By Paul Johnson on May 01, 2018 in Adventure Travel, Africa, Argentina, Asia, Europe, Featured, Florida, India, Israel, Leisure Travel, Middle East, Minnesota, Namibia, North America, Regions, South Africa, South America, Spain, Speciality Travel, United Kingdom, USA, Virginia, Washington, Western Europe, Zambia
May is a wonderful time of year to get out and explore the countryside. The weather is getting sunnier (for much of the northern hemisphere, at least) and yet most places are not yet overrun by tourism. With many families staying at home (whilst school and university examinations are in full swing), it’s a great time to travel if you’re lucky enough to be able. Here we’ve compiled a list of 13 of the best national parks to visit in May to help you get the most from this seasonal opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.
Olympic National Park, Washington, USA, as suggested by Stephen Fofanoff, Innkeeper, Domaine Madeleine
Olympic National Park is really 3 parks in one: Alpine mountains, temperate rainforests, and wild Pacific beaches. Over 85% of the park is not accessible by car, making it a pristine getaway that’s often quiet. It’s entirely possible, and easy, to escape into the park and feel like you’re the only person there without getting lost or needing backpack overnight into a remote location. The park is located on the Olympic Peninsula, which contains not just the park but also the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, and numerous state and local parks providing weeks’ work of exploring options for the adventurous. In May, the entire Peninsula comes to life: wild flowers begin blooming, along with rhododendrons and flowering trees; everything is green and lush; waterfalls are flowing freely from the spring melt; and wildlife are active throughout the area. The best way to experience the Park and surrounding natural wonders is to use Port Angeles or Sequim as the gateway, staying in one of the many luxurious small inns and bed and breakfasts.
The weather on the North Olympic Peninsula is unique in the area. While the Western facing side of Olympic National Park gets rain–up to 15 feet per year–making it perfect for the giant old growth trees of the Quinault and Hoh Rainforests, the North side gets closer to 17 inches creating the perfect Mediterranean-like microclimate where lavender grows abundantly at the many farms that are open to the public. Because of the area’s long agricultural history, guests benefit from a bounty of farm to table restaurants in the area. Special “bucket list” highlights to include during your visit: Cape Flattery and the Makah Cultural museum are worth venturing out on the waterfront scenic highway out to the Northwestern most point of the contiguous United States, the Ancient Groves trail on the road to Sol Duc Falls is one of the best places to see ancient giant spruce, fir, and cedar trees in the world; and be sure to include Madison Falls (pictured) and Marymere Falls into your day. Both waterfalls are easily accessible and worth the stop. Day trips to Victoria BC are easy using the Coho ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria’s inner harbor. Plan on spending at least 4 nights to really take in all of the splendor of Olympic National Park and the surrounding area.
North York Moors National Park, UK, as suggested by Catriona McLees, Head of Promotion Tourism, North York Moors National Park Authority
Carpets of bluebells, one of the UK’s most prestigious cycling events and a bumper programme of guided walks all make the North York Moors National Park a great place to visit in May. Start in the genteel market town of Helmsley, which acts as the gateway to the National Park and is rapidly growing a reputation as a foodie hub. After a spot of browsing in the shops, dive into Hunters delicatessen in the market square or seek out the artisan bakery Cinnamon Twist for something to eat. Alternatively make a bee-line for Mannion and Co, a Mediterranean-inspired café. Visit in the first weekend of May and there’s a chance of seeing the peloton of elite cyclists racing through the town on Saturday 5 May as they head to Scarborough as part of the third stage of this year’s Tour de Yorkshire.
The contrasts in the National Park’s landscape with the high moorland, hidden dales and time capsule villages provide a wealth of interest for walkers and cyclists. In May though one of the highlights is a walk through Newton Wood and Cliff Ridge Wood with carpets of bluebells lining the path heading towards the distinctive shape of Roseberry Topping in the Northern tip of the National Park. The hill, known as the Yorkshire Matterhorn, reaches a height of 320 metres and provides a short, steep pull to the top. However the reward of looking back at one of the region’s most stunning natural wildflower displays is incentive-enough to accept the challenge. For those keen to explore other special places on the North York Moors, there’s the popular annual Walkfest which takes place over the Spring Bank Holiday from 26-28 May. During the three-day programme visitors can enjoy the scenery and learn more about the heritage that has helped shape today’s views. This year’s event includes a walk that follows in the footsteps of the young James Cook before he became a Captain and one of the world’s greatest explorers. The walk is all the more poignant given that 2018 marks the 250th anniversary of Cook’s first voyage to Australia and New Zealand. The programme also includes a Land of Iron walk through the Esk Valley with a guide sharing how the area was a hive of activity in Victorian times during the ironstone mining boom.
