Camping in Dartmoor National Park

These rugged southern moorlands are home to castle ruins, glassy lakes, and wild ponies.

96% (933 reviews)
96% (933 reviews)

Popular camping styles for Dartmoor National Park

Dog-friendly getaways

Under £50

12 top campsites in Dartmoor National Park

100%
(63)

Meldon Lake and Woods

5 units · Motorhomes, Tents8 acres · Okehampton, Devon, South West England
Seriously simple but beautiful wild camping beside a lake on Dartmoor
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£20
 / night
93%
(201)

Sweet Hill Farm

10 units · Motorhomes, Tents1 acre · Dorset, South West England
Simple, almost-wild, seaside camping on the Isle of Portland
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£12
 / night
90%
(62)

Surf Pods and Camping at Atlantic Farm

50 units · Glamping, Motorhomes, Tents1 acre · Bude, Cornwall, South West England
Glamping near Bude, with eye-catching eco-pods, a staggering treehouse for couples and traditional tent camping
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£26
 / night

Wonton Park Camping

15 units · Motorhomes, Tents2 acres · England
Family friendly and spacious site for camping, caravans and motorhomes. As a family-run business, Wonton Park Camping is more than just a place to pitch your tent or park your campervan or caravan. We are a new campsite committed to providing our visitors with a unforgettable experience, exploring the beautiful South Devon countryside. With excellent access from the main road, our campsite is perfect for families, couples or solo travellers. Pets welcome too. Flushing toilets, showers, hot water, washing up facilities. water points and chemical disposal point.
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£20
 / night
85%
(10)

The Enchanted Wilderness

5 units · Tents22 acres · England
On the south-western edge of Dartmoor, Devon, in England A utopian setting on the River Tamar near Tavistock, set in an AONB and SSSI not far from Dartmoor National Park. With an owner passionate about the natural countryside and environment, there are 22 acres of woodland and pastures that cradle the campsite. With views to Cornwall on the other side of the river. Untouched for the last 40-50 years by anything other than the local sheep and fauna. Bees and wild flowers are bountiful. With hillsides of wild garlic, primroses and bird-song. A host of wild birds and bees. Otters, deer, muntjac, and hedgehogs are regular visitors. And the owls play an orchestra most evenings. Amazing views can be seen in either direction and a plethora of outdoor activities are available on your doorstep: fishing, sailing, hiking, surfing, swimming. Amidst Devon's embrace By Jose Lavelle Amidst Devon's embrace, where riverside whispers flow, Lies the Enchanted Wilderness, where nature's secrets grow. A tapestry of wildflowers dance upon the land, As if painted by brushstrokes of an artist's gentle hand. The riverside meanders, its melody serene, Caressing the hearts of all who venture to this scene. Where farmland stretches wide, with gentle rolling hills, They whisper tales of history, and dreams that time fulfils. Beneath the ancient oaks, where tranquility resides, The Enchanted Wilderness enchants, with all its hidden tides. Birdsongs fill the air, a symphony so sweet, As sunlight dances softly, shining at nature's feet. Devon's haven of peace, where wildlife freely roam, Where dreams are born midst wildflowers that gracefully comb. The Enchanted Wilderness, a place where spirits thee, Find solace in its embrace, as nature sets them free. So come, wanderers and dreamers, to this enchanted shore, Where wildflowers sway and riverside stories lore. Let Devon's wilderness, with its magic untold, Embrace your weary heart, and enchant your very soul.
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£28
 / night
97%
(169)

South Dean Camping

70 units · Motorhomes, Tents12 acres · Barnstaple, Devon, South West England
Clifftop camping with epic sea views, right next to Exmoor National Park.
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£35
 / night
97%
(38)

Hideaway Camping

17 units · Glamping, Motorhomes, Tents24 acres · Okehampton, England
Carefree camping and glamping in Devon with a nature-friendly setting and imaginative owners
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£13
 / night
99%
(70)

Bush Farm Campsite

50 units · Motorhomes, Tents200 acres · Saltash, England
As close to wild camping as you can get on a rewilded 200-acre farm in Cornwall
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£12
 / night
Booked 1 time

