Although Dartmoor can be a wildly dramatic place in winter, that first taste of spring when the leaves are unfurling and a warmth returns to the air makes a trip to the National Park one of the most uplifting, invigorating and much needed experiences for a seasonal feel-good hit
You know you want to … but just in case, here’s five good reasons to visit Dartmoor this spring.
Traversed by just a few roads, you really get a sense of being immersed in nature when you’re exploring Dartmoor. You can walk for miles and enjoy the glorious far reaching views or get lost down one of the pretty stone wall, fern-filled lanes on the edge of the moor. Look out for beautiful beech trees, their new leaves a flush of fresh green, lining the roads, or the gnarled, moss covered oaks in the famous Wistman’s Wood, which is only a mile or so from the main road at Two Bridges.
Everyone loves a picnic, especially if you’ve packed lots of foodie treats to make it extra special. Ditch the last minute sliced loaf sandwiches and packet of crisps and take just a little time to plan. Devon is spoilt for choice with its local cheeses and even charcuterie. Pick up an artisan sourdough loaf and selection of dips, pack little pots of chutney and choose a natural flavoured fruit juice, or splash out on a bottle of fizz from a South West vineyard. And remember those little essentials like a rug to sit on and a bottle opener!
The West Dart River flows through one of the most beautiful valleys on the moor, and as it’s fed by several major tributaries, it’s a popular fishing spot. Its deep pools contain brown trout and local fishermen can take you out and show you where to find them, or even help you spot salmon and sea trout. Some hotels, like the Two Bridges Hotel, have all the information and contacts you need to plan a fishing weekend on the moor.
Hit the town
The landscape alone is enough of an attraction, but the ancient town of Tavistock with it’s impressive stone buildings – a key to its wealthy past – is well worth a visit, especially to see its famous pannier market. The main Charter Market day is a Friday, but there’s alway something on in this very well known and popular indoor shopping attraction.
And if you’re heading for the open countryside, you really ought to make sure you’ve got an equally perfect place to rest and eat …
Fortunately, sister hotels the Two Bridges Hotel, which is right in the centre of the moor, and the Bedford Hotel in the market town of Tavistock, are offering a Taste of Spring break. It includes two nights’ accommodation with a full Devon breakfast each morning, a three course, seasonally inspired dinner on the first night, and a cream tea on arrival for just £65 per person, per night. Click here to find out more.