Parking on and in the Dartmoor National Park
Over the 368 square miles of our Dartmoor National Park run a few 'B' roads and even more 'Deep Devon lanes' - the majority of roads throughout the park are unfenced and you might be tempted to just pull over and park your car on the grass beside the road - some places this may be fine, if you take into consideration that the road is narrow and large tractors and lorries may have to pass withoutdropping into a ditch. Another problem with just pulling over and stopping, getting out and walking, is finding your car after you have walked a mile or two, many a visitor has found themselves miles away from their car, not knowing which direction to follow the road to find it.
Traffic jams on Dartmoor roads consist mainly of flocks of sheep or herds of cattle, and don't necessarily expect the farmer to be following! just bide your time and remember that cattle prefer to walk on the grass verge and will squeeze past the car even if you think they will not fit - and not mind your wing mirrors, so sit it out patiently and enjoy the nature passing by.
A lot of the main car parks in the villages in the park now have parking charges, not a lot, perhaps a couple of pounds, which helps pay for the up keep of the parking area, filling pot holes etc. I would always suggest pulling off the main through roads in the park - explore the little lanes, do a bit of research with the help of your Ordnance survey map and Google maps/satellite - by doing this you will find spaces to park with amazing views, usually only used by local dog walkers - and you will not have to pay - but do mind any rocks or pot holes, ditches and banks.. remember your car will not have as much ground clearance as the Landrover you have just parked beside!
Most bed and breakfast establishments and hotels in within the Dartmoor National Park will have good parking space/carparking - maybe shared with a few small ponies or sheep which may have wandered in from the road - which brings me to the fact that Dartmoor roads are unfenced and have cattle, sheep and ponies wandering over them, they have right of way over traffic and see no danger in oncoming cars. The speed limit is mostly 40 mph for this reason.
Please make sure that your valuables are well hidden or take them with you when leaving your car as although the majority of people passing through are honest, there are the few rogues who will be looking out for easy pickings, no one wants to come back to their car with a broken window, having lost their camera or hand bag.
Back to the iconic Dartmoor ponies, when you park your car, they will be waiting, waiting to see if you have any titbits for them, we ask that the ponies are not fed as it encourages them onto the road with sometimes tragic consequences.
All in all, if you find a nice quiet place to park your car with a view to die for, where could be a better place to sit and eat your lunch time sandwiches?