Wildlife of Dartmoor National Park: A Photo Essay

wildlife of dartmoor national park

During my most recent trip to England, we ventured into Dartmoor National Park. For a landscape and animal lover, it was paradise. There are tons of sheep, Scottish highland cows (love these guys!), and wild ponies.

Wildlife of Dartmoor National Park

The Scottish Highland Cow

I have a slight obsession with cows and the Scottish Highlands don’t disappoint.  They would hang out in the middle of the road or off to the side – allowing you to walk completely up to them and take as many photographs as you wished.  The only thing they weren’t going to do was move for you.

wildlife of dartmoor national park
Don’t Think I’ve Ever Met a Cow I Didn’t Love
Mommas and Babies Everywhere!

There was a baby horse for just about every grown one. It was adorable to see all of them standing next to their mommies!

wildlife of dartmoor national park
Wild is a Relative Term Here
All Lined Up
The Ever Colorful Sheep of Dartmoor
wildlife of dartmoor national park
What a Handsome Boy
Playful Sheep
wildlife of dartmoor national park
Observant Sheep
Dartmoor is Home to so Many Wild Ponies
The Most Outgoing Pony Coming to Say Hello

wildlife of dartmoor national park

Have you ever been to Dartmoor?  Which photo is your favorite?

Ashley Hubbard

This Post Has 58 Comments

  1. Mig

    Hola. Came across your site from a travel interview you did. Best wishes on your journey! What kind of camera did you use to take these photos?

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      Thanks for checking out my blog and the nice words! πŸ™‚ I have a Canon Rebel T3i. It’s my first DSLR and I love it.

  2. Kieran Maynard

    Hi Ashley,

    Thanks for following me on twitter! Love your colorful photos. Looking forward to a post about eating spiders. πŸ˜‰


    1. Ashley Hubbard

      Hey Kieran,

      No problem and likewise! Thanks for your comment–I still have a long way to go on my photography skills, but these are some of my favorites. I promise to deliver an in depth post about eating spiders because it probably will only happen once! πŸ™‚

  3. Heart

    WOW amazing photos Ashley. I’m speechless! Love this photo essay. I’ll share it to our followers on Facebook πŸ™‚

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      Thank you Heart! I loved shooting these photos at Dartmoor and am glad they came out like they did πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing!

  4. Mellisa Turner

    Hi Ashley, Beautiful shots captured by you. Very natural and random clicks.

  5. Jeff Johns

    These are awesome pictures! We are heading to the UK this winter and hope to get some shots like these!

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      Thank you so much Jeff! πŸ™‚ Hope you enjoy it as much as I did and I look forward to seeing y’alls photos as well!

  6. The Dessert Engineer

    Such amazing and adorable pictures! I would looooove to see the cows and ponies in person. I like the second picture. I came across wild burros when I was in Nevada, and I will never forget that moment.

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      Thanks! They were wonderful to spend a day with πŸ™‚

  7. Adelina @ PackMeTo

    Those cows are so funny looking. Funny in a good way. Nature is cool πŸ™‚ I wonder, how did those sheep get the color on their backs?

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      No idea–I can only guess it’s some kind of dye to keep up with them–similar to tagging them?

  8. Rachel

    I’ve not been to Dartmoor…. yet. I would love to go – in fact I WILL make it there this year!

    Dartmoor is similar to the heathlands of Dorset, cows everywhere and if they don’t want to move from the middle of the road, the ain’t going to move. So wind down the window and watch the world around you while you wait!

    These photos are all so beautiful I can’t choose a favourite. But the top three; a cow you never met that you didn’t love, the pony coming to say hello, and the vibrant colours of the gorse and heather second from the bottom πŸ™‚

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      Rachel, you don’t have an excuse! You’re so close! You actually new the name of the plant–love it! πŸ™‚

  9. frankaboutcroatia

    Scottish highland cows are really adorable (cannot believe I am using this word to talk about cows – but seriously they are cute). Great photos!

