Bookended by YHA hostels, this challenging linear route crosses one of England’s finest wildernesses. Less tourist-friendly than the South Moor, Dartmoor’s North Moor can appear formidable but, with its distinctive granite tors and wild forests, it is also utterly beguiling. Plus there’s a comfortable bed at the beginning and end. You won’t cross a road until you get to Postbridge (under 2 miles from your destination) and this route passes both High Willhays and Yes Tor, the two highest points in England south of Kinder Scout. To add additional complexity and interest, ascend High Willhays from Okehampton and then progress southeast via Cranmere Pool, the location of the first Dartmoor letterbox – a real navigation challenge in the mists of a Dartmoor winter.
Explore the North Moor Crossing
Where to stay: YHA Okehampton or YHA Dartmoor
Converted from a Victorian railway goods shed into a modern hostel with its own grounds, YHA Okehampton is also a licensed activity centre offering over 20 different outdoor pursuits from pony trekking to gorge scrambling. With its railway station location, it’s the ideal jump off point for a number of long-distance walks, including the West Devon Way (to Plymouth), Two Castles Trail (to Launceston), Tarka Trail (to North Devon) and the Devonshire Heartland Way (to the Exe Valley).
YHA Dartmoor is also well-connected, with access to a network of off-road routes for walking and cycling holidays. Nestled beside Bellever Forest and surrounded by open moorland, this rural retreat provides a charming and comfortable place to relax (especially with a local ale) after a day of adventures. Take some time to wander the grounds and you may encounter our famous Dartmoor pony neighbours.