9 of the best Dartmoor walks

Stone circle on Dartmoor.

Dartmoor’s moorlands are a haven of natural beauty for walkers. - Credit: Jeremy Flint

Dartmoor is the perfect place to explore for its moorland walks. JEREMY FLINT PICKS 9 of its best scenic hikes 

Among the unspoilt landscapes and wild, dramatic tors, Dartmoor’s moorlands are a haven of natural beauty for walkers. With a wilderness of wide, open spaces, colourful heather-clad moors of pink and yellow in the summer, handfuls of rocky granite outcrops and wooded river valleys there is something for everyone to explore. 

Here is a selection of 9 of the best short and long hikes to give a flavour of what Dartmoor has to offer. 

Moss-covered Dartmoor trees.

Walking amongst the trees and boulders at Wistman’s Woods gives an enchanting experience. - Credit: Jeremy Flint

1. Wistman’s Woods 

Ancient, gnarled oak trees have occupied Wistman’s Woods for centuries, where walking amongst the trees and boulders and their mossy covered coating gives an enchanting experience that feels like you have entered into a fairy tale and offers stunning views.  

Quench your thirst and appetite afterwards by stopping at the nearby Two Bridges Hotel or attractive Georgian Princetown Hotel for a drink or bite to eat afterwards. The circular five-mile route starts at the Two Bridges Hotel near Princetown taking in Wistman’s Wood and Crockern Tor. Allow at least two hours, depending on your walking pace. 

Pew Tor rock formation on Dartmoor.

Take in Pew Tor on the Pork Hill Circular route. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

2. Pork Hill Circular 

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From Pork Hill car park and viewpoint on the Tavistock to Princetown road, explore the beauty of the moors on this easy three-mile walk. Take the right path over Whitchurch Common and head over the top of a rise and onto Pew Tor on the horizon.  

Take a leap of faith as you jump over a couple of streams en route and stop for a picnic on the way back at Feather Torr before seeing the magical stone cross on your return to the car park. The walk has attractive views and interesting geological formations to enjoy.  

Dartmoor Ponies at Bellever in Dartmoor National Park.

The Bellever Forest circular walk runs along forestry tracks beside the east Dart River. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

3. Bellever Forest 

This three-mile circular walk starts at the Postbridge Forestry Commission car park with the route running along forestry tracks beside the east Dart River. The walk is wonderful for families seeking stunning moorland views and a great place for dog walkers to bring dogs for a swim. Take a detour up to Bellever Tor for even more beautiful views. 

River Teign Fingle Bridge Dartmoor Devon National park tourist attraction with a great walk

If you are looking for the ultimate riverside walk in Dartmoor, Fingle Gorge could well be it. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

4. Fingle Gorge 

If you are looking for the ultimate riverside walk in Dartmoor, this could well be it. During the two-hour journey you will come across an impressive gorge, Castle Drogo, Fingle Bridge and the River Teign. If you time your visit with spring, you may see the woodlands carpeted with bluebells or keep an eye out for wildlife all year round.  

Brentor church Dartmoor National Park Devon Uk

The Church of St Michel de Rupe stands proud on the craggy plateau of Brent Tor. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

5. Brent Tor 

Located on the western edge of Dartmoor National Park, the Church of St Michel de Rupe stands proud on the craggy plateau of Brent Tor. Walking up to the church is one of the most popular walks that offers a stunning view of the hilltop church overlooking the beautiful moors. 

Bowermans Nose granite tor in Dartmoor National Park, England, overlooking Easdon tor, with rainbow

Bowerman’s nose is an attractive rock formation in the heart of Dartmoor. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

6. Bowerman’s Nose 

This short two-mile walk explores the dramatic landscape around Bowerman’s nose, an attractive rock formation in the heart of Dartmoor. According to legend, Bowerman (a Huntsman) and his hounds were turned to stone by witches for disturbing their peace. 

For this easy walk head north, then north-west from the car park at Swallerton Gate by Hound Tor. 

A hiker standing on top of a large rock at Hound Tor in Dartmoor England overlooking a valley.

From the summit of Hound Tor you can feast your eyes on the beautiful landscape. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

7. Hound Tor 

Take a stroll on one of the best walks in Dartmoor National Park on a circular five-mile trail from Haytor Vale visitor Centre to the summit of Hound Tor and back. Here, you can feast your eyes on the beautiful landscape dominated by granite outcrops and beautiful rolling countryside surrounding the scenic moors.  

Beautiful views of Becky Falls, Dartmoor

Head to Becky Falls to discover the waterfall amongst remarkable ancient woodland. - Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

8. Becky Falls 

Head to Becky Falls, near Bovey Tracey to discover the waterfall amongst remarkable ancient woodland and a landscape carved out over 12,000 years ago. The 70ft high waterfall is simply spectacular and runs over large boulders and down the valley along with smaller attractive falls.    

A panoramic view across Dartmoor towards Easdon Tor with bluebells in the foreground.

Whooping Rock near Easdon Tor on the side of Easdon Down takes you across a short open moorland and some country roads, covering mixed terrains. - Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

9. Whooping Rock 

A great walk to experience the moors for the first time. Whooping Rock near Easdon Tor on the side of Easdon Down is accessible from North Bovey car park and takes you across a short open moorland and some country roads, covering mixed terrains. 

With so many remarkable walks to do on Dartmoor it can be challenging to decide where to go. Hopefully this guide highlights some of the best moor walks available and will make it easier for you to choose which to do on your next visit to Dartmoor. For more information see here.  

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Burrator Reservoir on Dartmoor National Park

The walk from Burrator Reservoir is an easy one-mile route. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Burrator Reservoir 

An easy one-mile walk, meandering on flat terrain through woodland and meadows with a reservoir and network of ponds providing a natural habitat for dragonflies. There is also an arboretum (which has its own car park) to explore where you may encounter wildlife. For refreshments, there is usually an ice cream van at the main Burrator Dam. 

Trenchford and Tottiford Reservoirs 

This relaxing three-mile walk takes you around two reservoirs on the eastern side of the moor and offers the opportunity to take in beautiful scenery with bluebells and woodland flowers in spring.  

It is a great place for a picnic with several picnic benches scattered around if you would like to bring one. From the car park at the base of Trenchford reservoir you can walk in a figure of eight and can stretch your legs even further with many more paths to choose from. 

A Dartmoor pony grazing on the moor.

Almost half of Dartmoor National Park is moorland. - Credit: Jeremy Flint

Did you know? 

Almost half of Dartmoor National Park is moorland and there are 450 miles of public rights of way, the equivalent of walking from Land’s End to Penrith in Cumbria. The many visitors who come to explore don’t just visit for the beautiful moorlands and walks, they enjoy the bustling towns, pretty villages and enchanting hamlets which thrive in the heart of Devon.