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Wet summer dampens Dartmoor visitor numbers

Wednesday, 3 January 2024 08:22

By Guy Henderson, local democracy reporter

Bowerman's Nose, Dartmoor (Picture by Terry Montague/Unsplash)

But tourists loved under-cover attractions

The cost of living crisis and the after-effects of the pandemic caused a drop in the number of visitors to Dartmoor in 2023, a new report reveals.

Wet summer weather also kept visitors away, but those who did come to the moor made the most of the national park’s under-cover attractions.

Footfall in the moor’s visitor centres went up by more than 30 per cent.

A report to a meeting of the Dartmoor National Park Authority (DNPA) later this week also highlights the biggest story on the moors in 2023, the Court of Appeal ruling in July which saw the authority overturn an earlier ruling against backpack camping on the moor.

Landowner Anthony Darwall had succeeded in persuading the High Court to rule against wild camping, but the DNPA objected and won an appeal.

An article on the subject on the authority’s social media channels reached more than half a million people.

The biggest increase in footfall was at the Postbridge visitor centre in May, where an increase in coach visits boosted numbers by 59 per cent compared to the previous year. In September the Princetown visitor centre hosted the Sherlock Holmes Society of London.

In total the centres at Postbridge, Princetown and Haytor welcomed nearly 115,000 people between the beginning of April and the end of September.

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