Dartmoor (East) Christmas & New Year Trail

Exercise Your Brain and Body this Winter!

This Trail has now passed its deadline – new Trails will be available in due course!

Already purchased the Trail? Access the extra material by clicking here (password required)

Are you looking forward to a Dartmoor Christmas, New Year or Winter Break – either as a visitor or as someone lucky enough to live here? You may have plans for Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, but what to do with your remaining free time – and how are you going to fill ‘Twixtmas‘ (the time between Christmas and New Year)?! Would you like to exercise your ‘grey cells’ as well as walking off any excessive food and drink?!

Maybe you should consider a Dartmoor Christmas & New-Year Trail: a combined Cultural Trail and challenging Treasure Hunt that can be spread out over the Festive period and on into the New Year (the deadline for the Prize Treasure Hunt is the end of January 2019). This Trail experience will help to get you in the Christmas Spirit as you visit some lovely places on the Eastern Fringes of Dartmoor. Unlike a typical treasure hunt, where the fun lasts for only a few hours, this Trail experience is designed to provide a great many hours of pleasure: a 35 page downloadable Trail Information Pack provides comprehensive directions for a 65-question Treasure Hunt (vehicle required), four Supplementary Walks (with even more questions) – and something to keep any youngsters in your party occupied! Books and Films and historical information link to the Trail, allowing you to broaden your enjoyment and give you something to occupy yourself with once you get home. The Supplementary Walks can be enjoyed throughout January and beyond – ideal for working off any extra pounds gained during festivities!

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What is Included?

This Dartmoor Christmas & New Year Trail focuses on the ‘Eastern Fringes’ of Dartmoor, starting from Bovey Tracey, Gateway to the Moor. It includes a comprehensive pack of Trail instructions and maps (a PDF document, 10MB in size, that you can read on your smartphone/tablet – or print off), allowing you to enjoy:

  • a route including traditional Dartmoor villages sparkling with Christmas lights
  • appreciation of the natural beauty of Dartmoor National Park in winter as you travel lanes, woods and moorland
  • learning a little about the history and culture of the locations you visit on the Culture Trail – often with a festive flavour!
  • challenging yourself by answering questions on the Treasure Hunt – a Prize is available!
  • four Supplementary Walks (with additional Treasure Hunt questions whose answers are available online!)
  • a Youngsters’ Challenge (with answers are available online!)
  • ‘pitstop pointers’ – suggested places to eat, drink or stock-up along the Trail – as well as ‘special places to stay

IMPORTANT: The product is a PDF download (10MB), that you will have to print yourself if you do not wish to conduct the Trail with the instructions/maps/questions on a smartphone, tablet or other device.

See below for more detail, including how it all works – or head straight to the shop to buy the 2018 Dartmoor Christmas & New Year Trail (East).

Where Will I Go and What Will I See?

Dartmoor ‘Eastern Fringes’

This Trail focuses on the ‘Eastern Fringes’ of the Dartmoor National Park, including Bovey Tracey, popularly known as ‘the gateway to the moor’ (although actually just outside the boundary of the National Park). The map below shows a broad area within which the Trail is contained:

Dartmoor Christmas Trail and Treasure Hunt


The Main Trail itself (not marked on the map above!) covers a very rough ‘circuit’, and although it is recommended that it be started in Bovey Tracey, it can be started in any of the villages included in the Trail (details are provided in the purchased package) – it can be attempted in one day, or enjoyed over several days; picking up where you left off, or even in random sections according to where you want to visit on a particular day. All directions are provided, allowing you to build your own itinerary that includes the Supplementary Walks included in this package (see below) and/or other local walks that you might want to try.

NB: The Trail boundary set out above sets out the outer limits of where you might be expected to go when following the Trail, enabling you to plan your trip – the Trail itself does not follow the marked boundary line!

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What Will You See?

You will visit traditional Dartmoor Villages, experiencing the natural beauty of a National Park, including green lanes, woodland and moorland. The slideshow below gives a taste of the locations/sights you may encounter (snow not guaranteed!):


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Combined Culture Trail & Treasure Hunt(s)

The main offering is a combined Culture Trail and Prize Treasure Hunt. These are incorporated into one Trail document, complete with navigation directions, local information and questions to challenge you. For more details, read on …

The Culture Trail

The Culture Trail consists of a ‘directed tour’ that will take you around the area covered (the ‘Eastern fringes’ of Dartmoor), stopping at villages along the way (see map of area covered – above). As well as providing directions, the Trail guide reveals one or two stories and other cultural ‘snippets’ that give you a deeper perspective on the places you are visiting; for example, mentioning historical events and/or relevant literature. This Trail will include some popular local history that you might have heard of if you are local, but will look to go a little wider and deeper so that you can feel that you have really connected with this corner of Dartmoor. The cultural background material that is provided in the Trail Welcome Pack is backed up by online resources and further internet links (all available when you have purchased the package). Because this is a Dartmoor Christmas & New Year Trail, some (but not all) of the material in the Trail will focus on the festive season!

