Dartmoor National Park offers a wide variety of things to do within its 368 square miles. Here are a few popular suggestions:
Hiking and biking
With more than 500 miles of paths and cycle routes, Dartmoor is a great place for hiking, hill-walking, orienteering or mountain biking. Walking on Dartmoor is excellent. Choose from a challenging trek across the windswept moors, with just the wild ponies for company, or take a more relaxed stroll through secluded woods.
From the High Moorland Visitor Centre, pick up the Princetown audio walk. It is an excellent guide around the 10km (6mile) route and offers information about points of interest along the way.
The rural lanes around Dartmoor provide pleasant routes for mountain biking, or choose a rugged off-road experience, using an Off Road Cycling Map which grades all the routes. The Drake's Trail cycle network links Plymouth, Yelverton, Horrabridge and Tavistock along traffic-free trails.
Water sports activities
Dartmoor has some fast-flowing rivers which offer great canoeing and white water rafting opportunities. The River Dart runs through the national park and is home to all types of birds and wildlife and is popular for recreational boating and fishing. You will need to purchase a Duchy of Cornwall permit before fishing for wild brown trout, sea trout and salmon, which taste great cooked on the grill back at your self-catering holiday rental.
Arts and crafts
Dartmoor has been the inspiration for writers, poets, artists and novelists for centuries. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote The Hound of the Baskervilles while staying at the Duchy Hotel in Princetown. The area has some scenic spots for artists to capture on canvas, providing a perfect souvenir of your relaxing holiday in Devon.
Golfers will love the variety of holes on offer at Wrangaton Golf Club. It has nine moorland holes and nine parkland holes, all with panoramic views across the beautiful South Hams countryside.
Dartmoor letterboxing and geocaching
Treasure hunting always turns a walk into an adventure, especially for children. If you have a handheld GPS you can use it to locate geocaches, but Dartmoor letterboxing is unique to Dartmoor. Guidebooks can be bought in the area listing the clues to the letterbox locations which usually hold a visitor's book for signing and a rubber stamp. Once you have discovered the letterbox, stamp the proof in your finder's record book then hide the stamp and visitor's book again for the next seeker.
Wherever you stay in Dartmoor, there will be stables close by. Take a trek on horseback for half a day and enjoy this lovely location. Local pubs obligingly provide hitching posts and outdoor tables for riders to dismount and enjoy some refreshment along the way.