Moretonhampstead, ‘The Gateway to the Moor’, is a popular base for Dartmoor walking holidays and sits alongside the Dartmoor Way, a walking and cycling route running around the National Park. Numerous outdoor activity opportunities feature in the local area including birdwatching around Kennick Reservoir, Butterdon Down and Mardon Down, rock climbing and bouldering on nearby granite tors, and river and reservoir fishing. The town also has an award-winning local sports centre, a choice of fine inns and cafes, an art gallery and craft centre as well as a great selection of specialist shops and country markets. A weekly local produce, arts and crafts market takes place in the Parish Hall on Fore Street every Tuesday and a country market selling a fine range of local produce from cheeses to breads, meat and preserves takes place usually on the first Saturday of each month.
Pick up all your local leaflets and guides at Moretonhampstead Tourist information Centre including information on several themed town heritage trails. A great time to visit is during the annual Food, Drink and Arts Festival in March or during the summer August Carnival with a host of events for all the family including live music, tea dances, fun runs, fetes and a fun fair. An ancient market town with Saxon roots, Moretonhampstead and the spectacular surrounding moorland contains a variety of accommodation from charming cottages to Grade II Listed B&Bs and classic traditional posting house hotels. Amongst the most luxurious places to stay in the area with a relaxed atmosphere is the award-winning spa leisure hotel Bovey Castle with a championship 18 hole golf course designed in the 1920s to rival sister courses at Gleneagles and Turnberry!
Attractions & Activities
Moretonhampstead boasts many award-winning venues and attractions including the Green Hill Arts and Heritage Gallery which attracts huge numbers of visitors annually. Children and adults alike are enchanted by The Miniature Pony Centre just outside the market town. Friendly miniature ponies aren’t the only residents – joining them are piglets, chicks and lambs, and there’s lots of attractions, entertainment and activities onsite including pony rides, garden and parkland walks, refreshment centres and gift shops, indoor and outdoor play areas and children’s entertainers.
Other popular attractions include the Moretonhampstead Motor Museum displaying over 70 vintage vehicles dating from the Victorian era to the 1990s. Alongside the display of Victorian horse-drawn carts. classic cars and motorcycles are a variety of motoring artefacts and memorabilia. Moretonhampstead is one of a selection of Dartmoor towns and villages with their own outdoor pool. Morton’s is situated just behind the free car park on Court Street and is open across the summer season.
If you’re looking for a top Dartmoor rock climbing and bouldering base, Moretonhampstead is perfect, surrounded by some of Dartmoor’s most challenging granite tors. Several outdoor training and activity centres are located in the area and offer climbing tuition for beginners and those looking to improve. Other outdoor activities available in the area include kayaking and canoeing, abseiling and walking around some of Dartmoor’s most famous tors including Bowerman’s Nose and Hound Tor near Moretonhampstead. Famous Dartmoor prehistoric settlement Grimspound dating from the late Bronze Age with the remains of over 20 stone houses and a vast boundary wall sits just to the south west of Morton.