Dartmoor National Park
Lonely Planet review
At first glance, Dartmoor can come as something of a shock to the senses. The largest stretch of open moorland in the southwest, Dartmoor covers an area of 945sq km (368sq mi) between Plymouth and Exeter. It's a stark, wild and bleakly beautiful place, dotted with granite-topped hills, marshy bogs and patches of purple heather, as well as many weirdly shaped tors.
Dartmoor encloses some of the wildest, bleakest country in England: suitable terrain for the Hound of the Baskervilles (one of Sherlock Holmes' more notorious foes). The landscape and weather can make this an extremely eerie place; try not to think of An American Werewolf in London on a dark, foggy night. With its forbidding landscape and scattered prehistoric remains, it's magnificent walking country, but bring a good map: it's easy to get lost, particularly when the mist rolls in. Be aware that the northwestern section of Dartmoor, including High Willhays and Yes Tor, is leased to the Ministry of Defence and is closed for firing practice for part of the year.