Dartmoor became a National Park in 1951. Heather-covered moorland and deep wooded gorges, beautiful lake-like reservoirs and tumbling rocky rivers, thriving market towns and villages, patchwork farmland and craggy granite tors, the Dartmoor National Park covers an area of 368 square miles - the largest, and wildest, area of open country in southern England.
All of Dartmoor is owned by someone but there is legal public access to over 47,000 hectares of open country and 450 miles (730km) of public rights of way. Nearly half of this is open moorland, with a further 11% covered by forests and woodland. The National Park Authority helps to look after Dartmoors natural beauty, cultural heritage and the economic and social well-being of the 33,400 people who live and work on Dartmoor.
Dartmoor is not just wild in places, its special too. There are nature reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest, endangered birds and rare plants, and thousands of archaeological sites, including burial chambers, stone circles and menhirs - more than anywhere else in North Western Europe. There are the remains of mines and quarries, ruined castles, medieval abbeys, ancient churches and bridges.