Willow Valley Holiday Park

33 units · Glamping, Motorhomes, Tents4 acres · England
This peaceful, sheltered site has a special character. The site is the ideal place to unwind with plenty of safe space, a meandering river and friendly atmosphere. It offers 4 acres with facilities, 7 acres of wilderness, shower block, level pitches, picturesque river, children’s playground and has been rated AA 4 star gold pennant. Chris and Jen both love Cornwall and were married just down the coast in Rock in 2017. After that, they looked for an opportunity to move to Cornwall and Willow Valley has provided the perfect opportunity. There are always ongoing improvements being made so make sure you keep in touch. Any returning campers will be glad to know we aren’t changing the campsite itself though. Why would we when it is already so perfect!
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£22
 / night
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(4)

Dittisham Hideaway

10 units · Glamping10 acres · Downton, England
Treehouses, lodges, and an Airstream, a mile from South Devon's River Dart.
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£195
 / night
99%
(89)

Kingsmead Camping

36 units · Glamping, Motorhomes, Tents10 acres · Devon, England
A range of pitches, from grassy open spaces to off-grid woodland clearings, topped off by two well-stocked fishing lakes
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£29
 / night
97%
(118)

Cornish Tipi Holidays & Camping

127 units · Glamping, Motorhomes, Tents20 acres · Cornwall, South West England
Wake up to the sound of birdsong, go swimming before breakfast in the clear water of a secluded lake. Cook your bacon and eggs over an open fire while you plan your day, or just laze it away in the peace and quiet of your own personal tipi. You can always go fishing tomorrow, and walk along the cliffs the day after that… The site is a unique woodland valley folded around a clear, spring-fed lake created from the old Tregildrans Quarry. Our tipis and tent pitches are dotted about this secret 20 acres full of ferns, bluebells, oak and meadowsweet. Left in peace for many years there's been no modern chemicals or poisons on the land, meaning we've got bluebells, dormice, Red Admirals and shy woodland Jays for you to spot. It’s a place set apart from the rush and clutter of the modern holiday experience, with an atmosphere that makes you forget the world outside, and just lounge, ramble, or potter about in a boat. We're committed to giving you a genuinely individual service from first contact to your time staying with us. We established CTH in 1996. This was the first and we believe still is the best tipi holiday site in the UK. We know our area inside out and can always help with local knowledge or contacts if you need them. We want to offer our guests a sustainable holiday. A return to real camping means the lowest possible impact on the land and environment - our tipi poles don’t even break the surface of the earth. Your footprint while here could only be bettered by a survival expert. You don't have to fly! a major bonus, and we source all our wood, fish and canvas locally and work with local people wherever possible.
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£25
 / night

Star Hosts in Dartmoor National Park

Available this weekend

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Camping in Dartmoor National Park guide

Overview

With windswept tors, river gorges, and vast open moorlands blazing with purple heather—Dartmoor’s wild landscapes were made for exploring. Miles of hiking, biking, climbing, and horseback riding trails lead to hilltop lookouts, crumbling ruins, and hidden waterfalls. Look out for herds of native Dartmoor ponies grazing the moors, enjoy fishing or kayaking along the lakes, or join in the local tradition of letterboxing to search Dartmoor for hidden treasures. For a change of pace, hop aboard for a ride on the South Devon steam railway or stop by one of the park’s villages for a traditional Devonshire cream tea. Camping is the natural way to holiday in this Devonshire landscape, and we’ve been up in the high moorland and down in river valleys to find the best places to stay. In Devon and Dartmoor, campsites vary with the landscape, from woodland sites to places with riverside pitches. Campsites tend to be around the edges of the national park, as the great swathes of land within its boundaries have little by way of infrastructure or population. This is especially true in the north of Dartmoor, one of only a few areas where wild camping is allowed. Hideaway Camping on the northern borders of Dartmoor is just one spot with camping to suit all tastes—check into a caravan, shepherd’s hut, or igloo, or pitch your tent under the trees.

Dartmoor National Park Wildlife

Dartmoor wildlife is truly special—the most obvious are the free-roaming Dartmoor ponies. They’ve lived here since prehistoric times as such a symbol of the park that they are featured on the park logo. The way they graze out on the moor helps create special habitats for other plants, insects, birds, and animals too. During a Dartmoor camping holiday, you can look out for all sorts of fascinating wildlife from moorland birds to otters and (who would have guessed it) the world’s largest slug—the ash black, which can grow to up to 20 centimetres.

Top towns and villages in Dartmoor

Much of Dartmoor is sparsely populated, but area market towns and villages offer historic sites, shops, and amenities worth the trip.

