Our part of Devon is situated between Dartmoor and Exmoor to the north and south, and the Atlantic coast to the west. On a clear day you can see both moors from the top of the village.
On our doorstep:
1. The Tarka trail (link here)is within walking distance of us: to get to it, either walk down the 'private road' at the top of our drive (turn left at top of drive) until you come to a lane on the left. Go down this lane and cross over the bridge. You are now on the Tarka Trail. Going left will take you to the old Petrockstowe Station, at which point you can turn left again and walk up to the village (turning left at the crossroads and left again down our drive) or if you are up to a longer walk, cross the road and the trail goes to Bideford, Barnstaple and beyond! Alternatively, park in Petrockstowe station car park (free) and go left or right. Going right from the bridge ( or Petrockstowe station car park) will take you to the Meeth Nature Reserve.
2. Meeth Quarry Nature Reserve. This is also within walking distance and accessd from the Tarka Trail ( see above) or you can drive a short way to Meeth and park (free) in the Devon Wildlife Trust's car park. The car park closes at dusk so don't be caught out!!!! The reserve consists of two huge lakes encompassed by grassland and woodland, 370 acres in all. Dogs welcome on most of the reserve. By the way, the Bull and Dragon at Meeth serves extremely tasty home cooked food and can thus round off your day to this fantastic site. Link to DWT's website here.
3. Halsdon Nature Reserve is an older reserve, also nearby. It's best to drive there (only 10/15 minutes), however there's only room for a couple of cars. It's not busy so you can usually park there. Near Dolton, there are beautiful walks through the woods and along the Torridge river. Another Devon Wildlife Trust place- free. Click here for more info.
4. RHS Garden Rosemoor. About 20 minutes to drive there Near Great Torrington. This garden the RHS's showcase garden for the west of England. Beautiful!!! Link is here for their website.
5. Great Torrington. Gill's favourite local town. 6 miles away. Lovely quirky shops including greengrocers, butchers, bakers, soapmakers, pannier market (open Thursdays and Saturdays), delicatessen, The Plough Arts Centre ( films, theatre, artwork). Click here for link.
6. Dartington Crystal. Good for a rainy day outing, or anytime. Watch the glass blowers do their thing at the visitor centre and then buy a gift of glasswork or mirror work at their shop, all on the same site. Click here for link.
1.Access to Dartmoor can be at Okehampton ( walk between Okehampton and Meldon reservoir and onto Dartmoor- http://www.devon.gov.uk/walk61.pdf
Meldon reservoir and dam.
2.Just beyond Okehampton is Belstone, a half hour drive from us, where you can park for free in the village and go straight out onto the moor. Here you will find the Nine Maidens, a bronze age stone circle, together with Belstone Tor, an extinct volcano. There are also pretty spectacular views over Dartmoor. Link here.
3.How about going to Lydford Gorge? This is the deepest gorge in the south west, with a 30m waterfall, all within a half drive down the A386. Link here.
Other places to visit on/near Dartmoor:
Castle Drogo. Drewsteignton. Dartmoor National Park War Horse Valley.Winkleigh. Buckfast Abbey. Buckfastleigh. Finch Foundry. Okehampton, Okehampton Castle http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/okehampton-castle/
The Coast: Rugged, dramatic coastline at Hartland and Hartland Point where rocks point straight down into the sea. There's a pub serving good food right down on Hartland Quay where you can watch the Atlantic breakers smashing up against the rocks on a windy day.
Sand and surf beaches: the following beaches are all good for surfing and body boarding and have plenty of sand, at least when it's not high tide.
Westward Ho! named after its famous citizen Charles Kingsley. There's a statue of Kingsley at nearby Bideford, 'The little white town'.
Northam Burrows: near to Westward Ho! but more sand at low tide and fewer people. Good for exercising dogs but not when the tide is right up as there is not much beach left.
Bude: lots of beaches but be careful about which parts to take dogs in the summer. Summerleaze beach is fine.
Widemouth Bay: One of my favourite beaches but it does get a bit populated in summer.
Croyde, Poughill, Croyde, Peppercombe (this one can be a bit difficult to get to - you have to walk a bit and go down a steep path), Duckpool, Woolacombe, Sandymouth, Northcott Mouth. All these are some of the beautiful beaches in our area.