The small market town of Bovey Tracey is located on the eastern fringes of Dartmoor, offering excellent access to the wild beauty of the moor, as well as to the stunning Teign valley and coast at Dawlish and Teignmouth.
The town's winding streets, pretty parks, and range of quality independent shops, delicatessens, bars, restaurants and coffee shops make for the perfect environment to have a relaxing potter, or if you're feeling more adventurous, Dartmoor's famous Haytor is just a few miles away, for an active day outdoors immersed in nature.
As a gateway to Dartmoor, Bovey Tracey offers easy access to its distinctive granite tors left, standing since the last glacial period and rising in parts to over 2000 feet, and to a wonderful variation in landscape, from the barren remoteness of the higher moorland, to rivers rushing over granite boulders down into deep wooded valleys and traditional farms.
The town itself is home to the all-weather attraction and games museum, House of Marbles, and also the Devon Guild of Craftsmen, a converted Riverside Mill where you can watch jewellery, sculpture, prints, glass and textiles being created, and enjoy the spacious gallery, shop and Terrace Café.
A holiday cottage in Bovey Tracey provides a convenient base for exploring Dartmoor, whilst offering plenty to see and do on your doorstep in this pretty town.
Craft is written into the fabric of Devon; it is a creative community with a past and a strong tradition for production. As a result, the Devon Guild of Craftsmen is an acclaimed exhibition space for contemporary craft and design, but it’s also a charity for craft education, located in Bovey Tracey. There’s a craft shop with work by 250 makers from the South West, exhibitions, and when all that crafty stuff has worn you out there’s The Terrace Cafe for local food including a children’s menu. The Shop, cafe and galleries are open daily from 10am-5.30pm.
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On a site with a history for pottery and producing vintage toys and games, the House of Marbles is a working glassworks that’s a joy to visit. It’s free to explore and has free parking as well, providing hours of entertainment for adults and kids alike, with an array of marble runs, animated animals, fairground mirrors, a penny press and a giant floating marble. It is a place of old fashioned curiosities and childhood intrigue, the kind that computer games simply can’t manufacture. When you’re done exploring, there’s The Old Pottery Restaurant to visit as well, serving locally sourced and freshly prepared hearty fare throughout the day.
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The Canonteign Falls are in fact a Victorian folly being man made in the 1890’s, but this does little to detract from their beauty. Falling from over 70m and surrounded by lush woodlandthey provide one of the most breath taking photographic and painting opportunities in Devon today. As well as the falls, Canonteign has a total of 7 lakes full of wildlife, and is surrounded by beautiful woodland and gardens. There is also a childrens play area, zip wire and mini assault course and lots more to see and do.
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Specialising in fly fishing tuition, the Dartmoor School of Fly Fishing invites anyone from beginners to seasoned pros to brush up their skills on the edge of Dartmoor, on the outskirts of the attractive market town of Moretonhampstead. A 10 minute drive away from the picturesque Kennick Lake, where you will be putting your newfound skills into action, it is the ideal place learn to fish from a boat using both modern and traditional loch style techniques for the first time in over 50 acres of space, all surrounded by the Dartmoor wilderness. Prices start at £90 for half a day, and a variety of courses are available.
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Voted the most beautiful place in Devon, Becky Falls is a famous part of the Dartmoor landscape, welcoming visitors since 1803. Providing activities for kids, nature trails, woodland and waterfall walks graded according to ability, and an abundance of wildlife to observe, the area allows you to really explore and understand what makes Devon such a beautiful and magical place thanks to its abundant natural assets. The site is open seasonally, dogs are welcome, parking is available and while there isn’t a cafe it’s the perfect place to bring a picnic.
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An ideal eating place for hungry walkers and families in the heart of Bovey Tracey serving good quality dishes made from fresh local ingredients, accompanied by a selection of cask ales and wines from around the world.
The Cromwell Arms Fore Street, Bovey Tracey TQ13 9AE (T: 01626 833473)
A friendly café surrounded by beautiful parkland which prides itself on its sustainability and use of high quality local, seasonal produce. Open daily for lunch and tea, and transforming into a candlelit restaurant on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.
