The old Duchy Hotel is the home to the main Dartmoor National Park Visitor centre. With wide ranging and interactive exhibitions on cultural heritage and the natural environment you can discover what makes Dartmoor so special and delve in to the thousands of years of history.
Entering the former hotel’s ballroom you can enjoy regularly changing exhibitions from local artists and groups. The ballroom also has Conan Doyle’s ‘study’.
A former hotel guest, Conan Doyle was inspired by his surroundings and subsequently wrote some of ‘Hound of the Baskervilles’ whilst staying here. As well as also having the opportunity to dress up as Sherlock or Dr Watson, you can also have your photo taken in the guise of other famous Princetown residents, the inmates of Dartmoor Prison!
From the ballroom you can also explore the Dartmoor Conservation garden, a microsm of Dartmoor with bronze age cists, medieval crosses, and a Quern stone. An area to explore or simply relax and have your picnic.
Further on, the Centre (which has a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence) currently has Dartmoor artefacts ‘Finding Prehistory’ on loan from Plymouth Museum. There is a also a dedicated ‘childrens’ room for children of all ages where you can dress up, find out about the National Park Junior Ranger club and also learn more about Dartmoor myths and legends. Finally, the Centre also has a cinema room which has a changing programme of short films.
Having discovered so much about Dartmoor there is the opportunity to take home a Dartmoor souvenir, a present from one of the Dartmoor Range producers or buy a map or guide book to discover more.
Open year round this centre is a must on your Dartmoor itinerary!
Opening Hours –
From 1 September opening times will be:
Princetown – open daily 10am-4pm
Postbridge – open daily 10am-4pm
Haytor – open daily 10am-4pm
Staff may need to close the Centre briefly for lunch – re-opening times will be made clear on the door sign.
Is Dartmoor Beautiful?
25 April – 6 June
This thought-provoking collaboration of work between photographer Chris Bloodworth and Hyde Park Junior School explores the conflict of beauty and waste when visitors leave their trace on Dartmoor.
Dartmoor Arts Live
7 June – 2 September
Through photographs and words, Carol Ballenger, John Powls and Arts Live colleagues will be celebrating 25 years of Dartmoor-inspired projects. With performances and a parallel exhibition running throughout August at MAKE Southwest (formerly Devon Guild of Craftsmen.)
3 September – 26 November
Immerse yourself in this exciting exhibition of artwork and poetry inspired by experiences on Dartmoor. A collaboration of creative work by local artists and writers from Contemporary Markmakers and Moor Poets.
Christmas on Dartmoor
26 November – 5 January 2021
Dartmoor is home to a wealth of artistic talent and there is no better time to showcase these than at Christmas. Celebrate the festive period with Dartmoor’s artisans, see how Dartmoor inspires them and buy a unique local gift.
6 January 2023 – March 2023
Dartmoor has endless opportunities to connect with nature and enhance our health and wellbeing. Be inspired by our exhibition full of ideas of how you can start your journey of well-being on Dartmoor.
Facilities for Visually Impaired
Guide Dogs permitted
Toilets for Disabled Visitors