Cheriton Bishop is a small village with a pub and a shop on the north eastern edge of Dartmoor, situated about 10 miles from the historic city of Exeter and close to the market town of Okehampton. Nestled within unspoilt countryside, the village offers a rural escape, away from the crowds yet still within easy reach of shops and supermarkets if you want them.
This area is perfect for exploring the iconic and beautiful Dartmoor National Park, Step back in time and take a drive down the picturesque Teign valley to the quaint little village of Lustleigh, then head towards Widecombe in the Moor. If you like to feel the wind in your hair, park up at Haytor and take a scenic walk round this huge rocky outcrop, keeping a look out for the old granite tram tracks. The near vertical face of Haytor is a popular spot for climbers, but it is also possible to reach the top by clambering up an easier route on the opposite side.
Whilst exploring the moors you will come across the numerous Dartmoor ponies along with cattle and sheep, which all have a tendency to wander into the road! Most of the moor is open access, so it is perfect for a day out whether you are simply picnicking by a river, hiking or taking the dog for a good walk. If you are in the north western part of the moor, however, please check the signposts before walking off-road as the military often train in that area. Whilst Dartmoor may feel fairly uninhabited, man has long had an influence on the landscape; keep an eye out for the numerous remnants of our ancient history, including stone rows, standing stones and hut circles.
England's youngest castle at Castle Drogo National Trust is also well worth a visit. Follow the winding paths down to the steep gorge teeming with wildlife, and on a fine day enjoy the spectacular Dartmoor views at Sharp Tor.
If you fancy a change of scenery and want a day at the beach, there are plenty on the south coast within an hour’s drive including the pebbly beach at Budleigh Salterton and the long sandy beach at Exmouth. We also recommend taking a boat trip up the Exe estuary, particularly on a guided wildlife tour – just don’t forget your binoculars!
A holiday cottage in Cheriton Bishop offers rural peace and tranquillity right on the edge of the rugged moors.
Overlooking the dramatic Teign Gorge, Castle Drogo is a spectacular building with a wealth of history to go with it, and beautiful gardens to explore. While it’s currently undergoing a conservation project, it remains open so that you can explore and learn about it’s fascinating story. Outside, discover the beautiful Lutyens-designed terraced garden with dramatic views of Dartmoor, and see the quaint miniature gardens that go with it. Beyond the castle there is the Teign Valley with its ancient gorge and magnificent wildlife, and after all that exploration there’s a cafe to refuel in with a traditional Devon cream tea. Dogs are welcome.
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One of Devon's most prominent Art Galleries, Green Hill is attracting the attention of some of the most respected South West Artists with names such as Peter Randall-Page, Susan Derges, and Peter Stiles exhibiting in the Gallery's large attractive contemporary space. While you’re there find out about the rich history of the area in the Heritage Centre or pick up a unique souvenir or gift from the shop.
Green Hill Arts 23 Fore Street, Moretonhampstead TQ13 8LL (T: 01647 440775)
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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On the edge of Dartmoor, The Miniature Pony Centre is a magical attraction for children and something of a hidden gem in this vast landscape. With pony rides and pony care days, for kids to be surrounded by miniature ponies really is something special for them to enjoy on their Devon holiday, not to mention a happy, healthy day out for the whole family. There’s a cafe on site, which does a tasty cream tea and a good cup of coffee, and for rainy days there indoor play areas as well.
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A sympathetically refurbished hotel in the heart of this small moorland town, with a restaurant championing fresh, local and seasonal produce. Traditional cream teas are served in the relaxing, sofa filled lounge.
The White Hart Restaurant The Square, Moretonhampstead, Newton Abbot TQ13 8NF (T: 01647 440500) ->
Soak up the atmosphere in this friendly and welcoming pub in the heart of Dartmoor National Park with its leather sofas and roaring fires, light and airy courtyard restaurant, delicious award winning food and a fine selection of Devon ales, ciders and wines from around the world.
The Horse 7 George Street, Mortonhampstead, Newton Abbot TQ13 8PG (T: 01647 440242)
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.
Nestled into a valley that reaches down to the sea, Branscombe Beach is tucked away on the Jurassic Coast, and is linked to a timeless, magical village of the same name. Surrounded by woodland and farmland, the area is peppered with thatched houses, a working forge and a restored windmill. It’s a National Trust location, with a number of charming walks and trails to follow, one of which leads to the Old Bakery tearooms. The beach itself is a long pebble beach below the village. It has a large car park close by where there are toilets available, as well as a picnic area. The beach is a haven for fossil hunters and adventurous rock-poolers. If you want to catch your supper it’s a wonderful place to fish for Mackerel and Pollack, although there is also a restaurant close by.
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A pretty place down narrow lanes - the village is a must for keen photographers too - loved it!
A small pebble beach in East Devon, Beer Beach is in a picturesque fishing village that hugs the shoreline. Parking is a little distance away from the beach itself, which is accessed via a sloping road and steps at the east end. There’s one large car park that’s around five minutes away on foot, and another smaller one in the centre of the town. As the beach is such an integral part of the town itself, there are cafes and shops close by, simply by dint of its location. There are toilets above the beach, so it’s got all the makings of a charming day out for the family in the summer, or somewhere to stroll and have a cup of tea if it’s a bit cooler. There aren’t any organized activities on the beach, so if you’re bringing the kids then keep that in mind. Dogs are not allowed on the West part of the beach from 1st May to 30th September.
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Visited one evening. A beautiful beach. You can walk to Seaton on the coast path, if you feel energetic and don't mind a lot of steps. Well worth it due to the stunning views.
Beer is a very pretty village!, and the beach is an absolute joy