As one of Dartmoor’s most iconic landmarks, Haytor and the surrounding area make a magical base for anyone looking for a truly rural escape. The tor itself is Dartmoor’s biggest, and draws visitors year-round to climb the granite outcrops which offer wonderful views of sweeping moorland, rolling countryside, the beautiful Teign Estuary, and the stunning coastline beyond.
Easily accessible from Devon’s major through-road, Haytor provides great access to nearby Exeter (with its Cathedral, theatres, shops and restaurants), the rest of the moor, and some spectacular coastline. Explore the vast wild beauty of the moor on foot, bike or horseback, or simply relax and soak up the peaceful tranquillity of the picturesque setting.
On Dartmoor, a friendly pub, country house or restaurant is never too far away. Haytor itself enjoys a great moorland café bar and a traditional Dartmoor Inn, whilst just a few miles away you can explore delightful villages such as Widecombe-in-the-Moor, home to the fantastic Rugglestone Inn which is everything a Dartmoor pub restaurant should be.
With horse-riding, cycle paths, kayaking, and rock climbing among the activities on offer on the moor, there are plenty of outdoor pursuits to keep you busy. Meanwhile, nearby attractions such as Becky Falls, Pennywell Farm, the Butterflies & Otters Sanctuary, the steam trains at South Devon Railway, Exeter’s Crealy Adventure Park (to name but a few!) make for brilliant family days out.
If you fancy a day at the beach, the coast at Teignmouth is just a half hour's drive away, and the wonderful beaches of the South Hams are less than an hour away.
A holiday cottage in Haytor provides the perfect spot for a relaxing Dartmoor holiday in a truly peaceful rural setting, yet with a vast variety of things to see and do within easy reach.
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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Surely there can be no finer way of seeing Dartmoor, this natural wonder of Devon, than on horse back. Shilstone Rocks riding centre allows adults and children alike to take up the reigns in this spectacular National Park, and really get back to nature. The horses originated from the famed Dartmoor ponies, who continue to roam today. You can join Shilstone Rocks Riding Centre for tailored lessons in the menage, or head out for a couple of hours on a hack to really take in the area that featured in Steven Spielberg’s film War Horse. Lessons are available for all ages and abilities.
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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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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In the picturesque valley of the River Bovey, experienced guns and beginners can both enjoy a great day’s shooting with tuition, clay pigeons and pheasant shooting all available. Driven game shooting, falconry displays, hunting with hawks, working with gun dogs, preparing game for the oven, clay pigeon shooting, good food and good company are all available, set between Moretonhampstead and Manaton deep in the heart of The Dartmoor National Park.
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A traditional inn with award winning restaurant serving imaginative dishes using fresh local fish, meat and game accompanied by a selection of local ales, ciders and an extensive wine list.
The Rock Inn Haytor Vale, Dartmoor National Park, Newton Abbot TQ13 9XP
(3)View all Reviews
The staff were very helpful and pleasant and it was a cosy traditional rural venue. The food was very good although small portions and I would say a little overpriced. Overall did enjoy this venue.
Superb evening meal. Fantastic quality, good choices and professional service. Very attractive interior too.
Really welcoming place, lovely garden and nice quirky interior to the pub. Staff very welcoming and helpful. Food absolutely yummy, perhaps a little expensive, but perfect for a special evening out.
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)
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)
(1)View all Reviews
Satisfactory. Service average. Wine not poured, no water offered at table. Main course average, dessert excellent.
A traditional Dartmoor Inn in a beautiful location with a homely atmosphere and pretty beer garden where farm animals roam. The bar is stocked with real ales, farm cider and a comprehensive wine list, and the home-cooked menu is made up of quality locally-sourced produce.
Rugglestone Inn Widecombe in the Moor, Newton Abbot TQ13 7TF (T: 01364 621327)
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The food and drink here is great. We had fish pie and wild boar stew both really really good. Friendly staff and good service and our dog was welcome.
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!
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Lovely beach but bit of a trek for little ones
Glorious beach at the mouth of the Erme. Narrow lanes and very limited parking. No toilets, cafes etc - wonderful! Turning circle for cars just before the beach but expect to have to reverse back up the access lane to allow cars that are leaving to go back. A nightmare on Bank Holidays - parking almost impossible and expect to have to negotiate very tight spaces.
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Gorgeous beach for an evening swim and barbecue. So peaceful and beautiful
Simply stunning and well worth the steep (ish) walk down from the National Trust car park at Ringmore. When there - it's hard to imagine the horrors of today's modern world.
Well worth the walk with beautiful views of Burgh island from the coast path. We were the only ones there on a very sunny day in April. Perfect.
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!
(7)View all Reviews
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.
Lovely clean beach in super location along coastal road. Great place to visit.