Princetown

all you need to know

Princetown offers an idyllic rural escape deep within the unspoilt moors, yet within easy reach of several interesting towns and villages, and the South Hams coast beyond.

About Princetown

Situated in a secluded yet accessible part of Dartmoor, Princetown is a small village popular with walkers and visitors to the National Park Visitor Centre. At 1,400 feet above sea-level, it is one of the highest settlements in the United Kingdom. It is perfectly placed to explore the moors, the many nearby market towns such as Buckfastleigh, Ashburton or Tavistock, and places further afield such as the South Hams, Cornwall and North Devon.

Being on Dartmoor itself you will, no doubt, want to get out and about in this wild part of the West Country. Head towards the thriving town of Ashburton with its plethora of antiques shops, cafés and delis, and then wind your way up onto the moors from here. Be sure to stop off to have a walk or just take in the view, but make sure you dress appropriately as the weather can be changeable on Dartmoor. Take in a trip to the picturesque village of Widecombe in the Moor, and be sure to visit the dramatic Haytor for some truly spectacular scenery.

There are a handful of shops and cafés in the village itself, but a relatively short drive away takes you to the charming market town of Tavistock. Famous for its pannier market (mainly Fridays, but there are other markets on during the week) and for being the birthplace of Sir Francis Drake, there are lots of interesting independent shops and cafés to while away some time.

Nearby attractions include the Dartmoor National Park Visitor Centre, the notorious Dartmoor Prison Museum and the famous Clapper Bridge in neighbouring Postbridge.

Meanwhile, if you fancy a day out on the coast, then why not explore the popular waterside towns of Dartmouth and Salcombe, or venture to the beach and walk the scenic South West Coast Path at Slapton, Torcross, Bantham or Thurlestone.

A holiday cottage in Princetown offers an idyllic rural escape surrounded by unspoilt moorland, yet within easy reach of several interesting towns and villages to explore, and the stunning South Hams coast beyond.

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Dartmoor Prison Museum
(Less than a mile)

For more than 200 years, Dartmoor Prison has held its bleak and imposing position on the moors, surrounded by the vast landscape and battered by the relentless elements.  Today, there is a museum dedicated to its tale, attracting more than 35,000 visitors every year from all over the world to hear its grizzly stories.   Showcasing its turbulent history from Prisoner of War Depot for French and American prisoners of war, to the later convict era all the way through to the modern day, you can see life-size models of Napoleonic soldiers in colourful period uniforms, read about the Princetown Massacre, and read about tough measures used to control the toughest of men.  

Click Here for further information

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Walking on Dartmoor
(4 miles)

Windswept moors and secluded woods, historic monuments and spectacular views, Dartmoor is all at once bleak, magical and inspiring - perfect for walking, strolling and exploring.  In the summer months it will take you on a spectacular tour of local wildlife, brimming with flowers, semi wild horses and vegetation.  In the winter months you can pretty much guarantee snow, ice and bracing winds, so wrap up warm and visit the pubs for a hearty lunch or cream tea.  For your visit you can also download an audio walk to an mp3 player, or simply do some of the circular routes that are easy to follow.  Driving up onto the moor is a joy in itself and there’s plenty of parking.

www.visitdartmoor.co.uk/things-to-do/walking

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Cycling on Dartmoor
(4 miles)

In addition to walking, the dramatic scenery of Dartmoor is well worth exploring by bike.  Paths are laid out to make the terrain easy to follow in places, although for the more adventurous cyclist, you can of course go ‘off piste’ so to speak. Dartmoor is perfect for children who are cycling and more proficient cyclists, so it’s ideal for a family day out in the fresh air - just make sure you take warm clothes as it does get a little breezy up there!  Parking is easy and the views you are rewarded with are well worth the effort. 

www.visitdartmoor.co.uk/things-to-do/cycling

 

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Babeny Stables
(6 miles)

Well-established stables surrounded by breathtaking scenery and offering hacks across the moor for all abilities, as well as popular ‘Pub Rides’ stopping off for a hearty pub lunch en route. 

Click here for further details

 

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Yelverton Golf Club
(7 miles)

A beautiful moorland course with views stretching all the way to Cornwall, Yelverton Golf Club delivers firm fairways and true quick greens throughout the year.  The traditional clubhouse invites you in with a warm welcome, whether you’re a guest or a member, while the 18-hole course brings you challenges, excitement, obstacles and visual beauty all round.  Visitors are welcome, with green fees starting at £30.  Remember that dress codes apply so be mindful of that before you arrive. 

www.yelvertongolf.co.uk

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The Plume of Feathers
(Less than a mile)

A traditional 18th century Dartmoor inn with friendly staff and plenty of atmosphere serving home cooked dishes using locally sourced Dartmoor produce.  A great stop off whilst enjoying some of the wonderful walks in the area.

