Dartmoor National Park comprises 386 square miles of moorlands, forests, rivers, wetlands and craggy granite tors.


Since its designation in 1951 – the first national park to be established in Britain – Dartmoor's varied habitats and prehistoric remains have lured visitors from all over the world. To this day it continues to be an important recreation ground for outdoor enthusiasts.

One of the best ways to explore Dartmoor is on its impressive network of footpaths.

Discover some of the best routes with our favourite walks in Dartmoor National Park, including Wistman's Wood, Hound Tor and Lydford Gorge.

Dartmoor ponies in Widecombe, Devon
Dartmoor ponies in Widecombe/Credit Getty

Dartmoor walks

Teign Gorge, Devon

Hannicombe Wood, Dartmoormbe Wood
Hannicombe Wood and Teign Gorge in autumn/Credit: Getty

The River Teign tumbles off windswept moors, swirling and carving through a spectacular gorge overhung with crooked oaks and beeches. The fresh woodland air invigorates the soul, while the peace is occasionally broken by the chilling bellows of a stag.

Take an walk from Castle Drogo through Piddledown Common and Fingle Wood a see one of England’s largest woodland restoration projects.

Route details
  • 6.9km/4.2 miles
  • 2 hours
  • Moderate
Teign Gorge walking route and map
Teign Gorge map

Wistman's Wood, Devon

Sun falls through the canopy of Wistman's ancient oaks/Credit: Getty

Dartmoor National Park's ancient Wistman’s Wood is reached on an easy walk on a waymarked path from Two Bridges car park.

Peer in beneath the trees' lichen-covered boughs to a woodland that has remained unspoilt for hundreds of years.

Route details
  • 4.5km/2.8miles
  • 2.5 hours
  • Easy/moderate
Wistman's Wood walking route and map
Wistman's Wood map

Lydford Gorge, Devon

Lydford Gorge
Follow a bubbling Dartmoor stream along a green ravine to thrilling waterfalls and whirlpools with this circular walking route/Credit: Getty

Stretching for 1½ miles, the steep-sided Lydford Gorge is a spectacular chasm in the hills. At one end lies the impressive Devil’s Cauldron whirlpool, while the 30m (100ft)-high White Lady waterfall is at the other.

The gorge was naturally formed in the rocky hills over thousands of years, by the process of ‘river capture’, where one river merges with another, following gradual erosion of the rocks between the two. Today, the raging torrent runs through a deep chasm surrounded by trees.

Route details
  • 4.2km/2.6 miles
  • 1.5 hours
  • Easy
lydford Gorge walking route and map
Lydford Gorge map

Burrator, Devon

River near Burrator Reservoir/Credit: Getty

Rich in history and legend, Dartmoor National Park offers an exhilarating challenge for walkers and some of the most dramatic views in England, including this one from the summit of Sharpitor.

The circular route starts and finishes near the tor, taking in views of Burrator Reservoir.

Route details
  • 7.1km/4.4 miles
  • 2.5 hours
  • Moderate
Burrator walking route and map
Burrator map

Belstone, Devon

Belstone Tor on Dartmoor
The area surrounding Belstone Tor in Dartmoor National Park/Credit: Getty

Discover the delicate tones of the skylark, and many other Dartmoor delights, on this remote ramble through the national park's northern moors and tors.

Just three miles below its source, on Dartmoor’s wild north moor, the River Taw meanders gently across Taw Plain. The jagged tors of Belstone Common and the slopes of Cosdon Hill overlook this natural amphitheatre, wonderful not only for its watery beauty but also for its acoustic qualities.

Route details
  • 8.8km/5.5 miles
  • 4 hours
  • Moderate
Belstone walking route and map
Belstone walking route and map

Great Staple and White Tor, Devon

Great Staple Tor, Dartmoor/Credit: Getty

White (pronounced Whit) Tor, standing above the Tavy valley, offers a spectacular vantage point. On the broad summit, among the multitude of rocks and clitter, there are stone structures that were originally assumed to be an iron age hillfort but are more likely a neolithic enclosure – the uncertainty adds to the mystery.

More like this

It’s wonderful to explore the layers of history to be found on Dartmoor, a true palimpsest. Discover the mysterious remains with a walk from Great Staple Tor to White Tor.

Route details
  • 10.3km/6.4 miles
  • 3.5 hours
  • Moderate/hard
White Tor walking route and map
White Tor map

Hound Tor, Devon

On the summit of Hound Tor/Credit: Getty

Ghosts, witches and dragons: walkers looking for some scary stories should head for Dartmoor. This moderate walking route takes in a host of Dartmoor's famous tors – Saddle, Haytor, Howell Tor and Hound Tor.

Route details
  • 8.5km/5.2 miles
  • 3 hours
  • Moderate
Hound Tor walking map and route
Hound Tor map

Venford Reservoir and Bench Tor, Devon

Venford Reservoir in autumn
Wander around Venford Reservoir in Dartmoor National Park/Credit: Getty

Climb from the placid waters of Venford Reservoir to a grand vista overlooking the hills and valleys of Dartmoor National Park – it’s the perfect place to spread out your picnic blanket before returning via charming waterfalls.

The route
  • 2.8km/1.7 miles
  • 1.5 hours
  • Easy-moderate
Venford Reservoir walking route and map
Bench Tor map

Gutter Tor, Devon

Gutter Tor cloudscape
Gutter Tor cloudscape/Credit: Getty

The hills, moorlands and coastlines of Devon’s landscape have long provided inspiration for Britain’s authors, poets and playwrights, from Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle to Thomas Hardy and Jane Austen.


Discover the landscape that inspired Michael Morpurgo's War Horse with this four-mile walk from Gutter Tor to Higher Hartor Tor in Dartmoor National Park.

The route
  • 6.4km/3.9 miles
  • 2.5 hours
  • Easy/moderate
Gutter Tor walking route and map
Gutter tor map


Daniel Graham of COuntryfile magazine on a hike with wet hair and blue coat and hills in background
Daniel GrahamOutdoors editor, BBC Countryfile Magazine

Danny is the outdoors editor of BBC Countryfile Magazine, responsible for commissioning, editing and writing articles that offer ideas and inspiration for exploring the UK countryside.