Restaurants

A smart country house hotel that was modelled in part on Great Bidlake and much of the oak paneling in the main rooms comes from the house. Fine restaurant and good cream teas. 10 minutes' drive.

Sabine Baring Gould, the composer of the hymn Onward Christian Soldiers, lived at Lewtrenchard and wrote a chapter in his book “Devon Characters and Strange Events” on the Bidlakes of Bidlake.

Elegant dining room in this famous fishing hotel. Local produce cooked with flair. Highly recommended. 15 minutes' drive.

A super hotel and restaurant run by Olga Polizzi.  The Duke of Bedford’s former fishing and hunting lodge on the banks of the Tamar River with gardens and grottos designed by Humphry Repton. 10 minutes' drive.

Set lunch is extraordinary value for money (if the weather is fine, ask for a table in one of the outside alcoves). Highly recommended.

High quality restaurant overlooking the Tamar Valley with a focus on local produce. Excellent value set lunch menu. 25 minutes' drive.

For that special occassion. Excellent restaurant in a magical setting. 30 minutes' drive.

Excellent seafood. An hour's drive.

One of Padstow's excellent restaurants. About an hour and 15 minutes' drive.

Pubs

The White Hart is a traditional country village inn with a friendly bar, local beers and good food. 6 minutes' drive or a 1.5 mile/20 minutes' walk.

The Clovelly Inn Free House is an authentic rural Devon pub dating back to the 18th Century. 15 minutes' drive.

The Dartmoor Inn is a special place.  The small bar has local ales and a log fire.  It serves pub classics and more sophisticated food in the excellent restaurant. 12 minutes' drive.

The Arundel Arms Hotel has been one of England’s premier fishing hotels for more than half a century and has over 20 miles of its own water. Smart restaurant along with more informal, but substantial bar menu. Highly recommended. 15 minutes' drive or take 6A bus (nearest bus stop is in Combebow, 1 mile away).

The Castle Inn is a traditional 16th century inn of great character. A good choice combined with a visit to nearby Lydford Gorge or cycling the Granite Way. Pleasant garden.  12 minutes' drive.

Sunday Times describes it as a "slice of foodie heaven". Highly recommended. 30 minutes' drive.

One of the oldest inns in England, formerly a monstery. Highly recommeded. 20 minutes' drive.

Charming country pub with real ales and excellent cheesboard. 25 minutes' drive.

A good place for a drink after a walk on Dartmoor. 12 minutes' drive.

Particulary nice beer garden with good selection of beers. 20 minutes' drive.

A rustic country pub with a reputation for good food. 25 minutes' drive.

Local produce

High quality produce including organic fruit and vegetables. Very good cafe with excellent breakfasts.

An incredible selection of West Country cheeses in this award winning shop. Not to be missed.

This small vineyard in nearby Lewdown, run by three generations of the Westlake family, produced a luscious Rosé and a Madeleine Angevine white wine, both by award winning winemaker John Coulson of Penzance. Open for tours of the vineyard and tastings. 

2 miles away from Great Bidlake Manor.

Traditional cider maker with orchard, tastings and shop. Tours available. 

One of the best butchers in the country. Highly recommended. Online deliveries. 

Two shops in Launceston: one in the town the other on Pennygillam Industrial estate.

Sells top-quality organic meat and vegetables online

A collective of Dartmoor farmers selling high quality meat online

Home produced, naturally reared, marbled North Devon Beef traditionally hung for 3 weeks for a fuller flavour. 
Call Brian or Angela on 01837 861203

1st and 3rd Saturday of every month in Fore Sreet around St. James Chapel Square

On 2nd and 4th Saturdays of each month in Bedford Square

Sumptuous cakes, hearty Devonshire pies and decadent roulades for delivery or collection from Okehampton

Various courses are held during the year.

