Dartmoor National Park is 368 square miles of semi-natural landscape that has been created by thousands of years of human inhabitation. It is not just a National Park, an area protected for all to enjoy, it is a place where people live and work. It has seen many forms of industry, tin mining, farming of course and forestry but also once a potato starch factory and even now a company making weather satellite equipment! Evidence of hunting, settling and farming going back to the bronze age can still be seen today but it is the farming that has sculpted the landscape and keeps Dartmoor the way it is. Certainly it is the scenery that brings most people here but there is much more that brings them back, time and time again.
For the physically active walking, letterboxing, cycling, horse riding, climbing, fishing and kayaking are common pursuits but exploring by car, visiting museums, investigating local history, admiring local arts and crafts and just simply shopping are equally enjoyed by visitors to Dartmoor.
Thriving market towns around the edges of the moor, picturesque villages nestling in wooded valleys, and hamlets and farms dotted across the high ground all have long and fascinating histories. Towns like Widecombe-in-the-Moor, made famous by the song, Chagford with its renowned hardware stores, Princetown built around the famous Dartmoor Prison and stannary towns like Ashburton and Tavistock are places that perhaps all visitors should see at sometime. Buckfastleigh and nearby Buckfast Abbey, Buckland Monachorum and Buckland Abbey, Okehampton and Bovey Tracey are all steeped in history.