The Treasure Hunt(s)

There are several Treasure Hunts included in this Trail! The Main Trail directions contain within them 65 challenging questions, most of which relate (sometimes obscurely!) to Christmas & New Year – this is the Prize Treasure Hunt, and answers to these questions must be submitted online by the end of January 2019 for a chance to win the Prize: a voucher to be spent at a local purveyor of fine food and drink (in the event that the winner does not live locally an alternative prize will be available). The four Supplementary Walks contain a total of 28 more questions – the answers to these questions will be available online, enabling you to check how you have done, and maybe have an informal competition between family and friends while doing the walks. Finally, there is the Youngsters’ Challenge Sheet, which comprises questions and riddles to mull over (again, with answers available online). In all, there are over 100 questions!

NB: although some of the Treasure Hunt questions are relatively simple, some are a little more cryptic. Most require you to be reasonably observant on the Trail, exercise your grey cells, and in some cases use the internet or access books referred to in the Trail! You shouldn’t be disappointed if you don’t manage to answer all the questions correctly; the Trail isn’t designed so that it is easy for all participants to get all of the answers right – the aim is to give you some challenging fun. Having said that, it is perfectly possible to get 100% correct. Some of the Treasure Hunt questions will challenge you, and lead you to develop your sleuthing abilities. If you like quizzes and crosswords you’ll love this Treasure Hunt!

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How Does it Work?

When you purchase this Trail you will be provided with a link to download a comprehensive 35 page Trail Information Pack that contains full Trail Directions (including maps, directions and questions for four Supplementary Walks and the Youngsters’ Challenge) – it is a PDF file (10MB in size). This document also includes information useful in planning the experience (you will need to be online to download this when you purchase the Trail). This Information Pack also includes the password of the dedicated Trail page at CultureTrails.net (accessible via a link at the top of this page!). This page allows you to submit answers to the Prize Treasure Hunt, access answers to the Supplementary Walks and Youngsters’ Challenge questions, and access information about Cultural Resources (books films etc.) that are linked to the Trail experience (you might like to obtain some of these prior to starting the Trail – especially if you are travelling to/near to Dartmoor from further afield to experience the Trail).

You are then free to experience the Trail at your own convenience and according to your own schedule over the festive period. Remember though: this is a time-limited Trail: the deadline for submission of Prize Treasure Hunt answers is midnight on January 31st 2019 – after this deadline the web pages for this Trail at CultureTrails.net will be taken off-line! The walks in the pack can, of course, be enjoyed all year round!

Already Done a CultureTrails.net Dartmoor Trail?

If you have experienced either the Summer & Autumn 2018 Dartmoor (East) Trail – or the 2017 Christmas & New Year Dartmoor (East) Trail – then you should be aware that routes of the Main Trail and 4 Supplementary Walks are the same in this Trail. The questions in this 2018 Christmas and New Year Trail are different from the Summer/Autumn Trail. If you did the Christmas 2017 Trail, 27 of the 65 questions the 2018 Main Trail are repeated from 2017 (leaving 38 new questions!); the local culture/historical ‘tidbits’ of information are also repeated from the Christmas 2017 Trail.

If you have experienced either of the 2 previous Trails that cover this area/route, then, it is for you to decide whether you would like to purchase this Trail (no discounts are offered to previous customers). There is plenty of scope for making the experience of this Trail different from previous Trails – e.g., by breaking the Trail down into chunks that incorporate the 4 supplementary walks as different days out, and by including other visits, activities or meals-out into the Trail. The walks are well worth repeating – as are visits to these traditional Dartmoor Villages! You are in with as good a chance of winning the Prize for the main Treasure Hunt regardless of whether or not you have experienced a previous CultureTrails.net trail!

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Trail Requirements

Although it may be possible to experience the Trail using a combination of walking, cycling and public transport, a private vehicle (e.g., a car) is recommended for covering the distances between Main Trail locations and getting to/from the supplementary walks. An internet connection and a suitable device are required for accessing the Main Trail document (a 10MB PDF file) and additional Trail information, accessing Informal Treasure Hunt answers, and submitting answers to the Prize Treasure Hunt (the internet will doubtless be of assistance in answering some of the Treasure Hunt questions). If you do not wish to use a smartphone or other device to carry trail directions and questions with you on the trail you will need access to a printer to print the Trail Document.

No other specialist equipment aside from clothing and footwear suitable for enjoying Dartmoor in the winter is required – although the Trail Information Pack points to items such as Ordnance Survey maps that might enhance the experience.

The Main Trail is suitable for those with mobility difficulties – although that is not true of the four Supplementary Walks.

Tackle The Dartmoor (East) Trail This Festive Season!

The Dartmoor Christmas and New Year Trail is a trail of discovery around the Eastern Fringes of Dartmoor. It will take you to places that are beautiful and interesting all year round, but which are especially magical during the festive period. It can be enjoyed by families (including couples without children!), friends, with work colleagues, or with members of all types of clubs, groups, associations etc. It can even be enjoyed by yourself if you are an independent type. Why not purchase it now!

‘Pit-Stops’ and Accommodation

As part of preparations for tackling the Trail (or of interest even if you decide not to experience the Dartmoor Trail) you might like to see a list of places to eat/drink/purchase provisions in the area covered, as well as accommodation (click on link below):

East Dartmoor Christmas and New Year Trail: Pit-Stops & Accommodation