Discover challenging and dramatic walking trails shaped by the footsteps of traders, smugglers, saints and pirates. Cornish walking trails will reveal ancient tin mines, clifftop castles, timeless fishing villages and wild moors as you travel through a landscape of huge cliffs and hidden coves that goes back to the depths of time itself. In between the coastal drama, iconic harbours such as St Ives and Padstow give walkers access to some of the UK‘s best restaurants and coastal hotels. A county encircled by the wild Atlantic ocean, there is over 330 miles of spectacular world class coast path here taking you around the farthest corners of England - put simply it feels like walking on the edge of the world.
Stretching from coast to coast across the southwest of England, Devon is a richly diverse county with rugged shores and cliffs in the north, and classic Victorian seaside resorts in the south. In between you'll find tranquil green pastures, wooded gorges and the two dramatic wild moors in the National Parks of Dartmoor and Exmoor. Choose Devon for its walking variety, and you'll find that the popular image of cream teas and thatched cottages is true - but that Devon is so much more once you explore it on two feet. Coast to coast routes like the Two Moors Way will offer a journey through it all from the wild northern shores that inspired the Romantic poets to the maritime ports of the south coast.
Free your soul and clear your mind! Walking on the wild moors of these National Parks is a wonderful antidote to modern living. England's last true wilderness, Dartmoor offers 365 square miles of virtually uninhabited freedom with high moors and twisted dramatic granite tors a land of myths, ghosts and legends. Exmoor, its smaller and more gentle neighour, is 250 Square miles of near perfect and unique beauty, with high uplands swathed in heather and steep, wooded gorges and rushing streams. See Dartmoor ponies and Exmoor stags in these wildlife rich areas, home to 30 species of mammals and over 240 types of bird. The moors offer a unique opportunity for more challenging walking where the only human sound you will hear is the rhythm of your own breath.
Avoid the crowds and discover “Secret Somerset” missed by so many rushing headlong for the far South West. The 'land of the summer people' was named in a time when this area could only be visited in the summer months as the sea receded. Today its a rich, fertile and 'for real' landscape crowned by the fine walking ridges of the Mendip and Quantock Hills both protected areas of outstanding natural beauty. Rising up over King Arthur‘s Vale of Avalon along with the magical Tor at Glastonbury, walkers will find hidden gorges, wooded combes and the best inland panoramas of the South West. Also boasting its own Jurassic Coast Path, providing a gateway into the wilds of Exmoor National Park, Somerset offers walking routes without the crowds for those who want to find..... what the rest miss.
Dorset has a comfortable old world “English” feel to it and its walking routes traverse a rather more green and agricultural land of thatched cottages, cream teas.... and fossils ! Walkers here will find the more gentle rolling farmland, pretty villages and chalk ridges beloved by Thomas Hardy that sweep down to end abruptly at the World Heritage Jurassic Coast. Here, alongside the sea, those after more challenging routes can take a walking holiday through time itself amongst the dramatic chalk stacks, cliffs and arches of the Dorsetshire fossil coast. An area that can be very busy in high season but often suits walkers looking for more gentle and less exposed walking than the far west of the region.
Wales offers some of the best walking and outdoor activities to be had anywhere in the world. The 870-mile Welsh Coast Path was only fully opened in 2012 and is the world's first walk along the entire coast of a nation. The terrain is on an equally grand scale with towering cliffs, vast stretches of unspoilt golden sands, imposing castles, offshore islands and to the north there is the backdrop of Snowdonia National Park with its stunning mountains. Wales in general offers walkers great value for money compared to more popular areas like Cornwall with walking options to suit everyone, from those who want the cosmopolitan restaurants and facilities of towns like Tenby and St Davids, through to isolated and remote forests and coastal hills that sit on the very cusp of the Snowdonian Peaks. Bursting with confidence and pride in its “Welshness”, its Celtic history, language and culture there has never been a better time for walkers to enter Wales.
