Dartmoor is full of quiet riverbanks with babbling streams, sheltered pastures and wooded dells perfect for a family picnic, romantic feast or group gathering. You just have to know where to look.
Finding these secret places is part of the fun, but to help you along the way, we have some recommended picnic spots that are worth a try.
Burrator Reservoir is surrounded by dense woodland with views of the open moor and stark tors beyond. It is perfect for those looking to do a spot of cycling, horse riding or walking as there is an abundance of footpaths and bridleways.
This 33 acre reservoir has an early Edwardian granite dam and is located on the South Eastern edge of Dartmoor. it enjoys beautiful views over the moor and is a good starting point for some great walks. There are picnic tables around the reservoir and a trail for children. Toilet facilities are available in the car park.
A well known picnic spot, Dartmeet is right in the heart of the moor where east and west branches of the River Dart meet in a deep wooded valley. The river is wide and gushing, the banks grassy and lightly shaded from the sun by the ancient trees. The river can be crossed using the old clapper bridge and the scenery is truly spectacular. Nearby is Badgers Holt tearooms and if you are feeling like prolonging your stay, Badgers Holt and Hunter's Lodge offer fantastic self catering accommodation.
A haven for buzzards, this mix of woodland and meandering river is perfect for picnics. The moss covered riverbank offers an ideal place to stretch out and dangle your feet in the cold water on a hot summer day. Nearby Postbridge boasts a superb clapper bridge, East Dart Hotel (for a cold beer), a local village shop for those basics that got left at home, and Dartmoor National Park Visitor Centre.
Fernworthy attracts many visitors. The reservoir with the forest all around make an ideal picnic spot, and the easy access and parking allow most people the chance to do a pleasant walk in pretty surroundings.
Head for Spitwich Common, a popular picnic spot, where there is a waterfall at one end and a natural Jacuzzi at the other. There are rapids and a grassy area that is made for picnics.
The remains of the largest castle in Devon, in an outstandingly picturesque setting on a wooded spur above the rushing River Okement. Set beside the grand castle ruins, the picnic area takes the form of an open meadow with tables. There is parking, refreshments and toilets, and guided walks of the castle are a must do. From here there are various cycle and hikling routes, and the town of Okehampton is a short distance away.
Spectacular gorge walk including 90ft White Lady Waterfall, Whirlpools & Devils Cauldron. Excellent for a spot of wild swimming or paddling in the lagoons. If you don't fancy a picnic then the tearoom is full of home made specialities. Throughout the summer there is an abundance of wildlife and lush nature all around. Take advantage too of the many events and activities for all the family.
*With all areas on Dartmoor, please be aware that the land is owned by somebody. Please take care to only venture onto common land or areas with a public right of way. In addition, we want Dartmoor to prosper and remain for our children and our children's children to enjoy. Please look after it and always leave your chosen spot better than when you arrived. Only footprints should remain after your stay.