Places to visit

Caters for the whole family, from the smallest children to parents and grandparents. There are over 100 animals, 30 outdoor attractions and a variety of other activities to choose from. With heart-stopping rides for thrill seekers to soft-play and animal petting for younger guests, this is the South West's number one family day out. 40 minutes' drive.

A family adventure park with trails and challenges. 30 minutes' drive.

Otters, meerkats, owls, wallabies and many other animals. Great for children. 30 minutes' drive.

An indoor display of the National Fairground Collection with various rides and events throughout the year. 13 minutes' drive.

3 underground caverns. Local legend has it the Crown jewels were stored here during the First World War. 

Perfect activity for rainy days. 45 minutes' drive.

Lots to do and see in this medieval city, from the stunningly beautiful cathedral to fashionable Gandy Street shops.

Tudor house in the Tamar Valley that was the ancestral home to the Edgecumbe family. A National Trust property. 40 minutes' drive.

A fomer Cistercian abbey that was the home of Sir Francis Drake. A National Trust property. 40 minutes' drive.

A 20th century castle designed by Edwin Lutyens. An amazing place. 

A National Trust poperty. 30 minutes' drive.

Glorious gardens and 18th century house with historic fashion collection. A National Trust property. 50 minutes' drive.

An exceptional Royal Horticultural Society garden with a diverse collection of plants. 40 minutes' drive.

Dubbed the 8th Wonder of the World by some, inside the 2 biomes are plants collected from many diverse climates and environments. 60 minutes' drive.

One of the most popular botanical gardens in the UK with colossal rhododendrons and camelias. 75 minutes' drive.

Built in the 14th & 15th centuries to supply fresh drinking water into the city, this tour provides a valuable insight into how the city has developed over time.

During school holidays, advance booking is essential.

Exhibiting work by modern British artists, particulary those from the St. Ives school.

Closed until Spring 2017. 1 hour 35 minutes' drive.

Spend the day at Porthcurno beach and watch a play in this open air theatre carved in the cliff overlooking the sea. Simply magical. 2 hours' drive.

A historic port on the River Tamar that is now an excellent museum and visitor centre. 25 minutes' drive.

UK's biggest aquarium at Plymouth. An hour's drive.

An enchanting 5-acre woodland garden on the edge of the Dartmoor, famous for National Collections of Birch trees and Alder trees and the annual ‘Mythic Garden’ sculpture exhibition. Winner of the Gardener’s World magazine ‘Gardens to Visit SW’ award 2010. The garden has been created over 40 years by the late Kenneth Ashburner, and now a charity has been formed to safeguard this unique collection of birch trees and alder trees. 25 minutes' drive.

A delightful 14th Century church founded on an earlier settlement - going back before 970 when Aelfgyth was Chaplain. Dedicated in honour of St. Thomas a Becket in the 14th Century by descendents of two knights Fitz Urse and William de Tracey (both Devon men) who took part in the murder of Thomas, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1170. Their successors may have wanted to clear their family names and appease their consciences by rededicating the church to the Christian martyr. 10 minutes' drive.

A variety of tours on offer including a fabulous opportunity to select a botanicals and creating a bespoke gin. Situated in the Barbican, the historical part of the Plymouth famous for the Mayflower Steps. An hour's drive.

The first single malt whisky distillery in the south west of England. Tours and tastings available (booking required). 45 minutes' drive.

 

A Norman motte and bailey castle, now in ruins and surrounded by a picturesque park.  There is an old Devon tale of Lady Margaret Howard every night leaves Tavistock in a large horse-drawn carriage made of bones driven by a headless coachman and makes her way the 16 miles to Okehampton Castle, where she picks a single blade of grass and returns to Tavistock. When the castle's mound is free of grass, she will be released from her torment.

Painted by Turner in 1824. 15 minutes' drive.

A local museum in a fine Georgian house with frequent excellent exhibitions.

