National Trust Dartmoor
The National Trust owns and manages some of Dartmoor’s most beautiful river valleys and intriguing buildings, including Castle Drogo, the last castle to be built in England; a granite fortress come family home on a granite spur above the beautiful Teign Valley. Buckland Abbey, Gardens and Estate nestled in the Tavy Valley, which has seen many occupants over the last 700 years from the Cistercians who built the Abbey and farmed the Estate to seafarers Grenville and Drake. Finch Foundry a working forge powered by water and produced up to 400 tools a day in its heyday, sits in the heart of the moorland village of Sticklepath. Sexton’s Cottage in Widecombe-in-the-Moor showcases local artists and craftspeople with its gallery on the 1st floor plus information about visiting the moor.
As well as the fine buildings with their wealth of history and intrigue there are many outdoor spaces to enjoy through a variety of activities from walking to geocaching and orienteering.
There are a variety of walks from a well signposted gentle amble along the banks of some of Dartmoor’s most beautiful and ever changing rivers, the Teign, Bovey and Plym to more demanding walks across the open moorland from Cadover Bridge in the upper Plym area. Fingle Bridge below Castle Drogo is a picturesque spot with its Packhorse Bridge and riverside meadows in the shadow of the mighty wooded hillsides of the Teign Gorge.
Lydford Gorge, on the western side of the moor, provides visitors with a challenging walk; it is only three miles long but feels more like five. The walk, along the narrow path, awakens the senses, with the River Lyd bubbling, thundering and meandering through the twists and turns of the gorge.
There are many cycling opportunities with the Drakes Trail connecting the Plym Valley and Buckland Abbey; a beautiful cycle ride through both the Plym and Tavy Valleys. Drakes Trail becomes the Granite way as it carries on up to Lydford Gorge and the north moor. All our places have refreshments for those all-important pit stops on route.
For more information visit individual property websites.
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Last remaining working 19th-century water-powered forge in England. Demonstrations of the machinery every hour.
The geology, water & climate change has created the region’s deepest river gorge providing views that have been enjoyed since Victorian times.
Castle Drogo is currently undergoing a 6 year conservation project to make it watertight. Explore the castle‘s refreshed layout, with rooms redisplayed with installations and precious treasures displayed in new ways.
Discovery, tranquillity and history – an ancient gem in the Dartmoor landscape