Whether it’s lunch on top of a tor or a cream tea next to a stream, Dartmoor is a fantastic place for a picnic. If you’re looking for some snippets of Dartmoor information, and a whole lot of family fun, you’ve come to the right place. We have some Dartmoor-related picnic games to keep everyone amused. Have a great time out there, and bring plenty of cake. There’s nothing like a dose of fresh air to make everyone hungry.
UP TO 11 YEARS OLD
Lie on your back and find clouds that look like the answers to the following questions:
What is your favourite animal?
What was the last thing you ate?
Who is in your favourite film?
Where would you like to go for your next picnic?
Carry on the game by making up your own questions.
Fun fact: The smallest cross on Dartmoor is only 11 cm tall.
Game: Ant Tracks
Use the tiny things you find around you to create a racetrack for imaginary ants. Each building element must be less than 1cm in size, or so light you can’t feel it when you pick it up. Your track must include the following:
2. A ramp
3. A secret den
4. A water feature
5. A finish line.
Fun fact: Most of Dartmoor’s tors are granite. Look out for quartz (shiny grey), feldspar (white or pink) and biotite (brown flakes).
Game: Tor, Ice, Sunshine
A version of rock, paper, scissors, this one’s a great way of deciding who gets the last piece of cake. In pairs players count to three then reveal their choice from tor (fist closed), ice (flat hand) or sunshine (fingers spread out).
Tor beats sunshine (casts shade)
Ice beats tor (erodes it)
Sunshine beats ice (melts it)
Jump the Stream
Fun fact: The clappers (stone slabs) on the clapper bridge at Postbridge weigh about 8 tonnes each.
Game: Wet Feet
You could play this one with a real stream but it’s easier with a scarf or piece of rope. You need one caller, and as many players as you like. The caller gives instructions, and the players follow until they make a mistake (at this point everyone shouts ‘Wet Feet!’)
‘Stream’ – Jump over the stream
‘Bank’ – Jump back to the other side
‘Clapper Bridge’ – Put one foot either side then clap your hands six times
‘Stepping Stones’ – Balance on one foot until the caller gives the next instruction
Which Way Now?
Fun fact: The South Pole is much colder than the North Pole.
Game: Compass Points
For this game you need to agree where north, east, south and west are going to be. You can use a compass, and natural features like rocks for this but don’t make the areas too far away.
A caller closes their eyes and all the other players creep to one of the four compass points. The caller (keeping their eyes closed) then shouts out a direction, for example ‘north’. Everybody who is in the north then has to return to the mat. The game continues until only one player is left.
11 YEARS AND UP
Fun Fact: During Dartmoor’s annual Ten Tors Challenge teams of young people walk up to 55 miles across Dartmoor. They navigate their own course, wild camp, and carry everything they need for two days.Game: Mini Ten Tors
The aim of this game is to flick a small stone to checkpoints across the mat. Players take it in turns to start in Okehampton. They must flick their stone within 5cm of the next checkpoint. If they fail to do this, the next person has a go. Checkpoints must be visited in order.
West Mill Tor
Great Mis Tor
West Mill Tor
Who Lived Here?
Fun fact: At the Bronze Age settlement at Grimspound you can visit the remains of 24 round houses.
Game: Ten Word Stories
Dartmoor has been occupied for thousands of years. The map is full of interesting places names. Choose one then make up a ten-word story about it.
Cocks Hill - She ran away with her chickens. He never found her.
Beardown Man – If only he had seen the creature. Too late now.
Fun fact: In Devon we put the cream on our scones before the jam. It’s a very serious matter.
Game: Devon Picnic
Match the local Devon delicacy with its three ingredients. Beware; the main ingredient of one is red herring!
1. Hog’s pudding
2. Devon Flats
3. Devonshire Squab Pie
4. Devon Shrimp Custard
5. Devonshire Honey Cake
6. Devon Porkers
a. Apple, brown sugar, lamb
b. Pork, oatmeal, garlic
c. Apple, pork, mustard
d. Egg, flour, clotted cream
e. Shrimp, egg, milk
f. Egg, flour, honey
1 = b, 2 = d, 3 = a, 4 = e, 5 = f, 6 = c
The Road to Somewhere
Fun fact: Dartmoor National Park is about the same size as London.
Game: Where am I?
If you’ve ever played charades, you’ll know the rules for this one. Players take it in turn to choose a location from the Dartmoor map, and then act it out until someone guesses where they are. To make things easier, you could agree some additional gestures, such as the points of the compass before you start.
The Road to Nowhere
Fun fact: Dartmoor has two Hound Tors, one Kitty Tor, and a rock called Figgie Daniel.
Game: Walk My Bluff
Players take it in turns to choose a place from the map (the more obscure the better for this game). They then invent two other names and ask the group the question, ‘I’m walking on Dartmoor. Shall I visit (lists the real place and the two made up ones)?’ The group have to agree an answer before responding.
Example: I’m walking on Dartmoor. Shall I visit Lower Dunna Goat, High Pig Hill or Black Cat Tor? (Believe it or not, Lower Dunna Goat is the real place).