Holsworthy, originally called ‘Haroldsworthy’ is a traditional market town on the Devon and Cornwall border dating back to Saxon times – ‘worthy’ is Saxon for enclosure. The town sits within an idyllic rural area known as Ruby Country stretching across the central upland countryside, and framed by the moorlands of Bodmin, Dartmoor and Exmoor. Peaceful and largely undiscovered, you’re missing much by not dipping your tourist toe into this beautiful rural Devon area dotted with ancient market towns, villages, Pannier Markets and cottages.
The visitor centre in Holsworthy serves as the main information point for Ruby Country where you can pick up guides on local trails including the Coast to Coast Trail which cuts through the region. The history of this historic Devon market town is explored in the Holsworthy Museum. If you’re a lover of fine beers then the Holsworthy area is the place to be! Holsworthy Ales microbrewery based in Clawton near Holsworthy has been voted North Devon CAMRA’s Brewery of the Year more than once. Sample their range of beers on group tours and tastings, at various events around Ruby Country or pop into their onsite brewery shop.
Markets, Events, Museum & Activities
Holsworthy town centre is a picturesque scene of old inns serving best food and local ales, some with B&B accommodation. Enjoy a lively atmosphere at the weekly Wednesday Pannier Market in Town Square – it’s one of Devon’s biggest Pannier Markets! A great time to visit is during popular annual events like the Holsworthy & Stratton Agricultural Show at the Killatree Cross Showground, the Model Show in the town centre every March, and St Peters Fair and the Vintage Car & Steam Rally both in July.
The free entry Holsworthy Museum within part of a 17th century parsonage displays a fascinating range of local artefacts offering an insight into the town’s history and traditions. The original 17th century parsonage kitchen inside is still intact! Learn the ancient skill of archery at the all weather Dragon Archery Centre near Holsworthy or enjoy a riding lesson with Coles Mill Riding Stables on the edge of the town. Holsworthy is just 8 miles from surfing and family beaches at Bude and makes the perfect coast and country base, with a host of fine inns, restaurants and cafes dotted around the town centre as well as pretty parks and gardens. Holsworthy Golf club has views of Dartmoor from the 10th Tee and extends a warm welcome to visitors.
Getting There & Where to Stay
The town is easily reach by road, from the M5 then along the A30 from Okehampton/ Bodmin from which you’ll be directed onto the A386 towards Holsworthy. The nearest railway station is at Bude, and the town is within easy driving distance of Newquay Airport. Beautiful rural Devon cottages and farmhouse B&Bs are plentiful in the Holsworthy area, all just a stone’s throw from Bude and with pretty walks right on your doorstep. Ruby Country makes a great base for holidays with dogs! Several character historic inns with rooms serving fine locally sourced food and real ales are in and around Holsworthy. Stay in a Ruby Country holiday lodge located within some of the pretty woodland areas surrounding the market town. Families will also find some great value rural holiday parks in this area, ideal for exploring Cornwall and Devon and set within acres of stunning private countryside.
Michelle is an experienced travel writer with iknow and has travelled extensively across the UK, Spain, Portugal and the USA. When she’s not busy writing for iknow she enjoys spending time touring museums and art galleries and seeking out the best independent shops in Manchester and Leeds.