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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Interesting castle to explore, with beautiful gardens and a superb view!
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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Enjoy 10% off the admission price with your Toad Hall Cottages Discount Card
Set in a beautiful position on the bank of the River Teign in the heart of Devon, The Fingle Bridge Inn offers a traditional bar menu and popular Sunday carveries. A good spot for refreshment whilst enjoying the lovely walking in the area with plenty of seating inside and out.
Fingle Bridge Inn, Drewsteignton, Exeter, EX6 6PW ( 01647 281 287)
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.
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Visited twice and both times had a pleasant walk along the prom in the sun. Sea very calm. Lovely cup of coffee served from little coffee "bar" on prom served by a charming and coffee knowledgeable American lady. Pleasant and busy shopping area behind the prom. Not much parking and just a little expensive.
In between Brixham and Paignton, this long, sandy beach is a popular spot with families, thanks to its sheltered waters, year-round facilities and easy parking. The Blue Flag beach is perfect for making sandcastles and searching for wildlife in the rockpools. There are toilets, and two places to get ice creams, coffees and soft drinks. What’s more, the car park is right by the beach, so there’s no need to lug your provisions a long way. Behind the pretty row of colourful beach huts, there’s a large grassy area, so don’t forget to pack a ball or rounders bat to keep the whole family entertained. Broadsands Beach is a popular dog walking spot throughout autumn and winter, but there is a seasonal dog ban during the summer months (1st May - 30th September).
Far from the bustling crowds of Paignton and Brixham’s bigger beaches, this small pebbly cove is a truly relaxing spot. The calm waters are great for swimming and are said to have been one of Agatha Christie’s favourite bathing spots. Elberry Cove even features in one of her crime thriller novels, The ABC Murders. This picture-perfect cove, surrounded by sloping wooded hillsides and crystal clear water, can only be accessed by the coast path, with the nearest carpark at Broadsands Beach. From here, it is only a 10 - 15 minute walk, but make sure to pack a picnic or grab a bite to eat at Broadsands Beach before you set off, as there aren’t any facilities at here. Dogs are welcome on the beach throughout the year.