Ranthambhore National Park, India, as suggested by Madeleine Hann, Co-Founder, Indian Excursions Co.
Every bit the Jungle Book, Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan, India, is a sprawling expanse of deciduous forests and arid jungle scrub, peppered with the crumbling ruins of a 10th century fort. The area was formerly the hunting ground of the Jaipur royal family prior to becoming a protected reserve in the 1970s. Today, Ranthambore National Park is one of the best places in the world to spot wild Bengal tigers in their natural habitat, particularly so in May. In the hotter months of April, May and June, sightings are almost guaranteed, as the summer heat dries up the lakes it’s easy to predict where these majestic big cats will be; lounging by the scarce remaining watering holes. Other inhabitants include leopard, sloth bear, crocodile, deer, peacock, langur, and numerous species of native and migratory birds. Despite such excellent sighting opportunities in May, it’s a quiet time of year to visit the area meaning you can enjoy a more exclusive safari experience. This is also true of the Taj Mahal in nearby Agra and at the splendid forts, palaces and bazaars of neighbouring Jaipur, making Ranthambore National Park a convenient addition to a broader tour of north India this May.
By visiting Ranthambore National Park in May you can take advantage of one of the world’s most luxurious tented camps at less than half the usual cost. During the summer months of April, May and June, the fabulous Oberoi Vanyavilas offers extraordinary value for money and is an oasis to return to between game drives. The camp is comprised of 25 luxury tents, each one with a teak-floored bathroom, a free-standing claw-foot tub, a grand four-poster bed and your own private butler. Whilst not on safari, we’d recommend indulging in a treatment at the spa, taking a dip in the temperature-controlled pool, or savouring a private dinner for two beside the lily-pond. If something historical is more up your street, the colonial-style Sawai Madhopur Lodge is housed in an 80-year- old hunting lodge and managed by the ubiquitous Taj group. The Premium Temptation Suite sprawls over 650 feet, encompassing a master bedroom, separate living area and private lawn. Another luxury favourite is the SUJÁN Sher Bagh, a delightful Relais Châteaux camp exuding colonial charm whilst placing a strong focus on eco-friendly and sustainable practices.
Iguazú National Park, Argentina, as suggested by Caroline Beckett, Senior Product Manager, Elegant Resorts
Iguazú National Park boasts Argentina’s premier tourist attraction — the beautiful and remarkable Iguazú Falls. Meaning ‘big water’ the spectacular falls cross both the Brazilian and Argentinean borders and sit on the largest freshwater reservoir in the world — the Guarani Aquifer. Comprising 270 separate waterfalls across 1.5 miles, and being accessible via water, land and air the mighty falls are an awe-inspiring spectacle. With colossal walls of water, dramatic spray, shimmering rainbows and verdant surroundings, visitors are guaranteed to be in awe whilst accessing the numerous trails and walkways. Such pathways or ‘circuitos’ lead from one enthralling vantage point to another, each one providing a subtly different, yet equally magnificent, vista. By far the biggest park attraction is Gargantia del Dablo, also known as Devil’s Throat. This highest fall in the entire waterfall system is a remarkable 82 metres high, and the sensational drop of plummeting water is visible from a one-kilometre walkway that branches into a stunning horseshoe-shapes section of waterfall passing from Argentina through to Brazil and vice versa. Taking to the water and viewing the falls via a boat tour provides an incredible perspective — not to mention the fact that the boat traverses through the falls powerful downfall! For those daring enough to face the onslaught of a roaring wall of water, the reward is a sensational drenching!
