Travels: Wild Camping & Ponies on Dartmoor

There are so many beautiful parts of the British Isles that I have yet to visit and have been making a concerted effort to tick a few of them off my list this year.

My husband and I decided to try a spot of Wild Camping. This means camping just out on 'the land' with no facilities, no designated pitches & no fees. We decided to try the Dartmoor National Park as we had heard how beautiful it was. He was attracted to the rugged landscapes, climbing the tors & the adventure of Wild Camping. I was nervous about camping in the wrong spot and not knowing what to do, but then he told me there are wild ponies roaming about so I was game.

We are pretty seasoned campers, but nearly all previous camping trips were at  festivals. Recently we've stayed in lovely Yurts and Bell tents thanks to my Husband being able to stay in the Artist area of festivals, so I was a little spoilt previous to this trip!

We have definitely had plenty of experiences of 'roughing' it in our formative years at festivals and this was one of our first proper camping trips. We were excited to try out our brand new Eurohike tent, and off we went into the Wild.

http://www.dartmoor.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/43909/vi-camping_map_309.pdf

http://www.dartmoor.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/43909/vi-camping_map_309.pdf

You can basically camp on any of the Common Land that is shown as purple on the map above. When driving around, it is easy to tell because there are no fences and the Moors come right up to the edge of the road. You can camp up to two nights in the same spot completely free.

The red areas are not allowed for camping and the red outlined area is sometimes used for military training as firing ranges. This should be indicated by red flags raised on the boundary - We didn't see any, but I was still a bit nervous!

So that's it. You drive around, find a nice spot and pitch up to breath taking views. We had a good ramble, befriended some very tame ponies and woke up to the most amazing views ever. Dartmoor is simply magical looking. We climbed up some Tors as the sun was setting and I felt as though I was in Lord of The Rings. The added bonus that we'd gone midweek, before school holidays started meant that no one else was climbing the Tor at the time made it extra enchanting. It felt as though we'd discovered this magical lumpy bumpy land ourselves and it made for some very dramatic photos!

I'd definitely recommend anyone to take a little adventure to try out Wild Camping. Yes, there are no facilities, so you need to time loo breaks with trips to pubs, and if it's a short break you can just about handle not showering. (Who am I kidding, I've gone 5 days at Glastonbury before and survived with baby wipes!)

There are plenty of Tors to conquer, lovely quaint pubs, an ancient Medieval Clapper bridge in Postbridge, Castle Drogo & many many beautiful walks to explore in the area.

We've definitely got the Wild Camping bug. I would also like to try a bit of Wild Swimming in rivers around the UK (Might have to wait for it to get a bit warmer first!) 

A few pics of our adventures are below. Where will our Wild Camping adventures take us next?