Covering an area of 368 square miles (954 square km), Dartmoor contains the largest and wildest area of open country in the south of England. By virtue of its outstanding natural beauty it is one of the national parks of England and Wales.
Highest point: High Willhays 621m (2039ft) SX579893
Lowest point: Doghole Bridge 30m (98ft) SX843817
Principal Rivers and Valleys
Ashburn, Avon, Bovey, Dart, Erme, East Okement, East Webburn, Lemon, Lyd, Meavy, Plym, Tavy, Taw, Teign, Walkham, West Okement, West Webburn and the Yealm.
A large part of Dartmoor (65%) is made up of granite, an igneous rock which was intruded some 295 million years ago.
The climate of Dartmoor, dominated by the south-westerly winds, is cool and wet. The high moorlands of the north west and southern central areas where the altitude exceeds 450m (1,500ft) have the most severe climatic conditions.
Rainfall: Princetown 2150mm (83in) average Widecombe-in-the-Moor 1581mm (61in) average
Snow lie: Lowland – fewer than 5 days per annum Highland – average 15-20 days, Summits – average 30 days.
Sunshine: 3-4 hours daily average
Darmoor’s landscape is of great archaeological importance, with over 10,000 entries on the County Sites and Monuments Register. There are over 1,000 Scheduled Ancient Monuments and this figure rises each year. There are also over 2,500 buildings which are Listed because of their architectural or historic interest.
Backpackers may camp on open moor if they follow a few simple rules:-
Don’t camp in enclosed land, or within 100m of a road, out of site of dwellings, not in reservoir catchments, not in ‘recreational’ areas such as Cadover Bridge and Spitchwick. Site camping and caravans on authorized sites ONLY. Take care of yourself on the Moor!