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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dartmoor

Dartmoor National Park covers an area of 368 square miles and is the largest area of wilderness in southern England.

The ancient landscape of weathered granite hills (tors), moors, raging rivers and unspoilt forest is popular with climbers, hikers, cyclists, canoe enthusiasts and walkers from all over Europe.

Easily accessible from both Devon's main cities of Exeter and Plymouth, the desolate, eerie beauty of the heather-covered moors have inspired writers and poets such as Arthur Conan Doyle, who based his novel The Hound of the Baskervilles on Dartmoor.

Dartmoor, Devon

The most important settlements on Dartmoor include Bovey Tracy, Chagford, Okehampton, Princetown - famous for its Dartmoor Prison - Postbridge, Moretonhampstead, Tavistock, Widecombe-in-the Moor, Yelverton and Lydford.

Dartmoor is criss-crossed by walking trails including the 90 mile, circular Dartmoor Way, Templer Way, Tarka Trail and the Two Moors Way.

Merrivale Rows, Dartmoor, Devon

Dartmoor is also rich in prehistoric sites including numerous cairn circles and the Merrivale Rows of stones, which are an ancient burial ground, west of Princetown.

Other attractions on Darmoor include Castle Drogo, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and the last castle to be built in England, Buckland Abbey, a 14th century Cistercian monastery, which later became the country house of Sir Francis Drake, Lydford Gorge with the spectacular White Lady Waterfall and the "Cathedral of the Moor" aka St Pancreas Church at Widecombe.

Dartmoor is a haven for wildlife and is home to its famous Dartmoor ponies, badgers, deer, hares and otters. Buzzards, herons and owls are just a few of the many birds on the moors. Salmon and trout can be found in the River Dart and its tributary streams.

Dartmoor, Devon, UK.


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