Chagford on the north eastern edge of Dartmoor National Park is a charming old stannary town widely regarded as the ‘Jewel of Dartmoor’. The town sits close to the picture-postcard River Teign and boasts a centre brimming with quirky independent shops, galleries, ancient churches and a selection of best Devon restaurants – a real draw for foodie fans. The town is well placed for some of Dartmoor’s most famous heritage sites including nearby Castle Drogo.
If you like your holiday location packed with arts and crafts then Chagford offers much to please including a selection of independent art galleries and a great programme of festivals covering a range of genres from film to literature. Old 15th and 16th century buildings include a unique octagonal market house and beautiful heritage church St Michael which was consecrated in 1261. Step inside St Michael to see two superb carved examples of the ancient Three Hares symbol, and explore the Dartmoor and Central Devon Three Hares Trail put together by a local Chagford artist and featuring 17 Devon churches with the ancient symbol. The town has an interesting link to the novelist RD Blackmore – a Chagford bride who was shot on the day of her wedding is thought to have been Blackmore’s inspiration for his novel ‘Lorna Doone’!
A host of outdoor activities are available right on your doorstep in the National Park. Chagford sits close to the spectacular tors around the northern area of the park, all top spots for walking. Nearby Fernworthy reservoir is a favourite with birdwatchers, and you’ll find a wide choice of cycle routes, traffic free trails and pretty forest tracks in the local area. Take a dip in Chagford swimming pool – this is the South West’s largest freshwater swimming pool with water provided by a mill leat from a nearby stream and river! Everything from horse riding and llama walks to fly fishing on the River Teign are available close to hand, and the nearby mighty granite tors offer some of the best rock climbing territory in the South West.
The northern area of Dartmoor is easily reached due to its close proximity to Exeter. By road, at the end of the M5 follow the A30 towards Okehampton, and exit onto the A382 for Chagford. Exeter Airport is just a short drive away, and you can pick up good bus links from Exeter into Dartmoor and direct to Chagford including the regular 173 service via Drewsteignton. Bus links run direct from Chagford to Okehampton, Bovey Tracey, Moretonhampstead and Newton Abbot plus many more small village and market town locations across Dartmoor and the Central Devon countryside.
Where to stay
Accommodation in the Chagford area is luxurious with plenty of character and individuality assured. This ancient Dartmoor town has some stunning bed and breakfast and self-catering cottage accommodation in and around the centre. Choose a country house B&B within beautiful private grounds or opt for a cottage with far reaching views towards the Castle Drogo estate. Grade II Listed holiday properties are common in the area, as are charming old inns with rooms perfect for wedding parties or that special romantic break. Offering a bustling arts rich centre with a great choice of restaurants, inns and events, Chagford is the perfect base from which to explore Dartmoor.