Guided Walking for Solos at Haytor

Dartmoor & Devon Coast


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Activity types:

  • Coastal
  • Hills & moorland
  • Rural peace


  • Easy
  • Medium
  • Hard
More information

Difficulty indicator

Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.

More about difficulty levels

Holiday overview

Country walking is a great way to meet new friends, and the convivial atmosphere of our Country Houses will make sure you have an enjoyable time. 

Holiday highlights

  • Explore the wild beauty of Dartmoor National Park
  • Ancient stone circles, clapper bridges and Bronze-Age villages
  • Opportunities for more challenging hill walking through southern England’s last great wilderness
  • The South Devon coast, with its sandy beaches and cliff-top paths, is within easy reach 

Great reasons to join us

  • For Solos: no single room charge and double rooms are available at no extra cost. Twin rooms are also available for sole occupancy at a special reduced price of £10 per night
  • Exclusivity: we welcome individual travellers on all of our holidays, but on Guided Walking for Solos the entire holiday is especially for single guests
  • Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, a full programme of walks with all transport to and from the walks, and light-hearted evening activities
  • Choice: choose from up to 3 guided walks each walking day, with expert guides
  • Accommodation: enjoy an enviable position high on the moor below Haytor Rocks, one of Dartmoor’s best-known landmarks
  • Sociability: we pride ourselves on the social atmosphere of our holidays - walk together, eat together and relax together


Moorlands is a fine Country House, situated high on the moor below the famous Haytor Rocks, one of    Dartmoor’s best-known landmarks. It was this magnificent setting that inspired Agatha Christie to 3-star Visit Britain Guest Accommodationwrite her first book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, in 1916.

Moorlands operates as a partner hotel. Some aspects may be slightly different from our other Country Houses; however it  provides the warm welcome, great food and sociable atmosphere that our guests expect.



Moorlands has 32 bedrooms, all situated in the main building.

The bedrooms offer comfortable accommodation and an en-suite bathroom with bath or shower. They also have TV, hairdryer, and tea and coffee making facilities.



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Moorlands has extensive public rooms with superb views over the Devon countryside. The lavish interiors are a reminder of its previous ownership by a colourful local millionaire. The main lounge with its popular bar is particularly flamboyant and is dominated by its huge chandelier. The dining room and adjacent sun lounge are particularly light and enjoy panoramic views. There is a good-sized ballroom which can be used for a variety of evening activities and leisure activity holidays. Free WiFi is available in some public rooms.


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All holidays at our Country Houses are Full Board with breakfast, picnic lunch and evening meal included.

Start your day with our extensive breakfast. Choose from a wide selection on the cold buffet and/or a full cooked breakfast. Maybe enjoy a lighter option of fruit and yoghurt followed by scrambled egg, go for porridge followed by a full English breakfast, or select something in between.

Choose from a self-select picnic lunch - everything you need to keep you going on a day outdoors. Your own choice of sandwiches is prepared to order, and you can add crisps and snacks, fruit, nuts, chocolate bars, sweets and biscuits as you wish.     

The relaxed dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses. With tables seating up to 10 and no seating plan, it offers a great opportunity to get to know your fellow guests. There is always a choice of dishes for every course, featuring good British cooking and often local specialities. A vegetarian option is always available.

All our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.

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Enjoy a glass of wine or local beer in the bar before a talk about the next day's walks. After dinner there will be an activity or entertainment which you will be welcome to join. These vary from week to week but could include a talk on local wildlife from a local speaker or a team quiz. Alternatively if you prefer, feel free to just relax in our lounge or bar.


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Due to the layout of the house, Moorlands is not recommended for wheelchair users or guests with restricted mobility. However, there are 5 bedrooms that can be accessed via an outside ramp from the main house and all public areas are accessed without stairs. 