Home Farm Café Parke, Bovey Tracey, Newton Abbot TQ13 9JQ (T: 01626 830016)
A fabulous little farm shop and cafe. We stopped here for lunch when we arrived and breakfast during the week. We picked up all our meat from the onsite butcher, but there seemed less choice in the shop compared with our visit last year.
We were staying a mile away near HayTor for two weeks in June and used this excellent farm shop most days. The friendly staff make you feel welcome and the service is very efficient. We ate there several days and as much as we could used it as an alternative to supermarket shopping. The meals are excellent and the cakes are works of art!
Made a couple of visits during our stay, not a huge selection but lovely pies. Also tried the local wine & some of the coffee's. Worth a visit.
We were staying just up the road from this great place, so called in for lunch with my son and family, who joined us from Torquay. The place was quit busy, but the staff were really helpful, and let us know the approximate wait for our meal. This turned up fairly quickly and was excellent. The size of the steak and ale pie has to be seen to be believed! Will definitely call in again.
The pasties from here are lovely. We also got a lot of our gifts to take home from here. Great products on sale and very friendly staff.
One of the best quality cooked breakfasts we have ever had! Great value for money.
A good place to stop off for refreshments after enjoying the lovely walks in the area, this traditional Dartmoor pub serves good quality British cuisine along with a wide selection of local beers and ciders. The pub is full of character with exposed beams, flagstones and cosy wood burner and is dog and family friendly.
The Carpenters Arms Drewsmead, Ilsington, Newton Abbot TQ13 9RG (T: 01364 661629)
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Satisfactory. Service average. Wine not poured, no water offered at table. Main course average, dessert excellent.
A family run country house hotel surrounded by beautiful countryside with two places to eat - the fine dining restaurant offering an inspirational menu using fresh local produce, along with The Blue Tiger Inn offering a bistro style menu and cream teas in a more relaxed atmosphere.
Ilsington Country House Hotel Restaurant Ilsington, Newton Abbott TQ31 9RR (T: 01364 661452)
Exmouth Beach is a bustling two mile stretch of golden sand at the mouth of the Exe Estuary backed by a promenade of shops and restaurants. Old meets new here, with traditional seaside donkey rides, swing boats and crazy golf alongside volley ball courts and a huge selection of modern watersports including jet skis, kite surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding and windsurfing.
If you’re looking for some peace and quiet you can find that here too at the far end of the beach, where there are also some rock pools for children to explore. Exmouth is known as the gateway to the Jurassic Coast and its cliffs are teaming with fossils and geological finds. The coastline is also part of the South West Coast Path with the beach and surrounding cliffs providing some excellent long and short walks.
Dogs are welcome all year on parts of the beach and on the main beach from October to the end of April. Dog bins are provided.
A picturesque two mile pebble beach backed partly with cliffs, with plenty of space and lovely clean clear water. Along the esplanade there are beach cafes and a car park and it is only a short wander into the village for toilets, shops and pubs. Care should be taken swimming towards the eastern end of the beach where there can be strong currents due to the River Otter, and there are no lifeguard facilities.
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Step back in time to a gentler age here - lovely beach, quaint little town, reminded us of Southward in Suffolk on a smaller scale - we loved it!
By the seaside town of the same name, Sidmouth Beach is a long stretch of pebbles that stretches from the River Sid at the east of the town, West to Chit Rocks and Jacobs Ladder Beach and beyond. From the town you go over a footbridge and a number of steps down to the beach, however there are also access points along the sea front esplanade. There are a number of car parks close by, most of which are a few minutes’ walk from the beach itself, and it benefits from nearby facilities, cafes, restaurants and shops. Dogs are not allowed on the beach from 1st May to the 30th September, however there is a small area at the East end of the beach where dogs are allowed all year round. It’s a delightful spot for swimming sailing and surfing if the weather permits it, but you do have to take your own equipment.
