So what is Dartmoor Letter Boxing all about? Winston Churchill once said that golf was just a way of spoiling a good walk. Well Letterboxing is a valid reason for a great walk. Across the 365 square miles of the Dartmoor National Park there are over 21000 Letter Boxes. That is around 57 boxes per square mile!!!
A LETTER BOX A DARTMOOR LETTER BOX
Letterboxing involves walking across some of the most beautiful countryside to be found looking for little plastic (or other material) boxes.
A typical Letterbox contains a ‘Visitors book’, a rubber stamp and usually an inkpad for said stamp. The basic idea is to walk across the moor looking for these small boxes. Should you find one (they are usually well hidden) you remove it from its hiding place, open the box and stamp the visitors book. Most ‘Boxers’ carry their own personal stamp to put in the books they find. You then take a copy of the stamp in your book. It is very important to return the box to its resting place exactly as you found it.
A man called James Perrot started ‘Letterboxing’ in the mid 1850s. He placed a bottle at Cranmere Pool, which allowed visitors to prove they had visited the area. This letterbox still exists to this day and is marked on the OS map for the area. It should be pointed out that not every box is marked on the OS maps as this would spoil the fun. (And make the maps look very messy).
There is a club called the ‘100 Club’ for Boxers who have managed to locate 100 or more boxes. The 100 Club issue badges for members who have found 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000, 3000 & 4000 boxes. There is also a special branch of the 100 club for our four legged friends.