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Holidays in Tavistock

Or “Tavy” to the locals

Brentor Church

Tavistock lies on the edge of Dartmoor, around 15 miles north of Plymouth. Its elegant centre is dominated by historical buildings, many of which were built with local stone. Tavistock is still a thriving Devon market town, with a pannier market which is open almost every day and a regular farmers’ market, where you can pick up fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and seafood from some of the region’s best suppliers. Tavistock is the birthplace of Sir Francis Drake, the sea captain and politician who completed the second circumnavigation of the world in the 1500s. Despite its fascinating history, don’t be fooled into thinking of Tavistock as a town which is living in the past. It’s home to state-of-the-art performance venues, interesting shops and contemporary, award-winning restaurants.

There are some outstanding places to eat in Tavistock, where local produce from the surrounding countryside often ends up in the kitchens of the town’s pubs, cafes and restaurants. Hotel Endsleigh, in nearby Milton Abbot, serves beautifully presented British dishes in an elegant dining room with views across the garden and out to Dartmoor. The Terrace is a nice spot for morning coffee or a bite to eat. It has a popular bar which is well stocked with local ales, and a fine selection of whiskies. At the top of Paddon’s Row, you’ll find Donella’s, an atmospheric Mediterranean-style café which serves some of the best coffee in town, as well as wraps, sandwiches and homemade cakes.

Duke of Bedford statue

Tavistock has a handful of traditional pubs, many of which serve good food, and Wescountry ales and ciders. Try the Tavistock Inn, a nice place to settle down with a pint and watch the world go by. Alternatively, check out The Cornish Arms, which has an open fire, lovely beer garden and extensive menu of pub classics.

“Tavistock is a charming, ancient market town surrounded by the spectacular countryside of South Devon.”

Tavistock is an ideal base from which to explore Dartmoor, a wild, windswept area of moorland which covers 368 square-miles of South Devon. Outdoor enthusiasts are in their element here, thanks to the area’s wide open spaces and spectacular landscapes. Hikers will enjoy the hilly, rocky terrain, which is criss-crossed by rough, winding trails. A wide range of outdoor pursuits, including fishing, canoeing, cycling and horse-riding are on offer.

If you’re planning on venturing further afield, there are plenty of interesting villages, towns and cities which can be easily reached from Tavistock. Nearby Plymouth is a bustling, cosmopolitan city with a fascinating maritime history, which is well worth exploring.

While you’re there

Cotehele House

Visit this house for a magical day out, discover the myths and legends and see the beautiful gardens.

Tree Surfers

Zip through the trees on the high ropes course or speed through the woods on mountain bikes.

Morwellham Quay

This museum is full of actors in authentic Victorian dress which really brings the experience to life.

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