fun to do kids dartmoor england   Travel for Kids
  | Devon

Dartmoor National Park

Dartmoor pony
Dartmoor immediately conjures up images of the snarling hound of the Baskervilles, tearing around the bogs at night, as in The Hound of the Baskervilles with Sherlock Holmes. But as you hike around Dartmoor National Park, kids are more likely to see chunky Dartmoor ponies grazing on the windswept moors. (Don't feed the ponies.)
  Take a hike – Dartmoor has miles and miles to explore, with Neolithic burial mounds, standing stones, ancient footpaths, old hill forts, medieval hamlets, crumbly Norman castles, old stagecoach roads, rushing river gorges, leafy woodlands, and dramatic piles of granite rocks, called tors. From the tops of the tors (Haytor, Hound Tor, Top Tor, Saddle Tor), you'll have panoramas of the Devon countryside.
      Before you start out, stop at the visitor centers to pick up maps. There are visitor and information centers in Princetown, Newbridge, Postbridge, Haytor, Ivybridge, Tavistock, Okehampton.
      Also, pony trekking or renting bikes is a fun way to explore this unique terrain.
  Morwellham Quay (near Tavistock) – Take a train into the hillside to see the old copper mine, then roam around the re-constructed village of Morwellham, once a busy port on the River Tamar. Kids can find out about child labor and working in the mines for 12 hours a day. Dress up in Victorian costumes, tour cottages, workshops, and a village school.
    Buckland Abbey – Check out the grand home of Sir Francis Drake. Originally a 13th century abbey, the buildings were incorporated into the Drake estate. At Buckland Abbey, there are exhibits about Sir Francis Drake, an Elizabethan garden and crafts workshops. (Closed Thursdays, and in winter, Buckland Abbey is open on weekends only)

Postbridge – Postbridge is the perfect place to picnic – grassy areas along a meandering river. What's to see is a medieval stone "clapper bridge" (with two big slabs of stone spanning the river). The bridge was used by pack horses carrying tin from the mines.

    Miniature Pony Centre (2 mi. west of Moretonhampstead) – Little kids will love the miniature ponies and donkeys, petting zoo with baby rabbits, guinea pigs and ducklings, plus pony rides, an indoor play area, feed the birds, lambs, and ducks.
    Buckfast Abbey – Founded in 1018, this is a real working Benedictine monastery today. The Abbey Church, which has been rebuilt, is a stunning example of 12th century architecture, with Gothic arches and geometric marble pavements.
      From Buckfastleigh station, you can take a vintage bus ride to get to Buckfast Abbey.
South Devon Railway – From Buckfastleigh, take the steam train to Totnes. The Buckfastleigh station has a railway museum and model railway, playground, picnic area and miniature train (fun for little ones). Allow time to explore Totnes, a charming town with an impressive castle and tea shops for cream teas. Next to the Totnes Station is the Totnes Rare Breeds Centre, with a petting zoo. If you have time, it's a nice walk along the river from Totnes to Staverton Bridge (and then you can pick up the train at Staverton station).
  Tip: The weather on Dartmoor is often windy, misty and rainy. Bring jackets and good shoes for walking.
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