The quiet little village of Chillaton lies just a few miles to the west of the iconic Dartmoor National Park and is a superb base for exploring the moors. The village's traditional local pub, The Chichester Arms, is named after notable former resident Sir Francis Chichester, famous for his solo circumnavigation of the globe in his yacht, Gypsy Moth, during the mid-1960s. Nowadays the pub not only provides hospitality, refreshments and entertainment, but is also home to the twice-weekly village Post Office counter.
Chillaton is surrounded by picturesque countryside, yet within easy reach of three lively market towns - Tavistock, Okehamptom and Launceston, whilst offering great access to the wild beauty of Dartmoor, and stunning Tamar valley and Atlantic coastline.
The South West's deepest gorge and spectacular 30m waterfall at Lydford Gorge lies just 6 miles from the village and is well worth a visit. Dartmoor itself offers a beautiful and varied landscape ranging from bleak rocky outcrops, vast expanses of heather moorland and deep wooded valleys with rushing rivers - perfect for walking, cycling, kayaking and horseriding to fully appreciate the natural scenery.
A holiday cottage in Chillaton is a great spot from which to explore the Dartmoor and the nearby rolling North Devon countryside, Tamar valley and Atlantic coastline.
A beautiful Georgian house dating back to 1753, Lawrence House is leased to Launceston Town as a local museum and civic centre, spread over three floors, with exhibits focusing on local history and the area’s links with Australia. When you visit you can learn about Philip Gidley King who sailed on the HMS Sirius, which accompanied the first fleet of convicts to Australia, see a display of costumes that date from the 18th century to the 1960s, discover the Victorian kitchen and let the kids play in the toy room. Opening times are limited so make sure you keep an eye on the website for further information.
On the border of Devon and Cornwall, the Tamar Valley Donkey Park is home to donkeys, goats, sheep, pigs, rabbits and guinea pigs to feed and pet. Guests can also visit Holly’s Café for hot and cold meals or a Cornish cream tea, there’s an indoor play barn as well as a soft play area, and lots of different parts of the park to explore and experience, including mini tractor rides. Opening times are seasonal so do check the website before you visit, and prices start at £7.95 for adults and £7.50 for children.
A Tudor house and estate with delightful collections, a garden and its own quay, Cotehele was the ancestral home of the Edgcumbe family and is perched high on the hill above the River Tamar. Decorated with tapestries, armour and lots of original features, the inside is testament to its adoring owners while outside there are formal terraces and a valley garden to get lost in, which includes a medieval stewpond and dovecote leading down to the river. It’s peaceful and tranquil and a delightful place to explore while you’re visiting Cornwall, plus they have an excellent restaurant in the 15th century barn, serving homemade cakes, hot soups, wine, ale and lager.
For a fantastic, fun, all-weather family day out, Trethorne Leisure Park is sure to tick all your boxes. Comprising of a large indoor play area, perfect for rainy days, with a dropslide, ballparks, trampolines, climbing wall, assault course and much more, as well as outdoor space with crazy golf, paddle boats, slides, swings, sandpit and an adventure climbing frame. There's also an animal barn with ponies to ride, a cow to milk, and guinea pigs and rabbits to cuddle.
If you're looking for even more family entertainment afterwards, you'll find 8 lanes of ten pin bowling, a dodgems rink, and a games arcade right next door!
A welcoming 15th century inn on the Tamar Trail, with beamed ceilings, open log fires , ample parking and outdoor seating. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner offering locally sourced fish, meat and game, roasts, curries and lots more.
The Royal Inn Horsebridge, Tavistock PL19 8PJ (T: 01822 870214)
This attractive pub with cosy bar and lots of room to eat in the lounge has something for everyone. Enjoy a pint of local ale at the bar, let children entertain themselves in the games room or choose from the menu full of high quality pub classics and daily specials. Children’s and gluten free menus available.
Trout & Tipple Parkwood Road, Tavistock PL19 0JS (T: 01822 618886)
A luxury manor house hotel and 3AA Rosette fine dining restaurant with fabulous far reaching views across the Tamar Valley. Here the highly skilled team of chefs produce delicious and beautifully presented modern British dishes with a hint of French. Open for lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.
Horn of Plenty Hotel & Restaurant Gulworthy, Tavistock PL19 8JD (T: 01822 832528)
A spacious, grey sand beach that’s popular with families, Seaton Beach enjoys views across the green, surrounding countryside and walks in Seaton Valley nearby. At low tide the beach stretches all the way from Seaton Beach to Downderry Beach. There are facilities close by and there is are two car parks as well as road parking, but it does get busy quickly in the summer. The beach is great for surfing, but do be wary of undercurrents. There’s also a café and beach shop close by as well. Dogs are welcome at the beach all year round.
Three miles south of Bude, Widemouth Bay Beach is a long, open bay that’s popular with families and surfers, while at low tide there are hundreds of rock pools to explore. It’s a wonderful place to learn to surf or body board thanks to fantastic conditions and lots of local surf schools in the surrounding area. There’s free parking at both ends of the bay as well as viewing points. Dogs are welcome throughout the year on the south section of the beach, otherwise known as Black Rock, but on the northern part there are seasonal dog bans. It has a wild feel to it, which adds to its appeal, and there is lifeguard cover in the summer, but nonetheless do be careful when swimming.
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Lovely clean beach.
Millendreath Beach is a south facing beach at the foot of a wooded valley, in a sheltered cove with soft sand and lots of rock pools to explore at low tide. It’s connected to other nearby beaches by the South West Coast Path. Dogs aren’t allowed on this beach at any time of the year, and there is a reasonably sized car park a few minutes walk away. The beach is popular with families on holiday in Cornwall, and most of the surrounding area is occupied by a holiday park, so there are lot of facilities open to the public.
A small and pleasant grey sand beach with rocks exposed at low tide, Plaidy Beach is simply a nice place to visit and take in the scenery. There aren’t any facilities, and there’s no parking nearby so it’s one to reach on foot. There’s a slipway to the beach, but you will have to access it by walking along the coast path, parking at Millendreath or Looe and it’s worth keeping in mind that it’s quite steep from both directions. Millendreath is closer and the walk should take around 20 minutes. Dogs are allowed on the beach all year round, so it’s a charming place to take them for a walk while you’re in the area.
Half a mile west of Looe, stretching along the coast, Hannafore Beach is a sandy, shingle bay with a rocky reef and views of St George’s Island. At low tide it’s brimming with rock pools, making it fun and games for the whole family to enjoy, and it’s a wonderful sun trap in summer months thanks to its south east facing position. Because of its location over the river, the beach never really becomes too busy, but equally there aren’t any facilities nearby. It’s popular with dog walkers as it’s amongst the few dog-friendly beaches in the area, and having explored you can extend your excursion to a stroll along the promenade or a potter around the coast path to the wonderfully scenic Talland Bay. There is roadside parking along the sea front above the beach, but it can be difficult to find a space. Alternatively, there is a large car park in West Looe, around 10 minutes away on foot.