With the annual rainy season occurring between November and March, spring and autumn are the preferred times to visit the remarkable Iguazú Falls and spectacular Iguazú National Park. The month of May is the perfect time to visit due to its cooler temperatures, and with spring being in full bloom, the surrounding scenery is especially picturesque. Whilst at their most beautiful in May, the Iguazú Falls are also quieter than during the peak summer months. May is certainly the best time to avoid the crowds and, with fewer visitors, you can access more of the vantage points, improving your viewing experience and enhancing your enviable photographic opportunities. Families, in particular, will benefit from the cooler temperatures of May and can admire the spectacular scenic rainbows, with fewer visitors around to mar the colourful view. In addition to the thundering falls, Iguazú National Park is also home to over 2,000 plant species in the vibrant rainforests around Iguazú Falls. Not content with the drama and noise of the formidable upper and lower falls, children will love to spot opossum in the surrounding rainforest — the only marsupial found outside Australia. And, finally, yet another reason to visit the Iguazú National Park in May is the annual Iguazú en Concierto event. A wonderful spring attraction for families, the concert uses the Iguazú Falls as a dramatic and breathtaking backdrop for young musicians and singers from all over the world to perform — creating a wonderful crescendo to the mighty bass of the majestic Iguazú Falls in May.
Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia, as suggested by Mindy Roberts, Chief Marketing and Sales Officer, Time + Tide
May is an extraordinary time of year to visit Lower Zambezi National Park in Zambia. Located in the southern hemisphere, May falls is a month of transition between summer and winter. As the summer rains begin to give way to the drier winter months, the bush offers the best of both worlds. The landscape is still lush and verdant from the summer, but the rains no longer fall regularly. With all of the abundant grazing, the herbivores are well-fed and fat, making for exciting interactions between predator and prey. As a time of plenty, there are countless baby animals romping about – leaping impalas, playful baby elephants, graceful kudus and many more. If you’re lucky, you may get to watch the resident lions, leopards or wild dogs teaching their own young how to hunt. As the overlapping month between summer and winter, many of the migratory birds are still lingering around the many hidden river channels that weave through the forests. Avid and beginner birders alike can search for over 370 species! The wildlife aren’t the only ones that enjoy the pleasant, mild temperatures. Travellers can expect highs of 28 Celsius during the days and a low of 13 Celsius at night.
May in the Lower Zambezi National Park is a wildlife photographer’s dream come true. The lush landscape provides a beautiful verdant backdrop for the wildlife. The summer rains have cleared out the air, making for beautiful landscape photography and vibrant colours. The occasional rainstorm creates dramatic skies and unique photographic opportunities. The chance to capture animal behaviour in the rain can produce wonderful photographs. Additionally, the many baby animals add diversity to the subjects available to photograph. Photographers can capture their whimsy, playfulness and the tender interactions between mother and baby. Perhaps if lucky, they will even get the chance to photograph an actual birth. As the start to the peak safari season, the national park is uncrowded, with few other vehicles. Travellers will feel like they have the national park to themselves! You may be the only vehicle at a sighting. This is also an excellent benefit for photographers, allowing their vehicle to be perfectly positioned for the best angle to the action.
Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota, USA, as suggested by Jason Epperson, Host of America’s National Parks Podcast
Voyageurs National Park—on the border of Canada and the U.S. in northern Minnesota—is a maze of waterways. In fact, 40% of the park is water. Its primary attraction is the island-dotted lakes, boreal forest, and rock formations nearly half the age of the earth. May visitors have the chance to see spring in all its glory at Voyageurs, while avoiding the black fly and mosquito swarms of the summer. The many bald eagle pairs mate this time of year, offering the acrobatic courtship displays of locking their talons and tumbling through mid-air. The population of three thousand beavers are building dams and giving birth. Moose, wolves, black bears, and loons call this place their home, and can be seen in the large oases created by the beaver dams. Voyageurs is one of the few spots in the lower 48 that you may witness the northern lights. May is still dark enough to catch the display, but warm enough that the snow and ice are gone.
The average May high is in the upper-60s, perfect camping weather. The National Park Service offers off-the-grid campsites on the park’s many islands. You can only get to them by boat. In fact, boating is the primary method to see most of Voyageurs, whether it be a National Park Service charter, your own canoe or fishing boat, or the way to visit in style—a rental houseboat. The Park Service offers docks throughout the islands that you can saddle up to at night for a private getaway under the northern lights. Once in the inner islands, visitors can borrow a Park Service canoe to explore the small, virtually untouched waterways. There are no land-based camping options within the park, but on the edges are plenty of private resorts with tent and RV sites, as well as many lodges and cabins. Many of which offer private docks and rental boats for touring.
