Wistman's Wood, Dartmoor National Park

4.8
#7 of 35 in Outdoors in Dartmoor National Park
Wistman's Wood is one of only three remote high-altitude oakwoods on Dartmoor, Devon, England. (The other two are Black Tor Beare on the West Okement at SX565892 and Piles Copse on the River Erme at SX644620.)GeographyIt lies at an altitude of 380–410 metres in the valley of the West Dart River near Two Bridges, at grid reference SX612774.The source of the Devonport Leat, at a weir on the West Dart River, is just north of the wood.Preservation statusThis is one of the highest oakwoods in Britain and, as an outstanding example of native upland oak woodland, was selected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest in 1964. It is also an NCR site and forms part of the Wistman’s Wood National Nature Reserve. The wood was also one of the primary reasons for selection of the Dartmoor Special Area of Conservation.DescriptionThe wood is split into three main blocks, which in total cover about 3.5 ha . These occupy sheltered, south-west facing slopes, where a bank of large granite boulders is exposed, and pockets of acid, free-draining, brown earth soils have accumulated. It is owned by the Duchy of Cornwall and has been managed since 1961 under a nature reserve agreement with the Nature Conservancy Council, English Nature and Natural England. There is no active management, but many people visit the site on foot, and cattle and sheep have free access where the terrain permits, outside of a small fenced exclosure in South Wood.
Add Wistman's Wood to your Princetown travel itinerary, and discover new vacation ideas by using our Princetown journey planner.
Source
Create an itinerary including Wistman's Wood

(Princetown is the nearest city to Wistman's Wood)

map
Wistman's Wood Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
89 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • My husband had looked up this place. Good walk up to the woods which weren’t as spectacular as we imagined but it was a lovely walk and if you go up on the tor the views are wonderful.  more »
  • Visited on a moody afternoon with heavy clouds and strong winds giving the woods a claustrophobic feel. The trees are covered in lichen and mosses giving the area an otherworldly feel. Worth visiting ...  more »
  • Weird and scary.... nature stunted. Stunning. Respect the woods or I reckon you will be punished. Ghostly  more »
Google
  • We spent a few quiet hours here telling each other stories about times long gone and mystic dreams. I swear the Oaks were listening and the passers-by moved silently with a reverence seldom found these frantic days. I felt honoured to have this special experience and when you visit, listen to the wisdom of the quiet old trees. They have much to share.
  • Unique experience. The trees are and stone are beautiful. The hike to the woods can be a bit strenuous for older people or small kids, but enjoyable on a dry and sunny day.
  • Amazing wood. Ethereal feel with trees and rocks smothered with thick moss and lichens. The walk up across the Moor is relatively easy with gorgeous views. Lively seeing mobs of goldfinches feeding on thistle heads along the margins.
  • Looks underwhelming when walking up to the woods, but as soon as we got there we were pleasantly surprised.
  • Such a magical place - truly a taste of what the whole of Dartmoor should be.
Places to stay near Wistman's Wood

Plan your trip to Dartmoor National Park

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans to Wistman's Wood by other users

8 days in Dartmoor National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM June, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 33 days in Dartmoor National Park BY A USER FROM GERMANY June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in Dartmoor National Park BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS July, teens, kids, popular PREFERENCES: July, teens, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Dartmoor National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM May, outdoors, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 7 days in Dartmoor National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, outdoors, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 60 days in Devon BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM May, culture, hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 4 days in Dartmoor National Park BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA March, outdoors, beaches, hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, outdoors, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in Dartmoor National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in Dartmoor National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 12 days in Cornwall & Dartmoor National Park BY A USER FROM HUNGARY March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Dartmoor National Park BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA August, outdoors, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in Dartmoor National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, kids, popular PREFERENCES: July, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans