If you follow the River Dart from the coast back inland up towards its source, you'll reach Dartmoor National Park. There's no shortage of self-catering accommodation in this area, with converted barns, lodges, and rustic cottages of various sizes. Look out for 'pets welcome' cottages if you're planning to bring a furry friend to explore this beautiful part of inland Devon with you. With over 47,000 hectares of open country and 450 miles of public rights of way, there's plenty to explore and some excellent remote Dartmoor holiday cottages ideal for a walking holiday!
Dartmoor is a walker's paradise, with heather-covered moorland, craggy granite tors, deep wooded gorges and clear tumbling rivers. It's not just vast countryside though, there are numerous sites of scientific and historic interest, including burial grounds, castles and stone circles. Climb to the top of one of Dartmoor's tors and you'll be standing on rock that has been 280 million years in the making; the rocks were squeezed up as molten granite through the bed of a prehistoric ocean. Birdwatchers will enjoy walks across the heathland, which is home to the endangered red grouse and ring ouzel, as well as meadow pipits, stonechats and skylarks. The lower grasslands are grazed by cattle, sheep and ponies.
Plenty of safe, traffic-free trails make Dartmoor good cycling country, and there are rugged routes which will suit serious mountain bikers. Horse-riding is also popular here, and there are stables scattered across the area if you're not bringing your own horse. The granite Tors also provide good opportunities for climbing. Whether you're in Dartmoor walking, cycling, riding or climbing, you'll find welcoming villages, and plenty of cosy pubs to relax in afterwards. Choose a Dartmoor holiday cottage with an open log fire, and all the creature comforts you need to warm up after a hard day's exploring!