Lake District National Park, UK, as suggested by Usha Mistry, Project Manager, Lakes Culture
The Lake District National Park is the UK’s newest and biggest UNESCO World Heritage site. It has gained this global recognition for its cultural landscape; it is a landscape with meaning, significance and a lasting legacy. The landscape has been shaped by thousands of years of industry and agriculture. The scenery has inspired artists and writers whose works have a global influence such as Ruskin, Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter, and it was the birth place of the conservation movement, including the National Trust and UK National Parks. To really understand the World Heritage story (rather than just take a pic of a mountain or lake!) and make a visit to the Lake District unique and memorable, visitors can enjoy some Signature Experiences like climbing inside a slate mine, being an engineer for the day on a steam yacht used by 18th century tourists, or enjoy the fantastic summer season theatre performances at the “most gorgeously situated theatre in England” – The Telegraph.
The weather in the Lake District is known to be unpredictable, however as they say in Cumbria, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes” and there are plenty of places to pick up some quality outdoor gear. May tends to be a great time to enjoy the outdoors in the Lakes, warm enough to walk the fells without getting too overheated and before the mass influx of the summer holiday makers. In Grizedale Forest in the heart of the National Park you can walk or cycle a variety of routes to discover outdoor sculptures by some of the leading names in contemporary art and in early May you can also enjoy stargazing in the officially recognised Dark Sky. It’s not all about adventure in the outdoors in the Lake District, there are numerous cultural attractions, high quality hotels and spas and an endless number of places to enjoy afternoon tea with fantastic views.
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, USA, as suggested by Bri Warner, Acting Executive Director, Charlottesville Albemarle Convention Visitors Bureau
Shenandoah National Park is a beautiful park to visit at any time of year, but especially so during the month of May. Located a short and scenic drive from downtown Charlottesville, Virginia, the park really begins to spring back to life during the month of May, with wildflowers blooming and trees bursting with vibrant green foliage. Skyline Drive, the only public road in the park, runs 105 miles north and south along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains and offers up nearly 70 different overlooks, all boasting tremendous views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are beautifully adorned with their fresh spring foliage. Many visitors who travel this pristine stretch of roadway during the month of May can be seen driving in convertibles or on motorcycles, soaking in the crisp, cool mountain air. Due to all of the twists and turns, the speed limit on Skyline Drive is 35 mph, but even still, the entire route can be driven in approximately three hours. Be sure to keep an eye out for wildlife, including deer, wild turkey, and even black bears, all of which can be spotted during a trip to Shenandoah National Park in the month of May.
Once you’ve had the exhilarating experience of exploring Skyline Drive, be sure to check out the variety of hikes that the park has to offer. There are hikes for visitors of all skill levels and with May’s mild (but not too warm) afternoons, the weather is absolutely perfect for hitting the trails. Whether you’re on the trail for a mile or two, or you’re tackling something a bit longer and more challenging, Shenandoah National Park will have just the hike for you. The month of May is also home to “Wildflower Weekend” events, with rangers leading wildflower walks, workshops, and activities, all centered around a celebration of the abundant wildflowers that are found here during this time of year. When you have wrapped up your day filled with driving, hiking and exploring, it’s time to pitch a tent and sleep under the stars! Shenandoah National Park has five beautiful campgrounds each with their own unique features, or you can explore the nearly 200,000 acres of backcountry for a true taste of the Virginia wilderness. Plus, with May’s crisp, cool nights, you’re sure to have optimal sleeping conditions, as you listen to the sounds of chirping crickets and soft breezes blowing through the trees.
Addo Elephant Park, South Africa, as suggested by Jared Rutteberg, Owner, JaredinCPT.com
At the one end of South Africa’s famous Garden Route, lies the Addo Elephant Park, embracing an impressive 1640 km2 of conservation land. As the name suggests, you’re in for an elephant extravaganza, with over 600 of the beasts in the park. Addo is however, has much more on offer than just it’s prized elephants. It’s the only park in South Africa that has not only the Big 5, but also Big 7, which includes the addition of great white sharks and southern right whales. The park also encompasses several coastal islands, where you can find the biggest African Penguin colony on the continent. For those who are into the flora just as much as the fauna, you’re in for a treat. The biodioversty is astounding, with the park boasting five different biomes: grassland, fynbos, Karoo, thicket and forest – all in one reserve. Let’s not forget that the plant group fynbos, is itself the most biodiverse in the world! No where else on the plant, including the Amazon, has the same amount of plant species per square km, hence being awarded status as a UNESO World Heritage Site.