The Plume of Feathers The Square, Princetown, Yelverton PL20 6QQ (T: 01822 890240)

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Fox Tor Café
(Less than a mile)

A friendly café in the centre of Princetown with plenty of outdoor seating, cosy sofas and wood burners.  Serves healthy lunches, snacks and cream teas all sourced from local suppliers.  Dogs, children, muddy boots and bicycles all welcome! 

Fox Tor Café 2 Two Bridges Road, Princetown, Dartmoor PL20 6QS (T: 01822 890238)

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Two Bridges Hotel & Restaurant
(2 miles)

In a beautiful location in the heart of Dartmoor National Park this friendly hotel is a good spot to enjoy a morning coffee or cream tea in the cosy lounge, or an indulgent meal in the fine dining restaurant.  The attractively presented, creative dishes are accompanied by a superb selection of fine wines. 

Two Bridges Hotel & Restaurant Two Bridges, Dartmoor PL20 6SW (T: 01822 892300)

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Prince Hall Hotel Restaurant
(3 miles)

An acclaimed hotel restaurant in a stunning location surrounded by untamed moorland, serving light lunches along with evening fine dining and cream teas. 

Prince Hall Hotel Restaurant Two Bridges, Dartmoor, PL20 6SA (T: 018252 890403)

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The Royal Oak Inn
(5 miles)

A historic village inn with lots of atmosphere, friendly staff, a menu full of well-cooked pub classics and a good range of real ales and local ciders.

The Royal Oak Inn Meavy, Yelverton PL20 6PJ (T: 01822 852944)

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Wonwell Beach

Wonwell Beach
(17 miles)

In an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Wonwell is a sandy beach on the east shore of the Erme river which joins Mothecombe at low tide. It affords visitors a large expanse to explore and is accessed via a woodland path from the road which takes about 10 minutes. Alternatively, there is a slipway from the road to the shore of the river and at low tide you can walk along the edge to the beach itself, so make sure you get your timings right to make the most of this one. Parking is limited at Wonwell Beach so keep that in mind when you’re heading over. Road parking allows for around 20 cars depending on their size and there aren’t really any facilities around, although there are toilets nearby. This does mean you need to be prepared if you’re heading there for the best part of the day, but also makes for a very peaceful experience whether it’s lounging about on the sand with a picnic in the summer, or a stroll in the cooler months, simply taking in the atmosphere. Dogs are allowed on the beach all year round so it’s the perfect place to take them for a run around. Something to be careful of – do keep an eye on the tide to avoid getting cut off when it comes in and getting very wet en route back to dry land!

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(2)

Lovely beach but bit of a trek for little ones

April 2017


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.

September 2017



Mothecombe Beach
(17 miles)

One of South Devon’s quieter beaches, Mothecombe is a large and unspoiled, privately owned stretch of sand that’s open every day, all year round. Having won an award from the Marine Conservation Society for its clean sea and sand, you can be assured that relaxing here and pottering about in the water is going to be a happy, healthy and pleasant experience for all in this sheltered corner of Devon. For those wanting to try out water sports, Mothecombe offers the ideal conditions for windsurfing, kayaking, body boarding and generally enjoying the water, particularly for beginners as it’s a comparatively gentle environment in which to give it a go. Given its pristine nature, it will probably come as no surprise that dogs are not allowed on the beach in high season, so keep an eye out for signs for more information, but best to steer clear with furry friends from May to September. There is a car park from which you can access the beach down a narrow path, so it’s not ideal for wheelchair users, but is otherwise conveniently close by. There’s also a tea house in the car park for drinks and snacks and there are toilets nearby as well, so pending the tides you can spend a good day here enjoying the natural scenery and all the fun that it brings with it, whether that’s for the whole family, on a romantic afternoon in the summer sun, or simply enjoying the peace and quiet of this less populated park of the coastline.