  • Around the park’s fringes are lots of places to visit too, from Plymouth on Devon’s south coast to the easy-going and historic market town of Totnes.
  • Within the park itself, places that act as magnets for visitors are Postbridge, with its medieval stone bridge and national park visitor centre; Princetown, from where you can enjoy walks and cycle rides on a disused railway line; and Okehampton, with its access to the park’s highest tors.
  • Widecombe-in-the-Moor features tea rooms that are just right for a Devonshire cream tea (cream on top of jam, obviously).
  • On the park’s western edge in the Tamar Valley is Tavistock, the birthplace of Sir Francis Drake. Part of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape has been recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Top things to do in Dartmoor

There’s lots to do when you’re camping in Dartmoor.

  • For more advice, head to the national park visitor centres at Haytor, Princetown, and Postbridge. If you’re looking for walks, you won’t be disappointed with the hour-long routes from each of the centres.
  • Very similar to geocaching but with roots in the 19th century, the Dartmoor pastime of letterboxing challenges adventurers to get out on the moor and find a “letterbox” where you can stamp a book to say you’ve visited.
  • Although cyclists won’t be able to wheel through Dartmoor’s open-access land, it shouldn’t restrict their fun. There are plenty of quiet lanes and more than 200 miles of bridleways and byways that also make horse riding a fantastic way to get around.
  • Dartmoor’s granite tors make it an attractive destination for climbing and bouldering—Haytor Fur Tor, Bonehill Rocks, and Dewstone are some highlights.
  • The rivers Dart, Teign, and Taw all rise in Dartmoor, meaning that there are plenty of opportunities for water lovers, from kayaking and canoeing to wild swimming and fishing.
  • It’s almost impossible to tire of exploring Dartmoor’s natural highlights but if you manage it, look to some of the manmade features in the national park. The National Trust offers Castle Drongo and Buckland Abbey in addition to some of the most beautiful natural highlights of the park,  including the Lydford Gorge with its 30-metre waterfalls.
  • Families and wildlife lovers will be thrilled to see free-roaming Dartmoor ponies, and there’s more horsey fun at the Miniature Pony Centre. For exotic animals, head to Dartmoor Zoo.
  • There’s more family fun just outside the southern edge of Dartmoor on the South Devon Railway, which has vintage trains running from Buckfastleigh to Totnes.
  • It’s a drive of about half an hour to reach the south coast beaches of Torbay.

Tips for snagging a campsite

  1. Popular Dartmoor National Park holiday parks and caravan sites can book up quickly, especially in July and August, and during school holidays. Early bookings (at least three months in advance) are recommended for visits during these times.
  2. Check access to campsites if you’re travelling with a caravan or large motorhome—Dartmoor lanes are sometimes narrow and tricky to navigate. 
  3. Be sure to check seasonal opening and closing dates, which vary by campsite. Many campsites open from March or April through September or October, while others stay open year-round.

When to go

Summer is the high season in Dartmoor National Park, when crowds peak in July and August. Arrive early at popular attractions to avoid queues, and book activities in advance to avoid disappointment. Outdoor activities are possible year-round, but pack for all seasons—rain, fog, and high winds are common in the moorlands, and the weather can turn quickly, even in summer.

Know before you go

  • Dartmoor National Park is one of the few places in the UK where wild camping is permitted for tents only. Tents must be pitched away from roads and attractions, and large group camping is not allowed.
  • Dartmoor National Park is in Devon along the M5 motorway. It’s about a 30-minute drive or train ride from Exeter or Plymouth.
  • Several car parks dot the park, many of which are pay-and-display. The Haytor Hoppa hop-on, hop-off bus also operates around eastern Dartmoor from May through September.
  • Many small towns and villages can be found throughout the park, so you’re never far from a shop, pub, or information point. The main Dartmoor visitor centres are in Princetown, Haytor, and Postbridge.
  • Dartmoor has many wheelchair-accessible trails and attractions. 
  • Dartmoor has free-roaming ponies, sheep, and cattle, which have the right of way on moorland roads. A strict speed limit of 40 mph applies throughout. It is a fineable offence to feed any animals in the park, and visitors are advised to keep a distance for their own safety—these are feral animals that may kick or bite.

Top counties in and near Dartmoor National Park

Top towns in and near Dartmoor National Park

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