Dartmoor Activity Centre

We are an established activity centre on Dartmoor in Devon, offering activities and accommodation for school and youth group residentials, a venue for training and club events and environmental study day camps.

Outdoor Activities for Children

As the first dedicated activity centre for children on Dartmoor we love nothing more than staying true to our roots and providing modern facilities in rustic grounds and using nature itself to create activities.

Dartmoor adventures start at Dartmoor Activity Centre! Our driving force is to get young people to enjoy and experience nature at its best within one of our country’s finest National Parks.

Dartmoor is literally right outside the centre’s gate, with no roads to cross, take just a step and you’re in open moorland ready to let mother nature’s adventures begin.

A Residential Centre for Schools and Groups

We provide a safe and secure site for schools, Scouts, Guides and youth groups and have an on-site staff presence. 

With both indoor and outdoor facilities, we will help you create a visit that works perfectly for your group; accommodation and catering provided or entirely self led.

Whether you are a school, a youth group, a charity, a club or something else we’ll use our experience to make your Dartmoor adventure a great experience for all.

A Venue for Events & Training

With lots of outdoor space within our own site, outdoor and indoor cooking facilities, shelter and a range of activities to choose from, the Dartmoor Activity Centre is the perfect venue for training days and group events of all types.

We also regularly offer our own public events and training courses for outdoor activities and first aid.

EcoEdVenture Days for Schools

NEW for 2023 – we are offering whole-day, whole-class, sustainability education programmes for schools, suitable for Years 5 and 6.

The themed programmes each contain educational and a range of practical OUTDOOR workshops to develop an understanding of the subject of sustainability and regeneration (local and global context), in a fun and interactive way.

We aim to provide evidence that young people can make a positive difference.

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About the Centre

Dartmoor Activity Centre is a rare beast, being one of only a handful of centres on Dartmoor that has both secure enclosed grounds of our own, and direct access (just a step outside the front gate) onto open moorland. It provides the perfect location for a school or youth group residential with both indoor and camping options. With grounds that remain in a natural state (as much as possible), it provides a great space for both outdoor activities and environmental studies. 

Every year Dartmoor Activity Centre sponsors free residential camps for selected groups. This allows children from disadvantaged backgrounds, caring for a loved one or living with a medical condition to stay as guests of the charity.

Discounts are also available for specific youth organisations and other charities, please contact us and we will happily discuss the options available.

The centre is situated close to Haytor Rocks on the eastern fringe of Dartmoor in Devon, approximately mid-way between Widecombe-in-the-Moor and Bovey Tracey.

A little bit of history …

The history of the grounds of Dartmoor Activity Centre (owned and operated by The Broadleas Charitable Trust) dates back to the 1930s and has a pretty interesting past.

During World War 1, the site was used by the British Army, and in World War 2 by the US Army. The plan was to use the site as a field hospital although in the end, it was never used for this purpose.

In the 1930s the site was an area of rough moorland with two wooden bungalows. However, Exeter businessman Leonard Turner who lived opposite the site had great visions, he saw an opportunity to turn it into a place where nature and the outdoors could be used to build character, challenge, train and provide a chance for leadership skills to thrive within young people. That is when the centre was born.

Since then the site has received continual improvements and developments which have included the indoor accommodation being entirely rebuilt and the addition of a campsite kitchen and dining hall, to name but a few.

And some facts …

  • It has around 5½ acres of woodland
  • There are 2 campsite fields available as well as various activity areas
  • It sits within the Dartmoor National Park in Devon
  • It is 1,500 feet above sea level
  • Voluntary support has helped create distinct areas for camping and training
  • All funds and profits are re-invested into winter projects to further develop and improve the site

Our Commitment to the Environment

We are on a journey, a journey of renewal and renewables! We are currently underway with our 5 year plan to make the centre as environmentally friendly as possible, get a carbon footprint down to as low as we possibly can and become energy self-sufficient as close as is possible for our location.

Completed and ongoing projects include, but will never be limited to:

  • We are now largely solar powered with plans to increase this.
  • Our own on site, treated water supply, using our well that was created over 100 years ago.
  • About to be Installed, a hybrid Air Source Heat Pump system for hot water and heating, with special thanks for a grant of £20,000 received from the Postcode Local Trust. Postcode Local Trust is a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
  • No group nor site waste to landfill.
  • Top up electricity entirely from a renewable energy supplier.
  • About to launch a “Green Users” policy, requiring our fantastic guests on overnight camps and residentials to agree to its terms as part of a condition of use.

We have much more to do of course but we have made a brilliant start and the motivation to deliver more couldn’t be higher from the team and our external advisers.