Why visit Addo in May? When visiting game parks, remember the temperature plays an important role for both the visitors and the animals. In the hotter months, the animals hide escape the heat, and therefore your visibility is limited. In winter, the animals may be more visible, but the colder temperatures can be a challenge for visitors – especially when you’re wanting to be outside for several hours of game drives during the day. May therefore straddles these two extremes, and provides a good balance. May is also a quieter time to visit the park, as you’re avoiding the summer tourists over peak season, and then also the overseas visitors travelling to South Africa during their summer break. The best way to access the park from both Cape Town and Johannesburg, is to fly to Port Elizabeth and hire a car for the 75km journey. Several accommodation options are available, including camping, huts and some newly introduced luxury lodges.
Picos de Europa National Park, Spain, as suggested by Thomas Power, MD and Co-founder, Pura Aventura
The Picos de Europa National Park and mountain range in northern Spain straddles the regions of Cantabria, Asturias and Castilla y León. Considered to be “Europe’s most underrated destination” by Telegraph Travel Editor Ben Ross, the Picos is celebrating an important anniversary this year, for Spain’s first ever National Park was created here in 1918. The fact that 2018 therefore marks the centenary of the Picos de Europa National Park is interesting enough, but that’s not the reason to go, however: this simple rural area isn’t about to put on a centenary-related song and dance. The list of reasons to go is long, and includes flower-carpeted meadows, wooded valleys, spectacular mountains, water sports galore, and a gentle, natural pace of life. May is one of the very best months to be here, as the climate is ideal, the scenery at its most glorious, and the spectacular flora and fauna at its most plentiful.
Hiking in the lower and mid ranges of the Picos mountains during the month of May is exceptionally beautiful, with the lush green of the valleys contrasting with the snow still covering the peaks. Spring has well and truly sprung, with flowers blooming from the valley floor right up into the hills, and the hay meadows blossoming. With the flowers and the blossom come a wealth of butterflies: there are around 150 species to be found in the Picos. The hay meadows are also home to a fabulous range of orchids which start to show their delicate faces in May/June. What’s more, after the traditional April rains, and with snow beginning to melt in the peaks, the rivers in the Picos de Europa are at their fullest in May, making this an excellent month to enjoy the many water activities on offer: canoeing, canyoning, abseiling down waterfalls, rock pool jumping, and kayaking. Keen birders know that the Picos is home to over 100 species and that you can lose days in the mountains with your binoculars, but May is a particularly active time, with many species breeding, and migrant raptors such as the Short toed Eagle or the Egyptian Vulture recently arrived from Africa. Finally, May sees the agricultural side of the Picos come to life again, with farmers starting to work the hay in the valleys and the flocks of cows, sheep and goats already roaming in the mid-mountain pastures waiting for the official opening of the high pastures on the 1st of June.
Caesarea National Park, Israel, as suggested by Deanna Malespin, Director, Restoration Tours
A place of history and inspiration, on the shores of the beautiful exotic Mediterranean, stands the ancient remains of the Caesarea port. Built around the 10-20 BCE by Herod the Great. It boasted as a popular port surrounded with palm trees, citrus grooves, and flowers. As located in the pinnacle center between three continents: Europe, Africa and Asia; it was conquered several times by empires such as the Romans, Byzantines, Crusaders and the Ottomans. Each time it was conquered a layer of history was added, enhancing the story and the architecture of the area. Now in modern day, the ancient port has come alive again as a national park, drawing many visitors who come to explore the area such as the large ancient amphitheater which overlooks the Mediterranean Sea, the arena where chariot races and gladiator competitions once took place and much more. There is also an underwater museum of an ancient harbour that Herod the Great had built which submerged underwater due to an earth quake. Divers can explore the architecture under water with waterproof.
Now as we enter the new month of May, the National Park will be quite attractive. In May the weather is at its best, not being as hot as the summer months of July and August, but warm enough to go swimming and enjoy gelato as you walk along the port watching the waves crash along the shore. The flowers will also be in bloom adding to the beautiful scenery. The outdoor restaurants, from morning to night, will be full of people enjoying the delicious Mediterranean flavors that are pleasing to the taste buds. As well, live concerts will begin on Friday nights and concerts will be held in the ancient amphitheater. The port will come alive with the sound of music! Plus Shavuot (Pentecost) is often celebrated in May, and one of the many traditions is to eat dairy foods, so as such, cheesecake is a favorite treat during the holiday! Most pilgrimage tours bring their groups to the Caesarea National Park because of its connection in the Bible. The story goes that Peter, one of the followers of Jesus, travelled to Caesarea to meet a man named Cornelius, a Roman leader. It was uncommon in those days for a Jewish man to enter a non Jewish home. But realizing that faith in Jesus was available to all, he entered the home and they spoke about Jesus together. This marks a special moment in history where faith brought different people together.
