Dartmoor PoniesDartmoor has been described as 368 square miles of England’s last great wilderness situated to the northeast of Plymouth. It is indeed wild, but it is also beautiful. There are peaks and moorland (bogs) ranging from Yes Tor (Dartmoor’s highest peak at 619m) to Fox Tor Mire (where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle spent much of his time whilst writing the Hound of the Baskervilles – known as Grimpen Mire in the book). The north moor is used on occasions by the military for training and when in use red flags are flown around the perimeter to warn the general public to keep out.


Many activities can be undertaken on Dartmoor: walking, horse-riding, golfing, fishing, canoeing and cycling are the most popular activities. Letter-boxing is also an extremely popular activity where enthusiasts seek out and collect impressions of stamps located in out-of-the-way places around the Moor. Letter-boxers can often be recognized by their walking poles (to prod under rocks and in crevices) and jackets with badges on them.


Kings Tor Antony Spencer

Kings Tor. Photograph by Antony Spencer

One of the best times to see Dartmoor is the Spring when lambs are being born and into the early summer when the foals are born to the Dartmoor ponies. In addition, cattle are often seen grazing the Moor with their calves at this time of year. On the other hand, many people would argue that Dartmoor is at its most beautiful when snow lays on the ground in winter. We think Dartmoor is beautiful at all times of the year through the heat of summer, cold of winter and the wind and rain normally associated with spring and autumn, even when the rain is horizontal !

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