HotSW LEP supports rural economy with £5,000 for new Dartmoor walking routes

A series of ‘Welcome to Dartmoor’ walking routes have been launched by DNPA to introduce people to Dartmoor’s history, heritage and habitats.

The routes have been developed to encourage less confident walkers explore the National Park and understand the landscape they’re seeing.

The project has been funded with £5,000 from the Heart of the West Local Enterprise Partnership (HotSW LEP) to support the rural economy and tourism.

Welcome to Dartmoor walking routes also support National Park businesses; each walk provides opportunities for people to eat and drink locally and to make it part of their Dartmoor experience.

Routes vary in distance, from 3km to a more energetic 10km, and can be downloaded for free from Dartmoor National Park’s website.

There are six routes to choose from:

  • Princetown (3km) – An easy access route that takes you on top of the moors to South Hessary Tor where people can soak in the wide expanse of the moors and far reaching views.
  • Ilsington (5km) – A wander through a timeless village and stunning green lanes with views of Haytor Rocks in the distance.
  • Hexworthy (5km) – A walk with one steep climb, taking in historic farmsteads, medieval packhorse routes and a landscape steeped in tin mining history.
  • Dartmeet (5.5km) – An exploration of the river valley of the East Dart with ancient river crossings and opportunities to learn more about Dartmoor’s mining past.
  • Buckfastleigh (5.8km) – Meander through Buckfastleigh and the Abbey village of Buckfast, discovering interesting features such as weavers’ cottages and church ruins.
  • Four Villages, near Okehampton (10km) – a longer circular walk through South Tawton, South Zeal, Sticklepath and Belstone with plenty of options for a pub pit-stop along the way.

“Lots of people are discovering and rediscovering the joys of walking, both for mental and physical good health. These routes are a perfect way for people to discover a little more about these places and enjoy food or drink in one of the local businesses too.”

 Karl Tucker, Chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership said:

“Preserving and enhancing our natural capital is integral to the LEP’s work to develop the rural economy and tourism.

“We’re keen to support our partners at Dartmoor National Park Authority in bringing increased enjoyment and understanding of the landscape and its heritage to local residents and visitors; as well as promoting our local food and drink businesses.

“Having grown up walking on Dartmoor I welcome any initiative that encourages people to explore the moor and enjoy the fantastic countryside, views and wildlife it offers. It is a truly special place, and one of the HotSW area’s world-class natural assets.”