption. Don’t take my word for it; here are 10 awesome reasons why Dartmoor is good for just about any holiday.
The Food –
What better reason to visit Dartmoor than for a chance to taste the local cuisine? In Dartmoor, there are hundreds of places to stop for food, whether it is your breakfast for the morning, a simple cuppa or some light refreshment. And if you fancy a laid back affair, there are lots of local pubs with open roaring fires where you can sample a wide variety of brews both tap and bottled and taste the delightful fare they have available. If you would rather keep your waistline in check, there is a wide list of lovely hotels where you can get away with a delicious cream tea, biscuits or buns. And that’s not all; Dartmoor also has its very own distillery, where the excellent Jail Ale is brewed. Don’t be shy to try a cup.
If you are one for animals, Dartmoor has enough wildlife to satisfy you, from the soaring skylarks high up in the sky, to the frolicking foals by the riverside. In fact, in Dartmoor, there is always one or two interesting animal waiting to surprise you at the next turn. You may know that Dartmoor is an upland environment and while this may make the place seem difficult for humans, it is perfect for some of the animals. Favorite among the animals is Dartmoor is the Dartmoor Ponies. You will find them wandering all over the place. A word of caution though, you can take pictures with them or of them, but it is forbidden to feed them. A lot of visitors to Dartmoor assume that these ponies are wild, but people actually do own them.
Hiking is not really my thing, but there are millions of people who enjoy taking long walks as they explore new places. If taking long hikes is your thing, you will find Dartmoor the perfect place for hiking. From a roadside park or shopping mall, you can easily walk for hours through lush greenery, riverbanks and barren wilderness. In fact, you can say that Dartmoor is one the last true wildernesses in England. You can practically walk for hours without seeing a car, house or living soul. All over the place, you will find remnants of its prehistoric past. However, favorite on the list of hiking routes is Dartmoor National Park, these 368 sq miles of vast moorland is full of dramatic landscapes, winding rivers and rolling hills. There are also a lot of hidden hiking trails that you will have to discover yourself. If you can find one that ends at a pub, all the better.
The Rivers –
Dartmoor is the place to go if you love messing around with water. Whether it is taking out the boat on a cool day, or swimming in deep pools; or maybe you just prefer to squelch in the mud or finger fish. Whatever it is you fancy; there are rivers in Dartmoor for just that. Rivers Teign, Avon, Lyd, Dart, Bovey, Erme, Meavy and Walkham are just a few of the rivers that beautiful this Devon town. Don’t forget the choice of secluded coves and picturesque beaches. While most of the beaches are not exactly purely sand like those of North Devon, the greenery, rocks and coves and beautiful pebbles more than make up for the deficiency in white sand.
The Tors –
Every town has its historical uniqueness and Dartmoor is no exception. One of this uniqueness is the group of rock formation known as the Tors. Each Tor in Dartmoor has its own name. It is estimated that the Tors occurred as a result of some erosion that happened more than 200 million years ago. Whether this report is accurate or not, the Tors are pretty impressive and will make for a very good Instagram story.
Sherlock Holmes –
If you are a Sherlock fan like I am, you will be excited to know that his famous adventure from 1902, The Hounds of Baskervilles was set in Dartmoor. In fact, you may find landscapes that look suspiciously similar to the ones in the story on any of your long walks. Just don’t expect to see the hound. More recently, a few shots from the series Sherlock was shot on Hound Tor.
Not many people know about letterboxing. Letterboxing is an activity or game that originated in Dartmoor in 1854. It involves filling little boxes with letters and stamps and leaving them in certain spots where they can be discovered; kind of like letter in a bottle only not as morbid. The idea is to discover the box and use its content in your own letterboxing book. If you look properly, you will likely find lots of boxes like this containing letters and notes from different people. After reading, ensure that you place it exactly where you found it so that the next person can enjoy it also.
Cycling trails –
Whether you are looking for the perfect rugged terrain for your mountain bike, or you just need a simple straight and smooth road for regular cycling you will find both in Dartmoor. Dartmoor is a hotspot for adventure seekers and boasts a wide variety of rugged, rocky and twisting terrain for the mountain biker. Regular cyclists are not left out as Dartmoor is full of smooth roads with challenging climbs and scenic routes. If you plan on doing some cycling when you visit Dartmoor, find some great routes here so you can plan you adventure properly.