Arrival & car parking facilities

  • Large level car park with marked parking bays, ample space
  • The surface of the car park is tarmac and there are two disabled parking bays
  • It is possible to load and unload cars directly at the front door
  • Assistance can be provided with luggage
  • The car park is well lit during the hours of darkness 

Main entrance & reception area

  • Level entrance, no steps. Double doors lead into the hall
  • There is a combination lock on both the front and rear doors
  • The entrance hall has slate flooring. Seating available
  • All public areas are available without encountering any further steps
  • Good lighting throughout 

Public areas - hall, stairs, landing, corridors etc

  • The minimum width of the corridors on the ground floor is 44in
  • There is automatic sensor-controlled lighting
  • Emergency lighting is also provided
  • The ground floor hallways are carpeted throughout 

Public areas - sitting room, lounges, lobbies etc

  • The ground floor contains a ballroom, a lounge, a sun lounge, a dining room, manager's office / mini-shop, toilet and a boot room
  • There are no steps on the ground floor
  • The lounge measures 30ft x 60ft. The lounge is carpeted and has coffee tables and chairs
  • The sun lounge is a large room, 120ft x 24ft with comfortable wicker style furniture and dining tables and chairs. Carpet flooring
  • The Ballroom is located on the ground level with level access
  • Large well lit room (72ft x 36ft)
  • Plenty of movable armless chairs
  • Art Studio accessed across the car park. Door width 2ft 6in. Well lit. Level entrance 

Public WCs

  • There is a public toilet on the ground floor
  • The entrance door and the cubicle doors are both is 2ft 6in wide. The height of the toilet seat is 17in and the height of the hand basin is 33in. The urinal is 21in high
  • The floors are tiled
  • There is a further public toilet off the ballroom 

Dining room & bar

  • In the dining room, the maximum number of covers is 54. Large round tables. The room is carpeted
  • Buffet / Waitress service
  • Tables are 29in high. The seats do not have arm rests and they are 18in high, and the back rest is 22in high.
  • The bar area, which is in the lounge, seats 46 

Outdoor facilities

  • Eight acres of grounds
  • Entrance to the gardens is from the sun lounge
  • Lawns accessible by steps or via a slight slope
  • Footpath all around the garden
  • Seating available 


Rooms 20 and 24 are best suited for someone with restricted mobility. Access to these two rooms is via an outside ramp from the main house 

Room 20

  • Room 20 is a double room with garden view
  • Door width 2ft 9in. Bed height is 19in. Rooms measure 21ft x 21ft. Various bedding types available on request.
  • Bathroom door width 32in, toilet height 17in, disabled bath with a centre pulldown support rail, basin height 30in, approx available floor space 12ft x 9ft 

Room 24

  • Room 24 is a single room with garden view
  • Door width 2ft 9in. Bed height is 19in. Rooms measure 21ft x 21ft. Various bedding types available on request.
  • Bathroom door 39 in, toilet 17, support rails to shower, basin 30, small shower room 

Other bedrooms

  • The rest of the rooms are a mixture of singles, twins and doubles. There is 1 family room
  • Each room has tea and coffee making facilities
  • All bedrooms are carpeted. Good colour contrast
  • All furniture is movable
  • Non-slip lino in all bathrooms. Both showers are baths are available 

Additional information

  • Fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance at an evacuation are identified at this time and door hanger cards are issued
  • Mobile phone reception is generally good from the main building
  • Assistance dogs accompanying visually or hearing impaired guests are welcome; dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at all times
  • Information can be provided in large print
  • Staff have received disability awareness training
  • Special diets can be catered for. Specialist food can be obtained with prior notice
  • Fridge for medication can be supplied



Group F: Exploring north of Haytor to Bowerman’s Nose

Easier Walk: Enjoy exploring the area around the disused Haytor Quarry and the old granite tramway, the Templer Way, before taking in Smallacombe Rocks, Holwell Tor, Saddle Tor, Top Tor, Pil Tor and the massive outcrop of Haytor Rocks. 6 miles (9.5km) with 800 feet (240m) of ascent.

Medium Walk: We cross Templer’s granite tramway to Smallacombe Rocks before heading north over Black Hill to Hayne Down and the granite pillar of Bowerman’s Nose. We return via prehistoric and medieval ruins, over Hound Tor, and back to Haytor Rocks. 9 miles (14.5km) with 1,500 feet (450m) of ascent.

Harder Walk: A similar, but reversed, route to the Medium Walk, with the addition of Bell Tor, Honeybag Tor and the enigmatic Jay’s Grave, burial place of a pregnant and rejected woman from the late 1700s. 10 miles (16km) with 1,800 feet (540m) of ascent.

Group G: Majestic tors west of Princetown

Easier Walk: Passing legendary Vixen Tor, we reach the hamlet of Sampford Spiney before crossing the Walkham Valley to reach a disused railway track, passing interesting disused quarries with a London Bridge connection, en route to atmospheric Princetown. 7 miles (11km) with 900 feet (270m) of ascent.