Walking on Dartmoor

Right on our doorstep. A dramatic landscape with 730km of paths, tracks and open moorland for you to explore on foot (including guided walks by Park rangers), bike or horseback and it is also a great place to try out new activities, such as climbing and geocaching.

An enjoyable introductory walk is go to the end of the driveable track running up from The Dartmoor Inn on the A386. From there walk to the top of Brat Tor (with the large cross on its summit) to see magnificent views in all directions.

Follow this link for a useful map and details of start points (and car parks) for various walks over the Moor.

A 24 miles trail between the castles in Okehampton and Launceston that passes close to Great Bidlake Manor

A private Dartmoor walking guide with in-depth knowledge of the area

Dartmoor guided walks, including bespoke itineries and e-bike tours

A wide range events in August/September every year.

Dartmoor's Daughter offers a wide range of activities for adults, families and children from astonomy evenings to wildife tracking. 

Private guided walks are also available.

Highly recommended. 

Running on Dartmoor

If you enjoy running and would like to experience Dartmoor's stunning scenery, there's no better way.

Bespoke packages to suit individual needs and abilities (max 8 in a group). If there are particular parts of Dartmoor that you would like to see, then Dartmoor Running will try their best to accommodate. 

One hour: £30 plus £5 per person

Two hours: £45 plus £5 per person

Three hours/half day: £50 plus £10 per person

Contact: Katie Littlejohns on 07769330182

dartmoorrunningholidays@hotmail.com

Countryside mobility scooter hire

All terrain mobility scooter hire available at a wide range of wheelchair accessible outdoor visitor attractions and wheelchair accessible Wheelyboats provide access for all to inland lakes and waterways.

Adrenaline activities

An extraordinary £7 million venture covering walking, horse riding, tree surfing, zip wires, archery and bush craft skills. Activities not for the faint hearted (but there is a good café for spectators). 30 minutes' drive.

A huge range of outward bound/adventure activities from archery to weasling on Dartmoor. 

Experience a trial flight from £69. 20 minutes' away.

Imagine looking down from above over beautiful forests and waterfalls and spying animals grazing and galloping through the National Park from anything up to 5,000 feet in the air. 10 minutes' drive.

Unforgettable days out: a huge range of activities from driving experiences to pampering

Paintball and outdoor laser combat. 25 minutes' drive.

The 16 acre site is home to 6 unique bespoke game zones. 20 minutes' drive.

The South West’s largest indoor climbing wall

With a massive fleet of over 80 off road vehicles one of, if not the largest, off road activity centre in the UK

A number of options available including spending the morning off-roading, followed by a lunch a country pub and then an afternoon of clay pigeon shooting

Cornwall's top go-karting centre on an 800 metre track. 50 minutes' drive.

Indoor karting. 40 minutes' drive.

A dedicated climbing venue housed in a massive barn. Fun taster sessions (7 years up) plus other courses available.  

25 minutes' drive. 

Beaches

There are a number of beaches near Bude, all about 50 minutes’ away.

Summerleaze Beach, is a wide sandy beach popular with families. There’s a seawater bathing pool and beach huts available for hire.

More secluded is Northcott Mouth Beach.

Widemouth Bay is long open bay popular with families and surfers and at low tide there are lots of rock pools to explore.

Stanbury Mouth is a fantastic wild and remote low-tide sand beach. A favourite approach is along the cliff path from Duckpool, two miles to the south - also a wonderful low-tide sandy beach with freshwater pool and stream, and ice cream van – perfect for families.  

Other recommended beaches:

Budleigh Salterton, near Exeter. Situated at the mouth of the River Otter, Budleigh offers a quiet beach day, with its pebbly beach and safe waters making it ideal for a refreshing swim. The estuary is a breeding site for migratory birds and other important wildlife. 55 minutes’ away.

Exmouth, near Exeter, has 2 miles of sandy beach. A popular seaside resort with good walks along the cliffs of the Jurassic Coast. 55 minutes’ away.