Between Dartmouth and Slapton, Blackpool Sands is a beautiful shingle bay on the South West Coast Path, surrounded by evergreens and pine trees. It really is a treasure of a beach to visit while you’re in the area. Award-winning, the privately owned, blue flag beach boasts a sense of being in the Mediterranean on a good day in the summer, although a good jumper never goes amiss in this part of the world! You will no doubt not be surprised to hear that it is in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, however it also boasts ample facilities and things to do. There are showers, toilets and disabled facilities, as well as paddle board, kayak and wetsuit hire available for those wishing to earn their visit to The Venus Beach Café, where light bites and refreshments are served. The Venus Shop also sells all the bits and pieces you might want for fun and games on the beach if you have forgotten them or are in need of extra buckets and spades. The water at Blackpool Sands is known for being clean and clear and tested by the Environment Agency, and lifeguards are on hand in the summer (July to September) so there’s every reason to pop in for a dip. However, dogs are not allowed on the beach in the high season (12th March to 30th October) so keep the walking for the cooler months. There is parking available at the beach with seasonal charges, and you can find out more information on those from the Blackpool Sands information line on 01803 771800. This beach is easy to get to and quite literally fun and games for the whole family, as well as a beautiful place to visit at any time of the year to take in the view!
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Stunning beach, and you can get takeaway cream tea from the cafe to have on the beach!!
Our family 's favourite beach
The cost of the parking steep
Perfect venue for a sunny day! Secluded beach which is clean and tidy, with a cafe, snack bar and shop, beach equipment hire too
Beautiful location but shame it a shingle beach and not sandy. Also very disappointed with the £8 fee to park the car .
Beautiful clean beach with excellent facilities.Clean toilets lovely cafe and shop.Lifeguard on the beach.No dogs allowed.Plenty of parking.We enjoyed rock pooling at the far end of the beach.The owner does a great job.You can also visit Blackpool Sands garden but we did not have time.Also a juggler was there on the day we went great fun for everyone.
A long stretch of beach with spectacular views of the sea stretching into the distance, Slapton Sands is in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and for good reason. Adjacent to Slapton Ley, a freshwater lake that’s home to an abundance of wildlife and one of the many reasons people come to visit the area, the beach has a history of welcoming families in the summer for long days in the sunshine, building sandcastles, surfing, windsurfing and kayaking. It’s amazing to believe that this peaceful corner of South Devon has its place in military history as in 1943 the beach was taken over by allied forces to use as a rehearsal area for the D-Day landings. However, live ammunition and poor visibility ended in the deaths of more than 700 servicemen, so today there is a stone monument in place for Operation Tiger, as it was called, as well as a Sherman Tank at nearby Torcross. On a more current note, there is a beachside café at Slapton Sands for teas, coffees and other light bites, and there are also toilets nearby. The beach has disabled access, and also allows dogs throughout the year, so it really is fun for everyone and very easy to get to. There is parking nearby and in the summer months from May to September there is lifeguard cover. Last, but not least, a small collection of pubs reside in Torcross for those who are feeling peckish after a long day in the fresh air, or if you have been for a nice walk along the sand!
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Great place for a walk along the beach and had some great events for children at Easter. Great fish and chips in the pub at the end on Torcross
Clapton Sands is beautiful. The rocks are the most beautiful colours, wild flowers abound on the beach, the views in either direction are stunning and it is rarely over crowded.One of the most wonderful areas in the U.K.
Beautiful stretch of shingle beach - dogs allowed all year. Not many facilities - we went to the Strete end of the beach as there is a great little coffee hut there - great coffee and friendly staff.
Wonderful nature reserve with well signposted walks.
Beautiful beach right across from our Cottage
Really interesting area and good walks along the coast and by the Ley. Generous provision of toilets and parking and a number of places to eat. Would particularly recommend The Start Bay Inn, The Boathouse and Seabreeze Cafe at Torcross. Also very handy that there is a bus should you want to walk one way and get a bus back. Very beautiful and peaceful.