Medium Walk: From Four Winds, we cross an area rich in antiquities to reach the Walkham Valley before crossing a disused railway track with fine views over Plymouth Sound, then follow forest paths leading to a leat and aquaduct. We finally cross open moorland into Princetown. 9 miles (14.5km) with 1,000 feet (300m) of ascent.

Harder Walk: We ascend Cox Tor and Roos Tor with great views of the wilder part of the moor before heading south to cross the Walkham Valley then on to the Devonport Leat and the Meavy Valley and the open moorland which we cross via Hart Tor to reach Princetown. 11 miles (17.5km) with 2,100 feet (630m) of ascent. 

Group H: The rivers and hills of northern Dartmoor

Easier Walk: We begin at Sticklepath – home to Finch Foundry, a working forge – and head to Belstone village. We pass Nine Stones cairn circle en route to Higher Tor and Winter Tor before arriving in the market town of Okehampton. 7 miles (11km) with 1,200 feet (360m) of ascent.

Medium Walk: From the mining village of South Zeal we cross Cosdon Hill to Belstone and take the Tarka Trail into Okehampton. 9 miles (14.5km) with 1,700 feet (510m) of ascent.  

Harder Walk: We take a circuit of Cosdon Hill, Little Hound Tor, Hound Tor, Steeperton Tor and Oke Tor before reaching Okehampton on the Tarka Trail along the East Okement River. 12 miles (19km) with 2,000 feet (600m) of ascent.

Group I: Coves, coast and castles around Dartmouth

Easier Walk: Following local lanes and footpaths, we pass old mill houses and thatched cottages, arriving at Blackpool Sands where we briefly join the South West Coast path. After the village of Stoke Fleming, an easy track is followed to Dartmouth Castle at the mouth of the estuary. Views up the River Dart can be enjoyed as we continue to the town with time left to explore.7 miles (11km) with 500 feet (150m) of ascent.

Medium Walk: Following, local lanes and footpaths, we pass old mill houses and thatched cottages, arriving at Blackpool Sands where we briefly join the South West Coast path to Stoke Fleming, we then follow the undulations of the South West Coast Path enjoying spectacular views from the cliffs. 8 miles (13km) with 1,300 feet (390m) of ascent.

Harder Walk: From the nature reserve of Berry Head we follow the South West Coast Path to Kingswear, below Coleton Fishacre and the Forward Point National Coastwatch Station, and cross on the ferry to Dartmouth. We can enjoy many historic, nautical and geological sights on our walk today. 10 miles (16km) with 2,100 feet (630m) of ascent.

Group J: Two Moors Way To Grimspound And Widecombe-In-The-Moor

Easier Walk: We start from the highest pub on Dartmoor, Warren House Inn. In tin mining country we contour around Challacombe Down to Grimspound, site of a Bronze Age village, walking along the top of Hamel Down before finishing at Widecombe. 7 miles (11km) with 600 feet (180m) of ascent.

Medium Walk: From Leapra Cross we follow the Mariners’ Way, over Chagford Common, Birch Tor and Hookney Tor to Grimspound and on to Widecombe. 10 miles (16km) with 1,200 feet (360m) of ascent.

Harder Walk: From the very centre of the National Park at Postbridge we head north over Hartland and Sittaford Tors and pass the Grey Wethers stone circles. We descend to Warren House Inn and enter Widecombe via Grimspound. 12 miles (19km) with 1,900 feet (570m) of ascent.

7 night holidays: 5 days of walking and a free day on the Monday (unless otherwise stated)

Walks F-J: Fri 10 June; Fri 16 Sept


4 night holidays: 3 days of walking

Walks H, I, J: Mon 13 June; Mon 19 Sept


3 night holidays: 2 days of walking

Walks F, G: Fri 10 June; Fri 16 Sept

Terrain and transport

Easier Walks are on generally well-graded paths with some short, steeper sections. Medium Walks have steady ascents and descents. Harder Walks are mostly over high moorland.

On some days the walks start or finish at our Country House, Moorlands; on other days we use hired transport at the start and/or end of the walks. The cost of all transport to and from the walks is included in the price of your holiday.

Our guests

The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. There is normally a good mix of ages, of new guests and 'regulars' from Britain and overseas. On our Guided Walking for Solos holidays, the holiday is especially for single guests. 

Free day 

Each seven night holiday has a day without any organised walks, so you can explore Dartmoor and the Devon Coast independently.