The South West Coast Path is the UK's longest National Trail and one of the top ten walking routes in the world. It snakes, dips and rises continuously on its way through a staggering 1014km (630 miles) of pristine coastline, 450 miles of which is through nationally protected areas. It's a challenge too; walking the entire South West Coast Path is the equivalent to scaling Mount Everest four times! From towering cliffs to hidden coves, ghostly tin mines to lush subtropical wooded creeks. One minute a dramatic rock theatre hewn out of the cliffs, the next a prehistoric fossilized forest or a 20thC Art Deco Island Hotel. What sets The South West Coast Path apart from other trails is that around almost every corner is yet another surprise as you retrace the footsteps and histories of the tin miners, fisherman, smugglers, wreckers and the customs men who chased them.
17th May 2023 - We are open for enquiries for 2023 and 2024 dates on all routes
Highlights - Crossing the heights of the National Park on The Two Moors Way via the remains of haunting Grimspound or an absorbing week circling the moors highlights and villages on the Dartmoor Way
View our Walking Map of Dartmoor
“The longer one stays here the more does the spirit of the moor sink into ones soul, its vastness and also its grim charm. When you are once out upon its bosom you have left all traces of modern England behind you".
Arthur Conan Doyle – Sherlock Holmes and The Hound of the Baskervilles
Compelling, exhilarating, challenging and never boring ! Dartmoor walking is a great antidote to modern urban life pitching you straight into England’s last remaining wilderness. A land of deep gorges, ghostly tors, churning rivers and endless mystery.
Dartmoor National park offers 365 square miles of virtually uninhabited freedom and a walking holiday over Dartmoor frees your soul and clears your mind.
The long distance walking routes below shatter the myth that the area is one large, dark and sinister bog. Mystical Stone Circles and ancient Iron Age settlements compete with pretty moorland market towns and imposing castles.
High twisted Granite Tors home to hardy wild ponies and buzzards fall away on the edge of the moor to gentle river gorges hiding otter,
kingfishers and long lost villages where time itself appears to have stood still.
Experienced walkers confident with a Dartmoor Map and compass should consider The Two Moors Way route over the moor. Tackle the high ground and ridges and for those with the time continue on over Exmoor to link the North and South Coastlines of Devon with its two National parks.
For those wanting a less demanding Dartmoor Walk then The Dartmoor Way offers a superb week or more of walking following the edges of the moor but still mixing sections of high ground and Tors with the Abbeys, Market Towns, gorges and villages that cling to the edge of the National Park. From the infamous Victorian Prison to the dramatic Castles of Drogo and Okehampton the route links the very best of the area without the full challenges of the Two Moors Way.
Encounter Walking support Self Guided Dartmoor Walking breaks and holidays throughout the year. Based just a few miles over the border in East Cornwall our staff have plenty of experience of the moor, its trails and its highlights.
Contact a Walking Advisor to discuss your ideal walk and get the best itinerary for the time you have available in this unique and unforgettable walking area.
Two Moors Way - The ultimate Devon Coast to Coast Walk enters Dartmoor National Park at Ivybridge and crosses the heart of Dartmoor to exit at Drewsteignton. On route the River Dart, ancient crosses and stone circles backed by imposing Tors and summits. Stop at the Moorland Cathedral at Widecombe, overnight in the capital of the Moor at Chagford.
Visit Castle Drogo, marvel at the Iron Age village of Grimspond, traverse ancient clapper bridges and walk high above the stunning chasm that is the Teign Gorge.
The Dartmoor Way – If you want to spend up to a week discovering Dartmoor then this is your walk. Circling the Moor the route captures a balance between some high moorland sections around Princetown with the lush river valleys and gorges on the fringes.
The walking is less demanding than the Two Moors Way but captures all the highlights of the National Park. Overnights are superb from larger Market Towns such as Tavistock and Okehampton to tiny Moorland Villages with a single welcoming inn and a roaring log fire. On route so much to see from the ancient abbey at Buckfastleigh, dramatic Castles at Okehampton, Drogo, the astounding Church perched in the heavens on top of Brent Tor and the haunting Victorian Prison famous the world over for its most inhospitable location deep in the moor.
Other Dartmoor Walking Ideas - Contact us if you need help and advice with other Devon or Dartmoor Walks
Other Walking Holiday Regions - Return to our UK Walking Routes Map to look at other walking areas.
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