The quaint village of Spreyton, just to the north of Dartmoor, is ideally located for walkers, cyclists, and horse riders to explore the rugged wild beauty of the Dartmoor National Park.
Dartmoor, characterised by its distinctive granite tors, and rising in parts to over 2000 feet, offers a wonderful variation in landscape, from the barren remoteness of the higher moorland, to the rivers rushing over granite boulders down to deep wooded valleys and traditional farms.
The Tors are huge granite outcrops left standing after the last glacial period and it is these that are the centre of attention in the famous 10 Tors walk, which hundreds of school children compete over as part of the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme.
Other nearby attractions include Okehampton Golf Club, the dramatic Castle Drongo National Trust overlooking the Teign Gorge, the bustling seaside town and gateway to the Jurassic coast at Exmouth, the cathedral city of Exeter, and the picturesque North Devon clifftop town of Lynton and pretty harbour village at Lynmouth.
A holiday cottage in Spreyton offers a picturesque spot from which to explore the delights of Dartmoor, with easy access to both the North and East Devon coasts.
Overlooking the dramatic Teign Gorge, Castle Drogo is a spectacular building with a wealth of history to go with it, and beautiful gardens to explore. While it’s currently undergoing a conservation project, it remains open so that you can explore and learn about it’s fascinating story. Outside, discover the beautiful Lutyens-designed terraced garden with dramatic views of Dartmoor, and see the quaint miniature gardens that go with it. Beyond the castle there is the Teign Valley with its ancient gorge and magnificent wildlife, and after all that exploration there’s a cafe to refuel in with a traditional Devon cream tea. Dogs are welcome.
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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.
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.
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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A small family run vineyard and winery specialising in sparkling English wines. Tours are available April - September where you can learn about the varieties and management of the vineyard as well as taste at least 4 different wines. There is also a shop where you can buy some wine either to drink on your holiday or take home - open Tuesday to Saturday in high season, check the website at other times.
Eastcott Vineyard Lower Eastcott Farm, Okehampton EX20 3PT (T: 01837 811012)
A stunning 12th century former monastery and manor house now a popular hotel, bar and restaurant. There are plenty of places to eat and drink with a choice of two bars and two restaurants along with a large terrace and garden with fantastic views. Choose from a lunch or evening menu with daily specials along with coffees and afternoon cream teas.
The Oxenham Arms South Zeal, Okehampton EX20 2JT (T: 01837 840244)
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!
By the small seaside town of Westward Ho! is a comparatively huge and sandy beach, extending two miles north of the town. To the north it is is backed by a pebble ridge and behind that is Northam Burrows Country Park. You can access the beach from a number of places; via steps and a slipway in Westward Ho!, or by the ridge itself. Dogs are banned from most of the beach from May to September, but they are allowed north of Sandymere all year round. There are two small car parks by the sea front and plenty of parking behind the beach in Northam Burrows Country Park. Toilets are available in various locations and there are cafes and shops close by in Westward Ho! itself. The area is popular with surfers and happily there are lifeguards on hand in the summer months as well.
Bucks Mills beach is situated in a rocky secluded cove at the bottom end of the ancient fishing village of Bucks Mills. No public toilets, no shops or other facilities, just a lovely place. Car parking is available at Bucks Mills car park EX39 5DY.
By the seaside town of the same name, Sidmouth Beach is a long stretch of pebbles that stretches from the River Sid at the east of the town, West to Chit Rocks and Jacobs Ladder Beach and beyond. From the town you go over a footbridge and a number of steps down to the beach, however there are also access points along the sea front esplanade. There are a number of car parks close by, most of which are a few minutes’ walk from the beach itself, and it benefits from nearby facilities, cafes, restaurants and shops. Dogs are not allowed on the beach from 1st May to the 30th September, however there is a small area at the East end of the beach where dogs are allowed all year round. It’s a delightful spot for swimming sailing and surfing if the weather permits it, but you do have to take your own equipment.
Toad Hall Cottages
Call: 01548 20 20 20
Toad Hall Cottages
Call: 01503 272303
Devon & Dorset Cottages
44 Church Street
Call: 01297 443550