In the evenings

Your leaders will inform you about the choice of walks for the next day and answer any questions you may have. After a sociable evening meal you could join in an organised activity such as a quiz or a talk about the local area, relax in the bar or use the Country House facilities.

Local area

During your stay at Moorlands you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest, either in your free time, or on your journey to and from Devon:

Castle Drogo
Owned by the National Trust, Castle Drogo was 'the last castle to be built in England'. Built in the Edwardian era by architect Edwin Lutyens, the castle overlooks the Teign Gorge; about 30 minutes' drive from Haytor.

The village of Princetown is situated right in the centre of the moor, about 35 minutes' drive from Haytor. Of interest is the excellent High Moorland Discovery centre which will introduce you to Dartmoor's unique wildlife and landscapes. The austere Dartmoor Prison nearby is one of the most iconic buildings in the national park. The Prison museum tells the long history of the prison, dating back to 1805. or

Buckfast Abbey
Buckfast Abbey near Buckfastleigh, about 30 minutes' drive from Haytor, is an active Benedictine Monastery. Destroyed by Henry VIII, it was rebuilt between 1882 and the 1930s.

Cothele House
Now managed by the National Trust, Cothele House is a fine Medieval manor house, located above the Tamar Valley, about an hour's drive from Haytor.

The cathedral city of Exeter is around 30 minutes’ drive from Moorlands.

South Devon Railway
Ride the steam railway, a loving restoration of a Great Western branch line, from Buckfastleigh to Totnes. Buckfastleigh station is about 30 minutes' drive from Haytor.

Greenway Estate
Formerly the home of the late crime writer Agatha Christie, the Greenway Estate has stunning views across the River Dart. The house and gardens are now owned by the National Trust. Greenway is located near Dartmouth, just under an hour's drive from Haytor.

Kent's Cavern
Kent’s Cavern is situated near the resort town of Torquay, about 40 minutes' drive from Haytor. The caves are recognised as the most important Stone Age cave in Britain. Tours take you through these 2 million-year-old caves to discover a unique history uncovered by Victorian archaeological explorers.


Moorlands, Haytor, South Devon TQ13 9XT

By train: The nearest train station is Newton Abbot. For train times and general rail enquiries visit or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).

By taxi: If you can’t meet our station transfer, the 10 mile journey from Newton Abbot to Moorlands can be made by taxi. Taxis cost approx £18 per journey. Every year we negotiate a pre-booked rate for these journeys. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. We recommend pre-booking your taxi and the taxi company will arrange shared taxis wherever possible. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Moorlands Manager.

By car: From the A38 take the A382 to Bovey Tracey. Turn left at the second roundabout on to the B3387 to Haytor and Widecombe-in-the-Moor. After approx ½ mile take the left fork (caution – easy to miss) and ascend for approx 3 miles. Moorlands will appear on your left near a red phone box. A large car park is available in the grounds with free parking. 

To help you plan your journey, use



Date & Rating Customer Review HF Holidays says
27 Sep 2016, 5:39 p.m.

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Service review:

Usually good but not on this occasion

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I've been generous with my rating for this holiday, it began as a shambles and was only redeemed by those volunteer leaders who dropped everything and rode to the rescue with barely any notice
27 Sep 2016, 5:20 p.m.

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Always enjoy my HF holidays, but not keen on the website.

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Overall enjoyed my holiday at Haytor, despite there being problem with the walk leaders. Packed lunches were not as comprehensive as other HF houses, but were generally OK.
27 Sep 2016, 4:05 p.m.

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Suggest you discontinue using The Moorlands, Haytor as a venue especially as it is now privately owned.

Product review:

Holiday at The Moorlands, Haytor did not live up to HF standards, very poor packed lunch, quests requirements were all mixed up. Hotel manager would not turn on the heating.
Thank you for your feedback

I am sorry to read that you were disappointed with your stay at Moorlands House. Your comments have been noted and our Head of Holiday Operations will reply to you personally.

Assuring you of our best intentions

Kind regards

Toni McNulty
Customer Relations Manager
HF Holidays
27 Sep 2016, 3:47 p.m.

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Moorlands does not meet the standard or service I expect from HF.

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As a Coeliac Moorlands did not meet my expectations, consistently having to query or worry about choices. In the event I had no problems, but following on from my experience at Malhamdale I am becoming distinctly concerned about HF Gluten Free claims.
Harder walks need re assessing given that one required adjustment on the move due to the firing range being used and one requiring traversing an area through difficult terrain, off path.
26 Sep 2016, 4:15 p.m.

