Dartmoor

The bleak beauty of Dartmoor National Park covers an area of 365 square miles. It is the result of an eruption of granite 250 million years ago, which lifted the softer rocks on the earth’s surface. This accounts for the weird and wonderful shapes left where the sedimentary rocks have eroded to leave the granite outcrops. The desolate high moor is only one aspect of Dartmoor. There are softly undulating hills on the lower levels, and lovely wooded valleys. There are also several forest plantations. Sheep and ponies graze the moor and there are several examples of early human habitation.

Among these remains are tombs, hut circles and standing stones from the earliest times, but there are also ruins of 19th century industrial projects from the days when tin and copper were mined in the area. Granite was quarried here too and evidence of that can still be found here and there on the moor. Some small cottage crafts still survive on Dartmoor, many revitalised by the upsurge in tourism. The rather spooky Dartmoor, evoked by Conan Doyle in The Hound of the Baskervilles, can still be found easily, especially on a day when the mist shrouds the moor.

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"My wife and i have just returned from a stay at the hoops for two nights hoping to find a comfortable characterful place to stay in to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary and to use as a base to explore the coastline of the region. well the hoops certainly delivered exceeding our expectations. our room for the first night was a standard room which was spacious enough to suit our needs, very comfortable, clean, quiet and with a modern en-suite. we originally wanted to book the more luxurious mallow suite which was not available for our first night but, the owner upgraded us to this room for our second night at no extra charge. our second night in the mallow suite was truly wonderful with its very comfortable four-poster bed, settee and large modern bathroom containing a jacuzzi as well as a large walk in shower. the bar area is cosy with a country pub atmosphere serving three different real ales straight from the barrel. you can dine in the bar choosing from either the bar or restaurant menu, both offering a wide selection of dishes. the restaurant is also comfortable and inviting to dine in. we ate dinner in the hoops both evenings of our stay and found the quality of food to be of a high standard and the service prompt from friendly helpful staff. the hotel has the advantage of a large car park providing plenty of space to park your car, particularly if you have a long estate car like ours. we would thoroughly recommend the hoops as an idyllic place to stay, providing all the comforts you would hope to find in a country inn and a good base to explore this part of devon at an affordable cost. we will certainly stay here again" Sept 2012

- via Tripadvisor