Discover Dartmoor
Devon

Guided Walking Holiday - 7 Nights

Rocky tors, wonderful woodlands and open moors. Dartmoor is a classic walking location. 

dartmoor tor

Next departures:

Key info:

Highlights:

    • Walking the remote high moorlands, granite tors and deep valleys in Dartmoor National Park. 
    • Staying in this unique location: Buckfast Abbey, in comfortable accommodation, close to the river Dart. 
    • Discovering the history and stories of this little-known gem in the heart of England.

Prices:

The costs for this seven-night holiday including: Guided walking, bed & breakfast plus two dinners are as follows:
Standard Double / Twin Room – £833 per person for single occupancy and £642 per person for double and twin occupancy.
Double rooms can be made into twin rooms.

To secure a place on this holiday, a deposit of £200 is required upon booking (non refundable after 22 March 2022). The balance is due on the 22nd March. 

Dartmoor National Park:

Rocky tors, wonderful woodlands, and vast open moors. Introducing a new summer walking holiday to a unique and beautiful National Park: Dartmoor in Devon.

Dartmoor forms part of the granite backbone of the southwest peninsula and extends over much of south Devon. There are 365 square miles of which much is a relatively wild area, and one of tremendous beauty which was in 1951 designated a National Park. The moors are split into Southern and Northern sections, and for Discover Dartmoor we are based in the Southern Moor. Most of the moor is over 1000ft  above sea level, with an average of 1200ft. An iconic part of the Dartmoor geography are the ‘tors’ –  outcrops of granite, usually on top of a hill  with each having its own unique and distinct formation.  Dartmoor has 160 of these tors.

Included in this holiday are comfortable B&B, guided walking from a professional and knowledgeable leader, and dinner at the hotel on two evenings.

Join me for guided walks in the on Dartmoor….

Dartmoor map

Daily Itinerary:

Here is the day-by-day itinerary, click on the day to learn more.

Check-in is from 15:00. Meet at 18:00 in reception for introductions and for a briefing about the following day, then we enjoy our dinner together in the restaurant of Northgate House Hotel (included).

Distance: 10.5 miles / 17km. Ascent/ descent: 582m / 1909ft.

Today we head north, to the road that divides the southern and northern parts of the moor in two. Starting from the visitors centre car park at Postbridge, there will be time to visit before our walk today. The northern part of the moor is more remote, and this is where we will be walking today. Our aim is to seek out the ancient stone circles called Grey Wethers, as well as some hut circles of a bronze age dwelling. We will take our lunch out on Sittaford tor, close to where a 4,000 year old grave was excavated which contained the remains of an important bronze age woman, wrapped in a brown bear skin.

We will meet at 19:00 again to discuss the following days arrangements, before our dinner at the hotel (included).

Distance: 11 miles / 17.7km. Ascent/ descent: 680m / 2230ft.

Today’s walk is full of variety. We journey up high to begin, and seek out the famous Bowerman’s Nose before heading down through the natural wooded landscape to the depths of the Lustleigh Cleave, a steep valley with the Bovey, a rushing river at its bottom. Lustleigh village, with its ancient hut circles, iron age fort and Saxon church is certainly a very delightful place to enjoy a lunchtime picnic before continuing onto the Cleaves eastern ridge, with dramatic glancing views across the moors. In Springtime and early summer these areas are often coloured by native flowers.

Distance: 10 miles / 16km. Ascent/ descent: 400m / 1312ft.

Parking at the Two Bridges Hotel, we start our circular walk from there. We take the route by the West Dart river, heading towards the National Nature Reserve of Wistman’s Wood, a very special place where there are ancient Oak trees festooned with lichens and mosses. The summit tor of Longaford has spectacular 360 degree views, and from there we traverse past the old gunpowder mills. A walk through the tree plantation takes us to Bellover tor, site of an ancient settlement. We will take stepping stones across the river and cross a clapper bridge before finishing this classic walk.

Today is a rest day, free day. There are no organised activities planned on this day, however some suggestions are below and your leader can help with other ideas and suggestions during the tour:  

Just 20 minutes’ walk away is the South Devon Railway station at Buckfastleigh. Take a relaxing journey in a steam train to the charming little town of Totnes. The route travels beside the river Dart most of the way, and Totnes is a great place to visit: there is an ancient castle on the hill, many riverside footpaths and a wonderful town with many interesting old buildings and shops.

