Every month we’ll be coming up with a new place to go on a road trip in the UK. April is a great time to go away, especially if you’re travelling into the countryside. Dartmoor is a wonderful place to visit, as it features rolling hills, granite outcrops and flowing rivers. The area is a place of history and legend, giving off a mystique that’s captivated travellers for hundreds of years. Whether you’re interested in nature or geology, there’s something for everyone to see.
A tor is a granite outcrop and Hound Tor is one of the most impressive. It consists of two rock masses that provide a stunning view of the moorlands. The tor is said to have been the inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Hound of the Baskervilles. As a result, the place is surrounded in mystery. Local stories tell of a spectral black dog that appears and vanishes around the site. Nearby, there’s an abandoned medieval village that can be visited.
Dartmoor Prison Museum
Located in Princetown, the Dartmoor Prison Museum offers an insight into what early prison life was like. Notorious inmates like The Mad Axemen, Frank Mitchell and the Acid Bath Murderer were confined at one point. The museum features a number of makeshift weapons like a razor mounted on the tip of a toothbrush. Confiscated escape gear is also on display. One of the most amusing artifacts is the knotted bed sheets once used in an escape attempt.
Ashburton is one of Dartmoor’s most picturesque towns. Some of the best things to see include the Ashburton Museum and the Parish Church of St Andrew. The museum contains items of local interest and a large collection of Native American artifacts. The church is a distinguished building and has a majestic tower. At the bottom of the tower is the grave of a French Officer Prisoner of War who died a month after the Battle of Waterloo.
Grimspound is the best known of Dartmoor’s prehistoric settlements. The ruins date from the late Bronze Age and feature the remains of 24 stone roundhouses. They are surrounded by a large boundary wall. The ruins are beautifully preserved and will transport you back to the time of Bronze Age settlers.
Animal lovers are sure to appreciate the chance to get up close and personal with birds of prey. The Dartmoor Hawking Experience is located in North Bovey and is one of the few private falconry centres in the world. Visitors will be able to fly a range of birds, including falcons, hawks and eagles.
Riding your bike across the moorlands is an incredible experience. Whether you want to admire the tors, or stop in Ashburton, there’s plenty to see and do. Before you go travelling, it can be useful to get the right insurance coverage for your bike.