  10. Lara Lain

    LOVE your beautiful photos !! I am horse mad, this reminds me of a trip I once did with a friend to the New Forest – being amongst the wild ponies was divine. I’m new to #SundayTraveler and look forward to reading more from you x @LaraLain

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      Thanks Lara! I’m glad you joined us. I’m horse mad too–I worked with them for several years and love love love them!

  11. Molly S

    Love these photos! I haven’t been to Dartmoor, but it looks like a really special place. And those Highland cows are adorable!

  12. SJ @ Chasing the Donkey

    What STUNNING photos. That place looks so relaxing. I have never been to Dartmoor, but that sheep with all of his colours has to be my absolute fave!

  13. Caitlyn

    Looks absolutely stunning! My parents are heading to the UK next month and I’m putting together their roadtrip itinerary – this place looks lovely for them πŸ™‚

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      Thanks Caitlyn! I would definitely put Dartmoor on the list πŸ™‚

  14. Bex

    Great post! I am from that area of the UK and love the bleakness of Dartmoor – very Dickens!

  15. Gran Canaria Local

    Mr Gran Canaria Local’s parents live in Devon. So we know Dartmoor well. Exmoor’s worth checking out too. We like the mothers and children shot best.

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      Thanks! I’ll definitely keep that in mind next time πŸ™‚

  16. Bob R

    They all need haircuts. πŸ™‚

  17. Samantha @mytanfeet

    Beautiful pics! If you love cows you must come visit me, there are cows EVERYWHEREEEE so much so they don’t get out of the middle of the road and you sit there trying to get their lazy butts to move!

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      I’m on my way Samantha! I love cows-not really sure how that started haha

  18. noelmorata

    The domestic animals there look so much more wild and fitting perfectly to the landscape…more interesting compared to US domestic animals.

  19. antonette

    Great pictures! We actually have Scottish Highland cattle where we live and they can be quite intimidating when I’m hiking out alone πŸ™‚

  20. Serena

    What a beautiful place and cute animals!!

  21. Travis

    Awesome photos Ashley! I love Hound of the Baskervilles (we just rewatched the Sherlock episode) and have always wanted to go to Dartmoor. It looks like such a cool park. Plus those hairy cows are always fun to see! Safe travels.

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      Thanks Travis! I really enjoyed it- y’all should go! πŸ™‚

  22. I am such a dunce. I thought the head line on the thumbnail link was the about the Wildlife of Dartmouth College. Anyways…. Those highland cows look like hairy versions of Texas longhorn. Why are the sheep so colorful?

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      Haha that’s great Michele. I’d awesome it’s some kind of dye—similar to tagging?

  23. Phoebe @Lou Messugo

    I love Dartmoor, I used to go a lot in my teens and twenties but haven’t been so much in the last few years. You’re right it is a nature and animal-lover’s paradise. It’s hard to pick my favourite photo as they’re all lovely but I think it’s gonna have to be the heather and gorse, and the horse “what a handsome boy”. They really picture Dartmoor for me.

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      Thanks Phoebe! I’d love to go back to Dartmoor someday and spend more time there.

  24. Ace CB @ Life in Dutch

    Gorgeous photos! And I also have a soft spot for the Scottish highlanders. They more or less wander around my neighborhood and I get to see them often =)

  25. budget jan

    Thirty years ago we lived in Dawlish for 3 months and visited Dartmoor frequently. I loved the moor ponies then and it is good to see photos of them again. As for those highland cattle I always feel like hugging them, hmmm.

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  27. Rachel M

    Cute animals, especially the cows πŸ™‚

  28. Michelle

    I just love that second photo of the Highland cow! I went to Dartmoor once, years and years ago when I was a child. Your photos show me how beautiful it is, and hopefully we’ll get to take a trip down there in the future.

  29. lyn barden

    Love that Scottish cow too. Reminds me of the musk oxen of Tibet. The black and white sheep are gorgeous, would love to cuddle. Great photo’s.

  30. Linda

    Heart-warming photos…two of my favorite subjects. May I ask where in Dartmoor you shot these? I am heading there in a couple of weeks and would love to photograph them also, but the park is huge!

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