“ 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.

The Creative Dartmoor Trail

Dartmoor is a rugged, magical, and captivating landscape that has long been a magnet for artists and creators seeking inspiration and a deeper connection with nature. Its unique allure can be attributed to several key factors that make it an artistic haven.

First and foremost, Dartmoor’s wild beauty offers a limitless source of inspiration. Its expanses of rolling hills, granite tors, ancient woodlands, and meandering rivers create a diverse and ever-changing canvas for artists. The moor’s atmospheric moods, from misty and mysterious to sunlit and serene, provide a rich tapestry of visual experiences that captivate the imagination.

Dartmoor’s rich history and folklore lend an air of enchantment to the landscape. The remnants of ancient settlements, standing stones, and atmospheric stone circles add a sense of timelessness and depth to the moor’s appeal. Folktales and legends, such as the infamous “Hound of Dartmoor,” infuse the region with a sense of mystery and intrigue that stimulates creativity.

Dartmoor’s biodiversity is another compelling factor that draws artists and creators. Its diverse flora and fauna offer endless subjects for exploration, from the hardy ponies that roam freely to rare plant species that flourish in its unique habitats. The moor’s ecological diversity serves as a reminder of the interconnectedness of all life, inspiring artists to explore themes of harmony and balance in their work.

Finally, the solitude and tranquillity of Dartmoor provide a retreat from the hustle and bustle of modern life. This seclusion allows artists to find inner peace and focus on their creative processes, fostering a deeper connection to their craft and the environment.

So, it’s no wonder that artists and creators are drawn to Dartmoor for its unspoiled natural beauty, historical resonance, diverse wildlife, and the solitude it offers. It’s a place where the mind can wander freely, and the spirit can find solace in the embrace of nature. Dartmoor’s timeless allure continues to be a wellspring of inspiration for those seeking to capture its essence through their art.

1 Make Southwest

Located in Bovey Tracey, this is the largest contemporary crafts venue in the south-west and has fabulous galleries, craft shop, exhibitions and a superb café. Entry is free, and they hold a regularly changing programme featuring amazing work by maker-designers from all over the country.

2 Green Hill Arts

Located in the popular village of Moretonhampstead, this is one of Dartmoor’s leading art galleries. It’s well known for attracting some of the most highly respected artists in the south-west, Peter Stiles, Peter Randall-Page and Susan Derges have all exhibited here.

3 House of Marbles

You’ll find this family fun attraction in Bovey Tracey. Since 1973 House of Marbles has been making marbles, pottery, glassware and games. The museum of glass where you can watch glass-blowing and enjoy the wonderful marble runs is a must, but don’t miss the fabulous café, garden games and gorgeous shop!

4 Salar Gallery

Situated in Bridge Street, Hatherleigh, Salar Gallery celebrates the countryside with its exhibitions and sales of artworks featuring animals, landscapes and rural subjects. Works from painters, sculpturers, silk painters, metal workers and potters are usually on offer so it’s well worth enjoying a visit here.

5 Stone Lane Gardens & Mythic Sculpture Exhibition

Open all year, this magical woodland and water garden close to Chagford covers five acres and really packs a punch. A national collection of Birch and Alder is artfully woven with magical sculptures which are an absolute delight on the senses. If you love art, woodland, sculpture and water gardens, this is one for you.

6 The Sculpture School

Bondleigh, North Tawton is home to the exciting Burnswood Studios which houses the Sculpture School. With a wide programme of courses and workshops, the school is recognised as the premier centre for mastering figurative sculpture. Situated within easy reach of Dartmoor and the coast, it’s the perfect reason for a mini-break to Devon!

7 Dartmoor National Park Visitor Centres

Last but most definitely not least, we have the three fabulous National Park Visitor Centres, based at Princetown, Postbridge and Haytor. Superbly well run and with knowledgeable staff they are all well worth a visit. The flagship centre is at Princetown, with a huge range of exhibitions, interactive displays, films and educational exhibits we highly recommend a visit. A full and varied programme of exhibitions featuring art, photography, history and the natural world run throughout the year.

8 Wildwood Arts

Situated in the beautiful Walkham Valley in Horrabridge is this absolute gem of an art gallery, workshop and studio, specialising in Dartmoor’s landscapes, nature and wildlife. You will find handcrafted gifts, fine art, jewellery and ceramics, and they also run regular workshops by Dartmoor artisans.