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 368 sq miles 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's landscape and weather can make it an extremely eerie place, the perfect setting for Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes tale The Hound of the Baskervilles. With its forbidding landscape and scattered prehistoric remains, this is magnificent walking country, but bring a good map: it's easy to get lost, particularly when the mist rolls in. Be aware that three separate sections of Dartmoor are leased to the Ministry of Defence and are closed for firing practice for part of the year. The ranges are marked on Ordnance Survey (OS) maps; you can check whether the route you want to walk is affected via the Firing Information Service.