The west country has two lovely National Parks in the form of Dartmoor National Park and Exmoor National Park. Both are famous for their ponies which roam wild on the moorland areas. Although smaller than other UK national Parks these two still pack a punch and are very much worth a visit.
Dartmoor National Park, is wholly in Devon and is famous for it’s granite tors, bronze age stone circles and areas of mystery. The mixture of wide open moorlands and deep river valleys results in a variety of habitats and thus a rich wildlife making the area a nature watcher’s paradise. The moor is dotted with market towns and medieval villages which contrast with the wilds of the moorland habitat surrounding them. Dartmoor prison is a famous landmark as well as Hay Tor a granite outcrop which offers spectacular views over the National Park and the south Devon Coast.
Exmoor National Park is partially in Devon and mostly in Somerset. It has a stunning coast line on the Bristol Channel. The small towns on Ilfracombe and Minehead sit right on the edge of the National Park and the coast has a number of National Trust properties which are open to the public. Exmoor National Park offers the visitor great cycling and walking within it’s stunning woodlands, beautiful moors. Rock pool lovers will be rewarded with stunning rock pools teaming with wildlife after Europes highest tides have receeded. Exmoor boasts the longest wooded coast in the UK as well as England’s tallest tree and the highest seacliffs on the British Mainland. You can explore Exmoor via the South West Coast Path which starts in Minehead or cross it on the Two Moors Way from Lynton. Exmoor National Park is also a dark skies reserve so perfect for stargazers who want to be guaranteed a properly dark sky.