Dartmoor wild camping

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Dartmoor wild camping

Postby DevonMark » 05 Mar 2013, 09:09

Anyone know any good spots?

Everything official says that overnight stays in any of the car parks are strictly illegal, but there are so many quiet car parks on Dartmoor in the middle of nowhere that there must be some places that a T25 and occupants could easily go unnoticed/disturbed for the night!

Any tips gratefully received :ok
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Re: Dartmoor wild camping

Postby xmarkx » 05 Mar 2013, 16:37

I've stayed in car parks loads of times and never had any trouble. What I try to do is get to where im going to camp later on when people have gone or are going. Get a spot out of sight of the road if you can so if anyone drives past they don't notice you. What I never do is park in a car park all day the stay the night. It works for me I hate paying for campsites.
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Re: Dartmoor wild camping

Postby mark.sleep » 07 Mar 2013, 01:44

Try the following:

Sheepstor - A road past farm buildings leading to a house at the end has a small acr parking area used by climbers, very quiet should be ok.

Fernworthy resevoir - Car park there is large and has toilets, but if you arrive lateish is very quiet and not exactly a major throughfare.

Haytor - A carpark just off the large tor near widecombe on the moor, might be asked to move on, but worth it if you can stay, some of the best views of the moor.

Hound Tor - As long as it's out of peak season this car park should be ok, plus the bonus of a food van the "hound of the basket meals"!! comes along mid morning or so.

Bone Hill - A major area for bouldering, good car park and other than climbers should be quiet, most climbers wouldn't bother you.

Princeton - Just outside is a road that runs down towards what I believe is called white rocks or something, a quiet carpark away from any hassle.

As someone has already said the car parks along the road are ok, but the rangers do patrol them, maybe looking for doggers!!! Apart from the Haytor site, these places are not on the main roads through the moors and should be alright.

Hope that helps
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Re: Dartmoor wild camping

Postby lloydy » 07 Mar 2013, 07:25

I've stayed the night at cadover bridge before, but not in the main carpark. If you go past the( carpark so it's on your left) go over the bridge, the road immediately rises. Within 50 yards of the bridge is a gravel road on the right. Turn into here and straight away tucked away on the left is circular gravel area surrounded on the 3 sides grass banks. We stayed here all day, let the kids play in the river, great views of the moors. And you are totally hidden from the road.
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Re: Dartmoor wild camping

Postby ghost123uk » 07 Mar 2013, 08:58

lloydy wrote:tucked away on the left is circular gravel area surrounded on the 3 sides grass banks. We stayed here all day, let the kids play in the river, great views of the moors. And you are totally hidden from the road.

Sounds good lloydy :ok

I wonder what would happen if you were asked to move on, but you had already had a can or 3 of beer, enough to be over the limit ? (not you lloydy, anyone :lol: )
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Re: Dartmoor wild camping

Postby ninja.turtle007 » 07 Mar 2013, 09:05

ghost123uk wrote:
lloydy wrote:tucked away on the left is circular gravel area surrounded on the 3 sides grass banks. We stayed here all day, let the kids play in the river, great views of the moors. And you are totally hidden from the road.

Sounds good lloydy :ok

I wonder what would happen if you were asked to move on, but you had already had a can or 3 of beer, enough to be over the limit ? (not you lloydy, anyone :lol: )



I've stayed there after Lloyd recommended it, nice spot.

Beer wise you would have to refuse and probably get a parking ticket.
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Re: Dartmoor wild camping

Postby ghost123uk » 07 Mar 2013, 09:23

ninja.turtle007 wrote:Beer wise you would have to refuse and probably get a parking ticket.


Ah, didn't realise these sort of car parks could issue parking tickets.
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Re: Dartmoor wild camping

Postby keith » 07 Mar 2013, 09:26

im desparate to do some wild camping but my wife is convinced that we will all wake up murdered in our beds... :roll:

....

and im not brave enough to do it on my own...not in the dark. :lol:
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Re: Dartmoor wild camping

Postby ghost123uk » 07 Mar 2013, 09:39

Gill is always worried about getting woken up in the night and being asked to move on (esp after we may have had a glass of Vino or two ;)) Plus she doesn't like being too far away from a proper loo (although I did buy her a PortaPoti for her birthday :rofl )

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Aside = I was once camped right out in the wilds of north Shropshire, (en route and tired) in a green lane (not blocking it of course). At around 11pm the local farmer arrived. I was in bed but not yet asleep. I got up and said "I hope you don't mind, I will be gone by 6am and won't leave any litter" etc. He seemed OK about it and left, saying summat like "I was just checking up"

During that night I had those kind of nightmares where think you are awake but you cannot move :evil: I dreamt the van was rocking and being scraped against, like it would if loads of cattle (or monsters) were squeezing past. Then there was tapping on the side of the van and muffled voices. I could not move or call out. It was not nice and this seemed to go on most of the night.

I reckon it was some sort of black magic to make sure I did not do it again :evil:
I ain't normally superstitious, but I actually won't camp there again, even though it was a nice spot !
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Re: Dartmoor wild camping

Postby ninja.turtle007 » 07 Mar 2013, 09:54

ghost123uk wrote:
ninja.turtle007 wrote:Beer wise you would have to refuse and probably get a parking ticket.


Ah, didn't realise these sort of car parks could issue parking tickets.


I never had a ticket or been moved on, touch wood. We wild camp more a lot more than we stay on sites.

I can't see they can do anything else other than give you a ticket.
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Re: Dartmoor wild camping

Postby DevonMark » 07 Mar 2013, 15:41

Thanks for the replies everyone.

I like the sound of the Cadover Bridge site and can make out exactly where you mean from Google, but it's on the 'wrong' side of the moor for us.

Will probably try Fernworthy Reservoir instead - would like to be out of sight of the roads if possible.

Think I will remain totally sober for our first wild camping experience in case we are asked to move on or I have to grapple with wild bears...
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Re: Dartmoor wild camping

Postby Palomino » 10 Mar 2013, 22:32

The main car park at Fernworthy is now pay and display. You're better off following the perimiter road around the lake until you come to a dead end where there's a free parking area and turning point. Nobody will disturb you there.
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Re: Dartmoor wild camping

Postby mark.sleep » 11 Mar 2013, 03:29

Thanks for the update to my Fernworthy post, I haven't been down there in a vehicle for a few years, which direction do I head from the resevoir to get to the free carpark, I am planning my own trip there in a couple of weeks.
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Re: Dartmoor wild camping

Postby Palomino » 11 Mar 2013, 21:30

mark.sleep wrote:Thanks for the update to my Fernworthy post, I haven't been down there in a vehicle for a few years, which direction do I head from the resevoir to get to the free carpark, I am planning my own trip there in a couple of weeks.


Instead of turning into the dam car park just keep to the tarmac perimiter road as it follows the edge of the lake. Eventually it comes to a dead end at a big turning area with a few parking spaces. Please note I haven't overnighted here yet myself. It is a very remote spot so at night you are unlikely to be disturbed. However, the Forestry Commission are very alert to the possibility of illegal raves after a load of unspeakable oiks held one at Bellever Forest last year and left one hell of a mess. Its possible they and the NP rangers may do spot checks occasionally.

Whiteworks should be OK. You often see gin palaces parked along there late in the evening so I'd suspect they're after a crafty one-nighter.

If you turn off on the road right beside Cadover Bridge and follow it south for a couple of miles it looks like it heads into the clay pits but actually it comes to a dead end at a nice little car park.
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