Dartmoor is the largest open space in southern England; a vast moorland in Devon, South West England.
It is a 954 sq km area of wild open moors, granite tors, stone walls, ancient woodland and an abundance of Dartmoor ponies. Trails wind through valleys with Neolithic tombs, Bronze Age stone circles and abandoned medieval farmhouses.
High Willhays and Yes Tor, at 621 and 619m are the highest points on Dartmoor, and are the highest points in the United Kingdom south of the Brecon Beacons. Over half of the area of the National Park is over 1000ft above sea level, with large areas of high moorland and sweeping hilltops meaning a lot of the 50 and Marathon race routes are over 1’500ft above sea level - hence them collectively being called Dartmoor Highground.
The climate of Dartmoor, dominated by the south-westerly winds, is cool and wet. The high moorlands of the north west and southern central areas where the altitude exceeds 450m (1,500ft) have the most severe climatic conditions.
Dartmoor’s natural environment is unique. The granite massif rises out of the Devon lowlands to form a dramatic landscape with a distinctive geology, flora and fauna. The area boasts the largest number of archaeological remains in Europe, from stone circles and crosses to ancient villages, and is home to the rare fritillary butterfly.
Known for being a tough landscape with at times inhospitable weather, the British army has been using Dartmoor to train personnel since around 1800 and made extensive use of it during the Crimean and First World War. A permanent Camp above Okehampton was built in 1895.
Dartmoor was one of the first designated National Parks in England and Wales, to protect the area's beautiful countryside, wildlife and cultural heritage. The Dartmoor National Park Authority (DNPA) is the main governing body to conserve and manage Dartmoor. Whenever you see an opportunity to give a donation please do so!
We have worked with the DNPA to organise the Highground races in liaising with them in terms of route and timing, and also with the principle land owners the Duchy of Cornwall.
For more information see;