Experience the South West's animal magic in Spring 2021

Updated: Nov 9, 2020

©VisitBritain/Andrew Pickett

Get hands-on with Dartmoor ponies

Where? Dartmoor National Park, Devon

You can explore the mysterious surroundings of Dartmoor National Park and meet Dartmoor ponies on the Wild Ponies, Wild lands experience. Part of The English National Park Experience Collection, the 3-4-hour trip takes in part of the historic Haytor Granite Tramway before a visit to the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust, where you can try your hand at grooming, hoof-picking and walking ponies around a show ring. Discover the history of ponies in the region and see how the species has supported the lives and work of farmers across Dartmoor, from the fields to quarries and everywhere in-between.

Fly back to nature with owls and hawks

Where? Exmoor National Park, Somerset

With scenery that inspired great poets such as William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Exmoor National Park also offers an opportunity to Fly back nature. Wander through the magical Owl Garden of the Exmoor Owl and Hawk Centre, found at a 15th century National Trust farmstead, see owls up close and watch the spectacular sight of a hawk flying into land. All flying experiences must be booked in advance.

Exmoor National Park

Discover Dartmoor on horseback

©VisitBritain/ Adam Burton

Where? Dartmoor National Park, Devon

Enjoy a tranquil ride through the open moorland and ancient woodlands of Dartmoor National Park on horseback and see the region’s stunning countryside from a different perspective as it blooms into life. Taking in some of the highest, oldest and least inhabited areas of protected countryside in the south of England, the luxury riding experiences come with knowledgeable guides and offer an array of dining options where you can get a taste for the best local delicacies. This experience is not available to beginner riders and those taking part must be able to control a horse going at all paces.

Hide to discover one of Britain’s most elusive creatures

Where? Old Henley Farm, Dorset

Badgers can be found across Britain, although seeing one of these predominantly nocturnal, and extremely elusive, animals in the wild can be tough. Organised badger watching provides one way of catching a glimpse of the creatures from the vantage point of a purpose-built hide. Badger Watch Dorset overlooks an extensive sett that is around 100 years old and you can join evening watches that run from early April – the time of year when badger cubs usually emerge from their setts and adults venture out foraging with the onset of warmer post-winter weather. Booking is essential.

Discover more from this region with OurStay's South West guide.

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