“ I have never before, in my long and eclectic career, been gifted with such an abundance of natural beauty as I experienced filming War Horse on Dartmoor.” Steven Spielberg.

Autumn on Dartmoor

I don’t know about you, but living in Devon my absolute favourite time of year is the autumn. On Dartmoor, of course every season has its highlights and pleasures, but somehow the slowing of the pace of life, the incredible leaf colours and those magical misty mornings of September and October just can’t be beaten.

Whatever you love to do when you visit Devon and make your way onto Dartmoor National Park, there is just so much to enjoy. At this time of year – the herds of wild ponies are being ‘drifted in’ to the farms so that the foals can be weaned and the mares turned back out, and watching this age old spectacle is very exciting! You can learn more about the different types of ponies HERE.

The temptation of a crackling log fire after a brisk walk enjoying the red and golden glow of the turning leaves and fading ferns cannot be ignored! Many of our wonderful Dartmoor pubs, hotels, cafes and tea rooms offer the real luxury of a wood burning stove or open fire, I’m sure they make that cream tea taste all the more delicious! The choice of places to eat and drink is extensive on Dartmoor, you can see them all HERE.

We have created a Delicious Dartmoor map to make life easy for you, which can be viewed or downloaded HERE, or you can pick one up at the National Park Visitor Centres or from Tourist Information Centres in Tavistock, Bovey Tracey, Okehampton or Moretonhampstead.

If you’d like to head out for a walk across some beautiful Dartmoor landscapes but are not sure where best to go, we have a huge selection of walks for you HERE.

One that’s especially lovely in autumn is the Yelverton Autumn Stomp, written for our Active Dartmoor magazine by Sue Viccars HERE

At the beginning of October, we break into the season for Kayaking, hugely exciting and enjoyed by many of those who love a bit of an adrenaline kick! For a taste of what it can be like to take on the mighty River Dart, read our Active Dartmoor magazine article ‘A Mecca for Boat, Body and Blade’ HERE.

Cycling in Devon can cover almost every imaginable terrain, but for those who love to get out for a bike ride on Dartmoor we have a huge wealth of tracks, trails and lanes! We’ve selected a superb 18km section of Drake’s Trail ride for you to try between Yelverton and Tavistock, which is perfect for an autumn day. With detailed directions and a map, have a look at our Family Cycle Ride, ‘Jewel in the Crown’ HERE,

To be honest, it really doesn’t matter what you love to do when you come to Dartmoor, the autumn months are just made for spending some time outside in the fresh air and then making for that warm welcome which awaits you in any of the wonderful places to eat and stay on and around the moor!

For a comprehensive list of the very best hotels, guesthouses, self-catering cottages, yurts, campsites, pods, inns and pubs in which to relish your invigorating yet relaxing few days on Dartmoor and in Devon – just take your pick from the superb choices HERE

Perhaps the most exhilarating way to explore Dartmoor in the autumn months is on horse-back. From personal experience as an ex pony-trekking guide I can promise you that the extra height, extra speed and that glorious feeling of being as one with your horse provide an experience that you will never forget. Wildlife is less nervous of a person on a horse than someone on foot, and the bond you will feel with your mount and the other riders is truly one to treasure. We have several superb riding stables on Dartmoor, with well trained horses and ponies for every ability. Find the best riding centre for you HERE.