Easily accessible from the main route through South Devon to Cornwall, Rattery is a quiet village with a cosy pub, close to the southern edge of Dartmoor. You may be pleased to hear that its name is believed to have derived from the words “red tree” rather than having anything to do with rodents! Rattery village is well-placed for exploring the moors, the beautiful rolling South Hams countryside, and stunning South Devon coastline beyond.
Being so close to Dartmoor you will, no doubt, want to get out and about to make the most of the vast and varied landscape of the moors, from bleak rocky outcrops, to swathes of heather moorland, and rivers rushing through deep wooded valleys, there is no better place to get close to nature and enjoy far-reaching rural views. A haven for walkers, cyclists and horse riders, Dartmoor is perfect for those looking for an active holiday outdoors.
You'll also discover that Dartmoor is home to many picturesque towns and villages with their quirky antiques shops, traditional tearooms and cosy pubs. There are so many places to stop, have walk or simply enjoy the view, but be sure to dress appropriately as the weather is notoriously changeable on Dartmoor!
Several excellent attractions are easily accessible from Rattery, including the family-friendly Pennywell Farm, the Butterflies and Otters Sanctuary, the River Dart Country Park and the chance to enjoy a scenic ride on a steam train with the South Devon Railway.
Head south to visit vibrant and characterful market town of Totnes, particularly on Fridays and Saturdays when the markets are held. Or if you fancy a day slightly further afield, then why not explore the historic waterside towns of Dartmouth and Salcombe, or venture to the beach and walk the scenic South West Coast Path at Slapton, Torcross, Bantham, Thurlestone or Bigbury on Sea, to name just a few of the stunning beaches less than an hour's drive away.
A holiday cottage in Rattery is conveniently situated for enjoying the delights of Dartmoor, the beautiful South Hams countryside, and the stunning South Devon coast.
If you have spent any time in South Devon before, chances are you’ve heard of Pennywell Farm. A petting zoo taken to another level, you can visit with the family for piggy cuddles, egg collecting, goat milking, bottle feeding orphan lambs, seed planting for home grown souvenirs, treasure hunts, pond dipping, pony pampering and deer feeding amongst other things from 10am to 5pm seven days a week. There are a variety of ticket options available and children under the age of three go for free. There’s a number of options for eating while you’re there from the coffee cabin, to Henny Penny café, ice creams and picnic tables in the summer. They have won numerous awards and for anyone on holiday with the dog they have a kennel on site which is free of charge while you potter about – just remember to bring their bed and water bowl.
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Excellent day out with the kids that offers wholesome family fun you don't find in a lot of places.
Offering indoor and outdoor rock climbing in Devon and Cornwall, Dart Rock Climbing Centre in Buckfastleigh offers a friendly and encouraging environment to practice a skill you have already mastered, or to learn something new while you’re there. The 10-metre high climbing centre offers a diverse range of routes on four climbing walls, training boards, teaching areas and in the classroom so that you get the most out of your session, and caters to beginners, experienced climbers, families and groups. The centre is open daily but with some restrictions for private classes at the weekends and prices vary according to your requirements. Remember to wear comfortable and practical clothing and trainers.
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A wonderfully traditional West Country attraction, The South Devon Railway (SDR) is a seven-mile former branch of the Great Western Railway from 1872. Running through the valley of the River Dart from Buckfastleigh to Totnes you can board a steam train with heritage rolling stock whatever the weather and whatever age you are. Dogs are welcome on the train for a nominal charge and seasonal charges vary. Step up the luxury on a dining train, or for really special occasions there are options to drive a train for a day or hire one for private events. While you’re there, other attractions close by include the Totnes Rare Breeds Farm and Dartmoor Otters and Buckfast Butterflies, to really make a day of it.
People have been visiting this beautiful wooded valley on the River Dart for nearly 1000 years, drawn to Buckfast in search of God. However, in 1882 that practice became a community when monks of the community of La Pierre-qui-vire in France relocated to the area to continue their monastic way of life when anti-clerical laws were enacted. Today it continues to be a spiritual, peaceful and active working monastery, prizing its deep rooted Benedictine spirituality and its rich heritage. You can visit the abbey for regular services and Mass, or simply browse, explore the gardens, visit the shop and have lunch in the Grange Restaurant. There are seasonal events, the gardens are free to wander around all year, and there’s parking on site.
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Been here a couple of times beautiful place the Abbey and the gardens are really worth a visit. Free to get in but I would willingly pay as its so nice
Set on Riverford Organic’s Wash Farm, the Riverford Field Kitchen serves delicious, freshly picked seasonal produce with organic meat and fish options all in a relaxed, friendly environment. Guests share tables with dishes passed around to share.
Riverford Field Kitchen Wash Farm, Buckfastleigh TQ11 0JU (T: 01803 762074)
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This historic thatched inn has been welcoming guests since 1320, and today serves good food including delicious all-day Sunday roasts, accompanied by local ales and wines from around the world. Family run with a great atmosphere.
The Cott Inn Cott Lane, Dartington, Totnes TQ9 6HE (T: 01803 863777)
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Great place for Sunday Lunch - menu offers traditional roast options as well as other dishes - and just a short walk from Totnes centre. Booking recommended as it seems very popular with locals and visitors alike.
Lovely pub/restaurant. Great food. Excellent service and friendly staff. Dog friendly too.
A family and dog friendly pub in a beautiful setting with a reputation for serving good quality, classic dishes. Dating from the 13th century this is a fine example of a traditional Devon long house and still retains lots of original features.
The Church House Inn Harberton, Totnes TQ9 7SF (T: 01803 863707)
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Excellent food, lovely old pub and village. Worth a visit.
Delicious Sunday lunch especially the roast beef. Only disappointment was the treacle tart. Everything else was lovely. Would only add that the vegetables need to be brought out immediately after the meat.
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.
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Lovely quieter beach, dog and BBQ friendly. We had teens that hired kayaks from nearby Broadsands beach and paddled around the coast to meet us. Very accomodating kayak hire and not too expensive.
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Parked in the NT car park at Ringmore and took the 15 min walk down to the beach. Saw a beautiful sunset and had the place to ourselves. Bliss
What a fantastic place. So quiet - we had the whole beach to ourselves a lot of the time. Our dogs loved it.
A lovely quiet cove, with excellent rock pools at low tide. No sand but the kids enjoy it as an alternative to the massive sandy beaches at Bigbury and Bantham.
stunning little beach, very quiet and great for snorkelling
Beautiful cove. Very quiet with lots of bird life.
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.
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.
Gorgeous beach for an evening swim and barbecue. So peaceful and beautiful
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.
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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.
Lovely beach but bit of a trek for little ones