Locals and visitors alike recommend this former 15th Century church house inn, named after the 800yr old oak tree on the adjacent village green. The ancient interior lends a homely traditional feel, from flagstone floors to church pew seating. The ales are quality and the food highly rated.
Inaccessible by road but located just 200m across the Tamar from Plymouth. This beach has a mix of stone, sand and shingle - there is only a small sliver of beach at high tide, so you would be wise to check the tides before you visit.
This disused railway line has been transformed into a spectacular walkway and rough cycle track that winds through deciduous woodland and past high moorland Tors. There are marvellous views of Burrator Lake and the Walkham Valley and the track passes the quarries of Sweltor and Foggintor, once famous for the granite used on many London buildings, including London Bridge.
Views from the sea to Bodmin Moor, the only sound the cry of the buzzards; (good pubs in Princetown!)
- G Steele
Princetown is a pretty little village that is the highest settlement on the moor - so great views all round! It has plenty of historical value, now primarily known for being the site of Dartmoor prison, and literary connections (Arthur Conan Doyle stayed in the hotel whilst writing The hound of the Baskervilles). The town brewery brews a few local ales that you will doubtless see around the West Country.
Dartmoor is littered with mysterious standing stones, hut circles and old burial chambers believed to have been constructed up to 5,000 years ago. The stones at Merrivale are probably Dartmoor's most easily accessible, and include the longest double stone row in Europe, a stone circle, menhirs (standing stones) and a kistvaen (burial tomb).
You definitely know you're on the open moor here! When you think about the history surrounding you, it really gives you a sense of being a speck in a much bigger picture. A fantastic place to watch the sunset on mid-summer's eve - the summer solstice. Something very strange happens when the sun sets over Staple Tor - accident or design?
Bare and windswept spooky stones and great views.
- G Steele
Named after one of Devon's most famous sons, Sir Francis Drake, the Drake's Trail project, launched in March 2009, includes a range of walking and cycling routes in West Devon for all age groups and fitness levels. The new off-road cycling route follows the old railway track between Tavistock and Plymouth, crossing open moorland at Roborough Down before reaching the wooded valleys of the River Meavy and eventually the River Plym.
See deer in the woods and watch the rivers for kingfishers, herons and spawning salmon.
- G Steele
Rare mosses and lichens festoon the trees and granite boulders in this ancient oak wood. With its eerie, gnarled, moss-covered trees, it's easy to see why local legend has it that Druids once performed Pagan rituals here. Today, Devon's oldest woodland is a National Nature Reserve and a hotspot for moorland birds in the summer months. Reach it on foot from the nearby village of Two Bridges at the crossroads of the B3357 and B3212.
Realm of the Quercus Gods
To those like myself and my better half who are not pagan but follow those traditional Arte's of our Isle, Wismans wood is a realm certain to leave an impression not just for its familiarity but for it's pure presence. Haunting, ethereal, eerie, disquieting and much more, this is somewhere that beckons you to enter but doesn't wish you to leave.
The moss-covered rocks can be slippery to traverse and there were a few trips and falls, also there are adders present (I nearly stood on one as it darted beneath a rock but got caught and sadly lost part of its tail) so people taking canines or young children should be mindful.
A really beautiful walk to a very atmospheric place!! Not too far, and well placed to stop for lunch at the Two Bridges Hotel afterwards!
There is something quite eery yet fascinating about Wistman's Wood! I would recommend packing a picnic and taking a trip to visit the wood as the mosses and weavy trees are not like any other.
The Woods Between the Worlds
The stunted oaks covered in moss give Wistman's Wood an otherworldly feel. Walking here, you could be in Narnia's 'woods between the worlds'. A very atmospheric place.
This is also a popular place for letterboxing (an outdoor hobby that combines orienteering and problem-solving and involves finding boxes hidden in various outdoor locations to collect special stamps). Many boxes have been sited around the wood over the years, and it is thought that Dartmoor is where letterboxing first originated.
A medieval house in amazing condition, with fabulous collections of armour, textiles and furniture from the period.
This is one of the most beautiful houses in UK. Well worth a visit.
Stoic British carried on in AWFUL weather!
Wonderful House, Gardens, grounds and shops..AWFUL half term weather, but we braved it all! NB the house has NO electric lights so visibility in the house is limited on dull days!. Mill lovely and the walk down from the house through the gardens and past the chapel to the quay side and then the mill was lovely....a little slippery in places as it a little steep in parts and was SO wet..but we all remained upright! Lovely Cornish ice creams at the Quay and great bread flour can be bought at the mill shop. Hurrah for the VERY helpful and lovely mini bus driver who can ferry any less able bodies around the 3 sites...
Cotehele is a beautiful National Trust property - I recommend walking the wider estate, including the folly behind the property which gives you a bird's eye view for miles! The walk down through the quay to the mill is stunning, and the waterwheel and mill race is currently being renovated, which is an interesting project. You can even buy flour that has been milled on site.
A medieval gem with a magical garden sloping down to the Tamar. Plenty of walks on the Estate. Highly recommended are the scones at the restaurant on Cotehele Quay - just the thing at the end of a stroll along the river.
Big by Dartmoor standards, Tavistock is a town that seems to have everything - fancy restaurants, a historic market, a cinema, lots of shops and some good attractions, too. Plenty to do here on a rainy day.
Tavistock - A bit of everything!
What a lovely place! Big enough to have shops like Boots and other high street chains but small enough to retain a independent feel with little boutique gift shops. It made a refreshing change after 5 solid days of holiday gift shops selling mugs and teatowels, to find somewhere that sold normal things!! We still don't know what a pannier market is, even having visited!!! Nice though!
Bustling market town with many independent shops. The Pannier Market is open from Tuesday to Saturday with different stalls each day. Tuesdays are good for bric a brac and antiques. Every other Saturday there is an award winning Farmer's Market in the square. Also an award winning cheeserie. A great place for foodies.
Tavistock is a lovely town with loads of interesting little shops. It's a great way to while away a couple of hours, with a leisurely lunch of course, before heading up on to the moor itself.
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