The charming market town of Tavistock on the western edge of Dartmoor is not only a gateway to the National Park, but also to Cornwall and Devon’s World Heritage mining sites and the Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The town nestles alongside the river Tavy and is a quintessential West Country market town with a wealth of award-winning hotels, restaurants and cafes. Central hub in Tavistock is beautiful Bedford Square flanked by the Victorian town hall and a variety of independent small shops.
The historic, award-winning Pannier Market here is open daily from Tuesday to Saturday, and on Mondays too during the summer holiday. The market building sits just behind the town hall off the bustling High Street. Don’t miss a tour of the Tavistock Museum above Court Gate. Exhibits inside reveal the history of the once magnificent Tavistock Abbey – today only fragments and parts of the monastery wall remain around the town. Exceptional holiday cottage and farm B&B accommodation sits around Tavistock, all serving as perfect western gateways into Dartmoor and with beautiful rural surrounds. Many are family friendly and welcome dogs.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote his Sherlock Holmes novel ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ whilst in Tavistock. The atmospheric country surroundings were his inspiration, and the mystery novel brought plenty of attention to the area on the edge of the Dartmoor National Park. Tavistock hosts a selection of superb annual events including the Tavistock Goose Fair with stalls, a fairground and live entertainment, and the Westcountry Balloon Fiesta with a mass air balloon launch. Tavistocks’s annual Music and Arts Festival is the town’s celebration of song and entertainment, featuring workshops and performances taking place in April and May. Head down to Tavistock Wharf, a hub entertainment venue hosting live music with a bar, coffee shop, cinema and gallery on-site.
Tavistock attractions include the Tree Surfers high rope course, also with archery and mountain biking. It’s the town’s best attraction for adrenaline seekers, and there’s an on-site cafe providing somewhere to relax for those who’d prefer to keep their feet on the ground. The Barn Indoor Climbing Wall is also available for active visitors, and World Heritage site Morwellham Quay offers a quieter day out with a recreated Victorian farm including a working forge and a narrow gauge mine railway set in 200 acres.