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(1)

Lovely beach but cafe was being renovated and we were gasping for a cuppa

April 2017



Ayrmer Cove

Ayrmer Cove
(18 miles)

Roughly one kilometre (20 minutes depending on your pace) from the National Trust car park at Ringmore, and with a selection of footpaths to get to it, Ayrmer Cove is a quiet secluded beach on the South West Coast Path. For anyone on holiday in South Devon it’s a peaceful place to sit and contemplate the natural scenery amongst the shingle, pebbles and rock pools, admiring the cliffs. It makes for a beautiful destination to walk to from Ringmore itself, which is a small village (population 230) with views towards the cove itself as well as Bigbury Bay – it makes for a wonderful holiday cottage destination in South Devon as well as a place to visit as part of your day. Walking to the beach allows you to discover the surrounding woodland, wildlife and history of the area – taking in old smugglers’ routes and hedgerows that have been in situ since the 1800s. It is a little tricky to get to so it’s not ideal for wheelchairs, and there aren’t any toilets or facilities at the beach itself so if you want to stay for a little while don’t forget to take snacks or a picnic if the weather is right. This is all about enjoying the environment that’s such a proud part of the National Trust – it’s everything a holiday in Devon is about, and yes, dogs are permitted all year round and will very much enjoy the walk!

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(2)

Gorgeous beach for an evening swim and barbecue. So peaceful and beautiful

June 2017


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.

September 2017



Challaborough Bay

Challaborough Bay
(19 miles)

Close to Kingsbridge, Challaborough Bay is a sandy beach in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that’s perfect for enjoying all the seaside activities nature can afford. At low tide the beach is ideal for visiting families to build sandcastles and explore the rock pools, while the swells and shore breaks also attract surfers and bodyboarders. There are some beautiful walks along the coast path that surrounds it, heading towards Bigbury on Sea in particular. Making it an ideal spot to spend the day, the beach has toilets, a café and a beach shop close by, although access is via steps and small paths so accessibility isn’t wheelchair friendly. There is a car park but it’s rather small, so it’s good to know that a 15-minute walk to Bigbury will see ample parking available – seasonal charges apply so remember to bring cash with you. While four legged friends are welcome in the winter, they are not allowed on the beach between May and September, so do plan their walks with that in mind. It’s a lovely spot along the coast path to bring them to, you can even beach hop from one to the next!

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(1)

Lovely beach

April 2017



Bantham Beach

Bantham Beach
(19 miles)

At the mouth of the Avon River, Bantham beach is easy to reach from Salcombe, Kingsbridge and our other favourite holiday home locations, as well as being a beautiful area to stay in its own right. The beach looks out over Bigbury Bay and offers a wonderful view of Burgh Island, which is famous for its art deco hotel of the same name that has hosted Agatha Christie and Noel Coward amongst its illustrious guests an can reach by sea tractor. Bantham beach has a popular reputation amongst both novice and advanced surfers, and as such there are lessons available from the Bantham Surfing Academy, which operates from the beach. They also offer other water sports including paddle boarding, and a day pottering up the Avon River on one of those when the tide is right, is a day well spent. When the tide is out at Bantham the sandy beach reveals rock pools and great swathes of space so you can happily set up a picnic and stay there for the whole day. If the mood strikes, why not walk along the coast path towards Thurlestone around the corner, and South Milton Sands beyond that, particularly as it’s also a popular beach for dog owners? Just keep in mind that from 1st May until 30th September restrictions apply, so look out for signposts with more information. If you’re spending the whole day on the beach it’s worth popping to the Gastrobus which is open seasonally in the car park, offering everything from freshly made baps to coffees, teas and cakes, or for a larger meal head the short walking distance to The Sloop Inn gastropub. There is plenty of parking available by Bantham, with charges from £3.50 per day, so make sure you have change on you as it’s a bit tricky to find parking otherwise. There are toilets in the car park, and from May to October from 10am until 6pm there is also lifeguard cover on the beach. All in, Bantham has something to offer everyone throughout the year and is one of many beautiful locations to spend time while you’re in South Devon.

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(3)

Fantastic sandy beach and so big. My dog loved running around and jumping into the water. Plenty of space for all.

April 2017


A short walk (less than a mile) from Thurlestone, this is a stunning beach. Lots of shallow water with sand underfoot, truly amazing.

July 2017


Beautiful beach. Nightmare of a road (especially in high season) to get to it. Worth it though when you get there.

July 2017


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Head Office

Toad Hall Cottages

Church Street

Kingsbridge

South Devon

TQ7 1BY

Email: thc@toadhallcottages.co.uk

Call: 01548 20 20 20

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Toad Hall Cottages

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Polperro

Cornwall

PL13 2RE

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Lyme Regis

Dorset

DT7 3DA

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