Just next door to Buckfastleigh station are ‘Dartmoor Otters and Butterflies’, another great attraction in the area.

A trip to the coast by car is easy to plan.

Distance: 9.8 miles / 16km. Ascent/ descent: 757m / 2483ft.

An absolute classic walk, sheer beauty on high ground. This day of the  Discover Dartmoor tour is named ‘Mini Ten Tors’ after the annual Ten Tors challenge on the moors. We will visit ten tors during the day, and much more besides. Haytor is our start and finish, where we will see  the remains of the Haytor Granite tramway before visting the old quarry. Below Houndtor there are the remains of a medieval settlement, in this area we can see an old village which contained longhouses.

Distance: 8.5 miles / 13.8km. Ascent/ descent: 545m / 1804ft.

Remote and off the beaten track, we start from the pretty little village of Holne which boasts a 12th century church and some ancient, braced Yew trees in the churchyard. En route up to the high moor, there are wonderful views, and in Springtime colourful flowers. On the moor we pass olde tin mine workings and  china clay works before we arrive at Ryders Hill, our high point for the day. Snowden looks nothing like its Welsh namesake.We head off the moor via Pupers Hill and the village of Scorriton, and then onto Holne. There is a village pub and/ or café to visit before heading back.

The tour will finish with our final breakfast, after which we will part ways.

Departing frog with suitcase

Please note that if weather conditions are bad, or conditions change locally then it may be necessary to diverge from a part of the programme at short notice. Please be assured that every effort will be made to keep to the advertised programme.

Our Accommodation:

NORTHGATE HOUSE HOTEL: Buckfast Abbey, Grange Road, Buckfast, Devon TQ11 0EG.

Located in the idyllic Buckfast Abbey estate on the edge of Dartmoor, we will be staying at Northgate House Hotel, where you will find a modern guesthouse in a tranquil setting. The Abbey and gardens are just two minutes’ walk away, and we are in the same valley where the river Dart flows.

Our rooms are all modern, quiet and comfortable with en-suite bathrooms, tea/ coffee making facilities, hairdryers, TV and highspeed WIFI throughout. Northgate also has ample free parking. Our accommodation also has a bar and restaurant on site.

Our package includes standard double rooms, with a full breakfast included from 07:00 each day. Superior rooms may be available at an extra cost, and upon request.

Dinners:

Two dinners are Included in the cost of the holiday, and these will be at our hotel. Your leader will be organising dinners on the other five evenings at local pubs and restaurants. Details of the restaurants will be sent out before the tour and in order to facilitate booking, you will be asked to advise the leader if you would like to come. These dinners are not included in the cost of the holiday. 

Additional Information:

Booking conditions:

The terms and conditions for this tour are slightly different from the other tours we have operated; this is to fall in line with Newgate House Hotel T&Cs. I have rooms reserved up until 3 months before the start of the tour (22 March). After this point the rooms are released into general sale.
I will therefore need a £200 deposit to secure a place upon booking, then full payment must be made by Tuesday 22nd March.

To book, you may either ring me on 07979 501887 or if you prefer, you can email me julian@wilkeswalks.co.uk and I will get back to you.

You will need to pay a deposit of £100 to secure your place. The final balance will be due 8 weeks before departure.

All payments can be made via BACS. Please ensure you put your surname and initial as a reference.

Account details:

Sort code: 11-03-67

Account number: 13435862

Reference (surname and initial)

This is not an exhaustive list but highlights the main requirements.
Please note, some of the tracks can be boggy after prolonged rain.

Essential Items

  • Waterproof walking-boots, properly worn in and which provide good grip
  • Waterproof jacket and over trousers
  • Rucksack
  • Gloves and a warm hat
  • Water bottle – 1 ltr
  • Sunscreen and sun hat
  • Several layers of clothing – which can be added or removed as required


Recommended items

  • Gaiters – these can be useful after rain
  • Personal first aid kit
  • Sit Mat
  • Specialist walking socks



Optional items

  • Blister kit
  • Flask for hot drinks
  • Walking poles (can be useful)

Buckfast lies just off the A38. The nearest mainline train station is Totnes, a taxi can be organised to get to Buckfast – speak to us before the holiday and we can book one at a reasonable price.

 

All walks are covered by the following map. I have a copy of this map to show you each evening in our briefings.

1:25:000. OL28 Explorer Map. Dartmoor