Best Walks On Dartmoor In Spring

Southern Devon is a wonderful destination for families and couples looking for a peaceful getaway. With Dartmoor and its National Park, the region is rich in nature and walking trails. During the Spring season, Dartmoor transforms with bursts of new life—flowers bloom, wildlife emerges, and the landscape is refreshed with vibrant colours, making it an ideal time for exploring. The cooler temperatures are also comfortable for hiking, and there’s less chance of encountering the summer crowds. 

Explore some of the best walks on Dartmoor and Devon. From scenic routes like Drake’s Trail to the mystical paths of Wistman's Wood, each trail offers a unique way to connect with nature. Whether you’re an adventurous family or a couple seeking tranquillity, Dartmoor’s trails in Spring promise memorable experiences in the great outdoors. Let’s lace up our boots and set out on these inviting paths.

No 5. Drake’s Trail

Drake's Trail is one of the best walks on Dartmoor for families and couples looking to experience the great outdoors. This 13-mile (21km) route, stretching from Yelverton to Plymouth, offers a moderate walk through stunning landscapes. In Spring, the trail is alive with blooming wildflowers and bustling with wildlife, including birds and local farm animals like horses and donkeys. Starting from the Drake’s Trail Car Park in Yelverton, where parking is affordable, the trail follows a mainly flat, surfaced cycle route that was once an old railway track. Along the way, you can enjoy refreshments from seasonal vans and cafes, making stops at picturesque spots perfect for a family picnic or a restful break. Allow at least four hours to fully enjoy the walk at a leisurely pace, taking in the woodland scenes and moorland vistas that make this trail a must-visit in Spring.

No 4. Great Staple and White Tor

The walk from Great Staple Tor to White Tor offers a captivating experience through Dartmoor's varied landscapes and historical sites. This 6.4-mile (10.3km) circular route is a moderate to challenging walk, perfect for those who enjoy adding a bit of adventure to their outings. Starting from a car park near Tavistock, the trail leads you across the rugged summits of Little, Middle, and Great Staple Tor. As you traverse this path in Spring, you'll witness the moors come to life with fresh blooms and hear the calls of native birds. The route continues to White Tor, where you can explore ancient stone structures believed to be from the Neolithic period. This area provides both historical intrigue and stunning panoramic views of the surrounding valley, which is why it's one of the best walks on Dartmoor. Allow approximately 3.5 hours to complete the walk, which includes ample opportunities for photography and enjoying the serene environment. This trail is not recommended for very young children due to its challenging terrain and length.

No 3. West Devon Way

West Devon Way is a splendid 37-mile trail stretching from Okehampton to Plymouth, ideal for walkers seeking a lengthier challenge that's still manageable. The path winds through some of the most scenic parts of Dartmoor and the surrounding countryside, offering a kaleidoscope of springtime. The West Devon Way is one4 of the best walks on Dartmoor, marked and easy to follow, it can be tackled in stages, making it flexible for families or couples who wish to explore at their own pace. Each segment starts or ends near a bus stop, facilitating access and return trips. Notable for its gentle inclines and some steep sections, the route passes through quaint villages where local pubs and cafes provide perfect pit stops for refreshments. For those planning a day trip, the use of public transport is recommended due to limited parking along the route. 

No 2. Burrator

Burrator is a captivating destination offering a variety of outdoor experiences for families and couples looking to trail some of the best walks on Dartmoor. This 4.4-mile (7.1km) circular route, starting and finishing near Sharpitor, promises moderate terrain and breathtaking views of Burrator Reservoir. Springtime brings a burst of life to Burrator, with the surrounding woodland teeming with activity, including birds and dragonflies. The Burrator Arboretum, with its network of ponds and diverse habitats, provides a unique opportunity for wildlife observation and relaxation. The trail is suitable for all ages and fitness levels, making it an excellent choice for a family outing. Parking is available at the Arboretum car park, ensuring convenient access to the starting point of the walk. 

No 1. Wistman's Wood

Wistman's Wood is without a doubt, one of the best walks on Dartmoor, a mystical gem nestled within Dartmoor National Park, offering a magical experience for families with young children and couples exploring the region. This 2.8-mile (4.5km) route, starting from the Two Bridges car park, leads adventurers through an ancient woodland filled with moss-covered trees and eerie rock formations. In Spring, Wistman's Wood is like a scene from a fairy tale, with vibrant greenery and a sense of otherworldly beauty. Families can embark on the Longaford Tor loop, a circular walk from Princetown, which provides additional opportunities to immerse oneself in Dartmoor's enchanting landscape. It's important to note that Wistman's Wood is under considerable visitor pressure, and efforts are underway to protect its delicate ecosystem. Visitors are encouraged to adhere to designated paths to minimise erosion and preserve the area's unique flora and fauna. 


Trail across Dartmoor and stay at Horn of Plenty

After a day of trailing some of the best walks on Dartmoor, there's no better way to unwind than with a stay at Horn of Plenty. Nestled in the heart of Southern Devon, this charming country manor offers luxurious accommodations, fine dining, and five acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, providing the perfect retreat for couples and families alike.

Horn of Plenty welcomes guests of all kinds, including four-legged friends, making it an ideal choice for those travelling with pets. Situated just a few minute's drive from the main walking trails in the region, the manor provides easy access to Dartmoor's natural wonders. With its tranquil atmosphere and attentive service, Horn of Plenty promises to make your stay in Devon truly exceptional. Book your stay now and make your next adventure getaway one to remember.

Published on Monday 29th April 2024 / By Laura Avery