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HF = excellent

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HF @ Haytor = excellent
26 Sep 2016, 10:07 a.m.

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Service review:

We arrived to find HF had not booked leaders for this holiday...even though it was fully booked. In fairness to HF, this doesn't usually happen and leaders were quickly drafted in so that we had at least two walks offered each day and the promised three all but the first day, though our leaders changed throughout the week, in some cases on a daily basis.

Product review:

Now a partner hotel so doesn't do things quite the HF way. Location excellent for walking and the hotel bistro open daily with excellent espresso drinks is a plus. Food mostly excellent though the vegetarian options seemed to lack variety and the first night "buffet" wasn't successful...only veg on a buffet basis and that was close to cold
Thank you for your feedback

On behalf of HF holidays please accept our sincere apologies for the problems you incurred on your first day. I understand that our Head of Holiday Operations is writing to all guests on this holiday.

I am so pleased that you did enjoy your holiday and I do hope that we will be able to welcome you on another HF holiday soon.

Kind regards

Toni McNulty
Customer Relations Manager
HF Holidays
26 Sep 2016, 6:30 a.m.

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Service review:

Despite a major snafu of having no leaders assigned to our guided walking week, 10 leaders stepped up & volunteered to lead us on @ least one walk. These leaders are the backbone of the guided walking program, yet are they given enough credit??
Accommodations were oK, but not up to HF standards.

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Our leaders were excellent and the walking magnificent.
25 Sep 2016, 8:21 p.m.

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Service review:

HF failed to book the guides for this guided walking holiday, but sorted the problem swiftly. Sadly, they did not bother apologising to the customers and have failed to respond to my email about it, sent 5 days ago now.

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Hotel was quirky, and failed to have rooms ready, some not til 5pm, but great staff and lovely walking country
22 Sep 2016, 9:02 a.m.

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See below:

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Moorlands Hotel is not up to standard in terms of accom or food, Also no walk leaders turned up at start of holiday as one part of HF thought holiday had been cancelled!.. Emergency replacements were found eventually and they and their walks were excellent.
Thank you for your feedback.

We have taken your concerns very seriously and you will be contacted directly by our Head of Holiday Operations who will address this for you.

Kind regards

Toni McNulty
Customer Relations Manager
HF Holidays
22 Sep 2016, 8:38 a.m.

Service rating:


Product rating:


Service review:

Until last weekend, I had enjoyed my holidays with the firm, and made sure to tell other people how good they were. Now I'm left wondering, and would find it hard to recommend you.

Product review:

Sadly, this holiday did not meet hf's usual high standards. It seems someone thought it had been cancelled, so the hotel did not find out it 30 guests arriving until shortly before, and no walk leaders had been booked. Our rooms were not ready when we arrived, so we had to wait some hours. There was no tea at 4pm, as described in hf booklet, and the first we got together was at 6pm. had I known this I would have arrived later, taking tome to stop off on my journey. Our first meal was very limited. Shepherds pie or pasta (nothing but pasta) and a little sald, followed by bread pudding. There were a handful of other deserts but these quickly ran out. The food for the following two days was excellent, but the hotel had obviously not had enough warning to prepare for Friday. There was no walks talk or entertainment on the first evening, as there were no leaders. We were left wondering each day how many leaders there would be, indeed if there would be any at all. One gentleman left, very distressed, after the first day, unable to cope with the constant confusion. Leaders had not had much time to think of entertainments, and the talk on Saturday evening was most unsuitable, being about the number of ways pop stars die!! Please ask that leader not to give it again. There were a number of clients new to hf. I wonder if they'll bother booking again? I must say, this was not the relaxed break I have come to expect of you.
Thank you for your feedback.

All your concerns have been taken very seriously and you will be contacted directly by our Head of Holiday Operations who will address these for you.

Kind regards

Toni McNulty
Customer Relations Manager
HF Holidays

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Dates & Prices

We're sorry, there are no dates available for this holiday at the moment. Please check out our other tours and breaks or call our team on 0345 470 8558 to be notified of new dates as soon as they become available.

Prices are per person


  • Standard single room: (2016) £8 per night; (2017) no supplement
  • Premium single room: £15 per night (2017 only)
  • Premium twin/double room: (2016) £5 per person per night; (2017) £10 per person per night
  • Non-member associate fee: (2016) £5 per person; (2017) £10 per person

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