Criss-crossed with multiple walking and cycling routes, discovering Dartmoor National Park without a car is a delight. Exploring by bike or foot enables visitors to take in quiet wooded valleys, sparkling streams and the famous granite peaks. If planning to discover Dartmoor without a car, both rail and coach can help. National public transport lines will get you to the edge of the national park. Local services can take walkers further to connect with circular and linear trails.
The peak season bus service Haytor Hoppa takes visitors on a circular, scenic route around Dartmoor’s eastern side. Connecting directly to public footpaths, this seasonal service allows passengers to hop on and off at points of interest. The service gives visitors the freedom to explore on their own. Departing from Newton Abbot, which has a mainline railway station, walkers are able to explore freely without needing to drive. Dogs are welcome too and travel for free!
Local buses from Exeter and Okehampton have recently opened up more areas of Dartmoor to walkers and the new Dartmoor Explorer bus service improves access for walkers and backpackers. This service connects Exeter to Plymouth via a route across the central moor, stopping at villages along the way which marked walking trails can be taken. One such trail – the High Moor Link – crosses over the moor to Buckfast passing close by to Langstone Manor Park.
Walkers are welcome to reserve a pitch and make use of the facilities such as hot showers or grab a drink and bite to eat at the bar and manor house where meals are served daily from 5.30 pm.
If planning to explore by bike, rail is a better option for getting close to the many cycle trails around and across the moor. The Tamar Valley Line from Plymouth is an excellent service for cyclists wishing to explore Dartmoor. This scenic route stops at the villages of Bere Ferrers, Bere Alston, Calstock and terminates at Gunnislake. A short ride from each of these stations can connect visitors to the Dartmoor Way cycle path.
The Dartmoor Way circular cycle path stretches for 108miles and covers Dartmoor’s circumference. Ivybridge railway station gives cyclists direct access to the trail. The whole route can easily be covered over a 10-day break and is dotted with multiple camping grounds and Bed and Breakfast accommodation. The route can be enjoyed year-round. Those choosing to visit in winter should prepare for inclement weather and snow.
Exploring Dartmoor National park without a car is a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life to recharge and connect with nature.