The small village of Manaton, nestled deep within Dartmoor National Park, is ideally located for exploring the vast and varied landscape of the moors - from the remote barren beauty of the higher moorland to the rivers rushing through deep wooded valleys and rolling countryside.
Dartmoor is a haven for walkers and cyclists due to the abundance of footpaths and cycle routes that snake the moors, offering endless opportunities to get outside and reconnect with nature. Picturesque villages and hamlets are scattered across the rural landscape, offering unusual shops, museums, old churches, cosy pubs, restaurants serving delicious local delicacies, art galleries and craft workshops.
Manaton village itself boasts a church, shop, pub, and also the local landmark, Manaton rocks,famed for its much-photographed formation 'The Bowerman's Nose'. Manaton lies just a stone's throw from the beautiful Becky Falls, which makes for an excellent family or dog-friendly day out. Other nearby attractions include the Miniature Pony Centre, the House of Marbles, and 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.
The stunning Teign valley and the coast at Teignmouth and Dawlish are also within easy reach of the village, and the Cathedral City of Exeter is just 40 minutes away by car.
Whether you are looking for a relaxing rural retreat, or an energising action-packed break, a holiday cottage in Manaton provides the perfect base for a Dartmoor holiday.
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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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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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)
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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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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A pretty, thatched pub dating back to the 15th century with cottage garden and a traditional snug bar with exposed beams and log fire. The light and airy restaurant serves high quality food using fresh local ingredients at affordable prices, including vegetarian and children’s options.
The Cleave Lustleigh TQ13 9TJ (T: 01647 277223)
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
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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 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 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.
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.
If you’re willing to venture off the beaten track, you’ll discover one of Brixham’s hidden gems, Churston Cove. Surrounded by sloping wooded hillsides, this beautiful little cove isn’t the easiest to get to, which makes it an idyllic, peaceful place to while away the day. The crystal clear water is safe for kids to paddle and play in, and is a popular swimming spot. Parking is available at Freshwater carpark, a 15-minute walk away. There are no toilet facilities or cafes, and the beach is accessed via a long, steep path, which is uneven in places, but this beautiful little cove is worth the effort. Churston Cove is dog-friendly all year round.
Take the coast path from Brixham and escape the crowds at Fishcombe Cove, a peaceful shingle cove, protected on all sides by tall red cliffs. Access to this little cove isn’t easy, via a steep path from Freshwater carpark, but it is definitely worth the effort. The clear, blue sea is sheltered and calm, making it a favourite with swimmers and kayakers. Fishcombe Cove is also a popular place for boats and yachts to moor up and make the most of the beautiful water. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a seal popping its head up to say hello. There is a café and toilets here, but both are only open during the summer months. Fishcombe Cove is dog-friendly all year round.