Etosha National Park, Nambia, as suggested by James Jayasundera, Founder Managing Director, Ampersand Travel
Etosha is well known for its vast salt pan in the centre of the park, so vast in fact that it can be seen from space. May is a glorious time to travel; it presents some of the best weather with temperatures ranging between 15 and 28 degrees Celsius which is extremely mild for a semi-arid region. The cooler temperatures encourage predators and nocturnal creatures to remain active longer into the daylight hours, increasing your chances of some extraordinary sightings. These include species such as Aardwolf, Aardvark and Porcupine. Game viewing is at its best! With water sources diminishing throughout the park, large herds of game begin to congregate at the 50 or so artificial water points. The abundance of prey attracts a variety of predators such as lion cheetah and occasionally leopard who take advantage of their unsuspecting prey – be sure to keep your cameras primed for incredible action shots! Many of the lodges have floodlit waterholes that provide unique nighttime game viewing, common sightings are lion and rhino – moreover Etosha is rumored to have the largest population of black rhino in Africa. The overall game viewing is on par with South Africa’s Kruger and Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Parks.
It is recommended staying at two different areas of the park, not only to increase your chances of seeing a wide variety of game but also allowing you to explore vast areas without doubling back on yourself. The Western side of the park has more water points and generally fewer tourists. The pan should be bone dry at this time of year providing awesome photographic opportunities especially for those interested in landscape photography. Excess lime salt creates a blinding expanse of flat, white cracked earth glimmering with mirages. Amateur and professional photographers alike flock for the picture-perfect shot of an animated four-legged creature against the backdrop of this shimmering landscape. Waterholes create amazing action shots when the animals are strolling down for a drink. They never fully relax, fearful of lurking predators. What’s more, the royal couple who are getting married in May will be honeymooning in Namibia – what better way than to share this exquisite landscape with the most celebrated couple in the world.
Dartmoor National Park, Devon, UK, as suggested by Jenny How, Director, Visit Dartmoor
Situated at the heart of Devon, Dartmoor is an ancient landscape of stunning views, awe-inspiring granite tors, deep wooded valleys with fast flowing rivers, and rugged, wide open spaces. Steeped in history, Dartmoor also offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy absolute peace and quiet in one of the last great wildernesses in the UK. Accommodation options range from glamping to boutique self-catering cottages and luxury hotels, while the diverse terrain affords some of the best local produce in the UK. Almost everything about this vast wilderness has been decreed by its terrain; from the hardy cattle grazing all year on the high moors, to the mineral-rich Dartmoor spring water from the soft verdant valleys. Visit in May for acres of bluebells, which although they tend to flower later due to the higher altitude and harsher climate create some of the UK’s most spectacular displays, growing in huge swathes on the open moorland. Another natural attraction to seek out in May is the Dartmoor pony; each spring sees new born foals taking their first steps and roaming freely across the moor.
There are 368 square miles of Dartmoor to discover and bike is a good way to do it, whether you are a passionate pedaller or a casual cyclist. From winding country lanes to challenging inclines and dramatic descents. May sees one of the UK’s ultimate cycle challenges take place, the Dartmoor Sportive (27 May). Choose from the ‘short’ 62-mile route or the 80-mile route following sections of the 2016 Tour of Britain. Or head out on one of the National Park’s new tours. Guests at Bovey Castle, Dartmoor’s lavish neo-Elizabethan style manor house hotel can now join a guided tour of the estate’s deer park. Other tour options include the Gems of Dartmoor landscape photography workshop (26 May), a guided walk with Dartmoor pack ponies. Or step indoors for a new exhibition at The Devon Guild of Craftsmen in Bovey Tracey that will take visitors on a tour of ‘A Year on Dartmoor’: acclaimed Devon Guild printmaker, Anita Reynolds, has visited all 365 square miles of Dartmoor National Park and represented each with an artwork.
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