BE PAMPERED AT A CASTLE
Set on a private sporting estate up the river from North Bovey, this luxury hotel has an indoor swimming pool, sauna, steam room, jacuzzi, tennis courts, fly-fishing lake, croquet lawn, an 18-hole championship golf course, archery arena and rose garden with beautiful summerhouse. Huge stone fireplaces, soaring ceilings, ornate panelling and squishy sofas make it one of the most comfortable places in Dartmoor to whirl away a lazy afternoon. As a guest of Moorland View, you have complimentary membership, with 10% off what you spend. It's a beautiful 15-minute riverside walk from the cottage, or a five-minute drive.
TAKE A HIKE
Dartmoor is one of the UK's largest wildernesses, with 368-square miles of countryside to ramble through. You'll find open moorland, prehistoric oak forests, tinkling riversides, wooded gorges, craggy peaks, fairytale castles, 700-year-old stone bridges, pretty hamlets, wild horses and plenty of cosy pubs and tea rooms. For sea-lovers, the South West Coastal path is a 40-minute drive away.
EAT IN A TWO-MICHELIN STARRED RESTAURANT
Just one of a handful of restaurants in England to have two Michelin stars, Gidleigh Park is a grand Tudor-style country manor hotel, set in 107 acres of Dartmoor woodland outside Chagford, a 15-minute drive from the cottage.
VISIT A BRONZE AGE VILLAGE
One of the most complete examples of the moor’s prehistoric settlements, Grimspound is a stone enclosure littered with the leavings of 24 Bronze Age hut circles. First settled about 1300 BC, the village’s stone perimeter wall is thought to have stood at 1.7 metres high in places. > More cultural sights.
GO TO JAIL
The Mad Axeman, Frank Mitchell and the Acid Bath Murderer were all inmates at Dartmoor Prison, a grim, gothic jail in the mist-wreathed Dartmoor town of Princetown. Once a byword for the most violent offenders, the prison – now Category C – has a museum for the macabre-minded, featuring makeshift weapons and confiscated escape gear. Most shocking is a razor mounted on the tip of a toothbrush and vicious knuckle-dusters made of six-inch nails. Most amusing is the time-honoured classic of knotted bed sheets, once used in an escape attempt.
COSY UP IN A TRADITIONAL DARTMOOR PUB
Our friendly village pub, the Ring of Bells, is a traditional thatched 14th century longhouse, complete with oak beams, wonky walls and fires. The food - all locally sourced and organic whenever possible - is delicious, there's a great wine list, and ales are poured straight from the barrel. This is a real Dartmoor pub so you'll be drinking with local farmers, sheep shearers and blacksmiths. Other wonderful pubs include The Horse, in our neighbouring village, which has regular live music nights, the Rugglestone, in Widecombe, and The Pilchards' Inn, an old pirates' haunt on its own island.