ASHBURTON AND SURROUNDS

 

28. Hunt for antiques

Dubbed the gateway to the moor, Ashburton is an elegant town whose fortunes were founded on cloth and mining. It is one of Dartmoor’s four stannary towns, where tin was bought to be taxed – and its fine slate-hung frontages house a well-to-do selection of antique shops, delis, cafes and restaurants. Most notable of the latter is the Agaric Restaurant, the Fish Deli and Ashburton Deli.

 

29. Eat in a field kitchen

Food doesn’t get fresher or more local than at Riverford Field Kitchen, the organic farm that is home to the famous veg box scheme. Enormous bowls of hearty homespun fayre is served up on long tables in a wonderfully convivial atmosphere. Booking is essential.

Price: £19.90 for a two-course lunch; £26.50 for a three-course dinner.

Location: Wash Farm, Buckfastleigh, TQ11 0JU

Details: 01803 762059; www.riverford.co.uk.

 

30. Learn to cook

Housed in one of Ashburton’s many grand merchant's houses, the town’s famous cookery school runs short cookery classes in fish and seafood, bread, and "gastro pub" style food. One of the founders has been promoting organic food since the 1980s.

Location: Ashburton, TQ13 7LG

Details: 01364 652784, www.ashburtoncookeryschool.co.uk.

 

31. Go canoeing or kayaking
The River Dart is the most popular canoeing destination in the national park and the white water is considered by many canoeing enthusiasts to be amongst the best mid-grade runs in the west.  The River Dart Country Park runs guided excursions.

Location: Ashburton. TQ13 7NP

Details: 01364 652511, www.riverdart.co.uk.

 

32. Swim in The Dart at Spitchwick

The leafy setting, the clean water (that brown colour is healthy peat) and the sheer fun of Spitchwick justifies its popularity. There’s a gorgeous swimming and picnic spot with a high corner pool, a deep, tranquil lower corner pool for serious swimmers; and a cliff for daredevil jumpers. It can get busy on a hot day as families gather to picnic on the common, and parking can be a problem - get there early for a space, or walk the half-mile from the car park at New Bridge.

Location: Near Holne. From the A38 take the Ashburton Pear Tree exit and head for Princetown/River Dart Country Park. Go past the Country Park and keep going along the lane.Cross Holne Bridge and keep going. You'll come to New Bridge. Cross that and follow the road on for about 1/2 mile along level with the river. The road starts going up hill and then into a left hairpin bend, there's a tiny lane coming off this bend.Go down this lane and park in the car park on the left. Walk down to the river from there.

 

33. Take to the skies

Take a hot air balloon flight over beautiful Dartmoor, or down to the south coast with local company Aerosauraus. A group ride from either Ivybridge or Exeter (both half an hour's drive away) costs £125 per person, and has a maximum of 16 other passengers. Flights are twice daily. 

Location: Ivybridge or Exeter

Details: 01404 823102, www.ballooning.co.uk