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Exploring Dartmoor Park

September 2, 2018

The end of the summer holidays is upon me and I can honestly say we have had the best time exploring so many new places! While we were staying near Torquay we took a day out to explore Dartmoor National Park, I have never been before but I have seen so many gorgeous photos of the landscape that I was excited to see it for myself.

We headed straight for one of Dartmoors most famous Tor, Haytor Rocks. It was really easy to park, there is a visitor centre where you have to pay to park, we went in but there were no spaces so drove along to the next car park which was actually closer to the rocks and free!

The sun was shining for us and it was actually quite hot, despite the wind, the perfect day for climbing the rocks as when we reached the top, the view was clear for miles. Both kids loved walking up to the rocks and climbing over the lower ones before we all took the short clamber up the main rocks, there are steps carved into the stones which help you get up but you would need to be pretty sure footed to go up. Only the boys went up to the very top as there was a leap between the rocks and Eliza just couldn’t make it, well without breaking something! She wasn’t particularly keen on going up higher so it suited everyone.

The view was amazing and so so clear, we could see for absolute miles. The rocks were fairly busy, it was a weekday in the summer holidays so I could imagine that on a weekend they could be even busier but everyone had space to run around and take photos. Including one man who did a very impressive yoga pose on one stone to have his photo taken!

Rhys particularly loved it when some rock climbers turned up, one free climbed up the steep side of the rocks and then another went up to put ropes in for the others to climb with. He has decided that it was definitely something he wanted to do when he is older, I am not sure if thats my fault for encouraging bouldering lessons or I have made it safer because at least he is learning how to do it properly?!

The kids didn’t moan once about the distance they walked, which admittedly wasn’t far but Eliza tends to moan even after a 10 metre walk so I take the win where I can. Rhys just wanted to stay forever and I can definitely see him and Christian coming back to wild camp (one of the only places you can wild camp legally) in a future summer, Eliza and I will be finding a nice comfy hotel instead!

The rocks themselves have several ledges for sitting on and the kids discovered a cave at the bottom of one of the them which was just calling to be explored, Eliza was nervous but equally curious, Rhys just wanted to climb through the smallest gaps he could find.

We did pop our heads into the visitor centre, as always there was loads of information on things to see around Dartmoor,  there was also a catering van and toilets.

We did also manage to see the Dartmoor ponies and even a gorgeous little foal who decided to have a lay down in the car park. Sadly I think these ponies have learnt that food comes from people in the car parks but no-one fed them whilst we were there.

I think we will be back in the future to discover and explore the other Tors as it is such a beautiful place! Have you ever visited?

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