Port Gaverne near Port Isaac  has something for everyone. There’s a wonderful inlet with a small safe beach for children and a rocky peninsula with increasingly high ledges for the brave to jump from. 60 minutes away.

Saunton Sands, north Devon. Behind this untamed three-mile stretch of beach is Braunton Burrows, one of the largest sand-dune systems in Britain, and home to myriad rare plants and butterflies. Atlantic rollers sweep on to the vast sandy beach. 80 minutes away.

 

Swimming

25 meter indoor pool and gym. 15 minutes' drive.

River-fed public pool open late May to early September. 30 minutes' drive.

Black Rock pool has been a popular spot to cool off in the summer for many generations. The pool has been formed by large 
boulders with a little help from smaller stones placed as a dam by the swimmers.

A community pool right in the heart of Tavistock. 25 minutes' drive.

Watersports

Roadford Lake with over 730 acres of water is a spectacular lake set on the edge of Dartmoor.  Easily accessed from Stowford Cross on the A30 and with ample (pay) parking. There is a Lakeside Café as well as lakeside walks. 20 minutes' drive.

A fantastic trip along the River Tamar, designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Operates between April and September and according to tide times. 25 minutes' drive.

Golf

Seven 18 hole courses. 15 minutes' drive.

Beautiful course on the edge of Dartmoor. 20 minutes' drive.

A highly rated Jack Nicklaus designed course that hosted the European Tour and a less demanding 2nd course. 45 minutes' drive.

A challenging course over the undulating Dartmoor scenery with gorse and bracken. 30 minutes' drive.

A golf course with mature trees, lakes and streams. 6432 yards, par 71.

Trethorne Leisure Park is next to the golf course with ten pin bowling, café, animals, indoor and outdoor adventure play areas, and crazy golf. 20 minutes' drive.

Started in 1989, pleasant course with fast greens and testing bunkers. 

20 minutes' drive away.

Cycling

Runs 11 miles from Okehampton Railway Station to Lydford. Mainly traffic free and much of it within Dartmoor National Park. Highly recommended. 

You can access this at Prewley, Sourton Church or ‘Bridestowe Station’ which is located out of Bridestowe on the Tavistock road.

You can hire bikes from www.devoncyclehire.co.uk

Perfectly located for hiring bikes to cycle the Granite Way, a mainly car-free cycle path. 10 minutes' drive.

A 95 mile-long circular route which winds its way around the natural beauty of Dartmoor 

Descend on your bike 500 foot through wooded tracks and then get lifted back to the top to do it all over again. 30 minutes' drive.

Tarka Trail runs 30 miles from Meeth to Bideford. 

High quality bike hire and repair service. Reserve and bikes can be delivered to Great Bidlake the next morning.

Horse riding

Rides and lessons on Dartmoor. 12 minutes' drive.

Riding for all abilities on north Dartmoor. 20 minutes' drive.

For novices to more experienced riders on heavy Clydesdale horses. 40 minutes' drive.

Fishing

Voted Britain's best fishing school by The Field Magazine. Private fishing on 20 miles of Rivers Tamar and Lyd for salmon and brown trout.

Excellent courses for beginners. 15 minutes' drive.

Offers 30 fisheries across the South West. 

Coarse fishing with 3 well-stocked lakes. 5 minutes' drive. 

4 acre lake with Perch, Carp, Bream, Specimen Roach, Tench, and atural stock of Trout.

Contact Bob Westlake on 01566 783444. 5 minutes' drive.

A number of skippers provide shark angling trips from Looe. Mackerel guaranteed. 40 minutes' drive.

Other country sports

All levels welcome, including beginners. Tuition is available from senior professional CPSA instructor and 2008 English skeet champion. 35 minutes' drive.

Experience days and hunting days with hawks and falcons in the midst of Dartmoor. 40 minutes' drive.

Great fun for all abilities with friendly tutors. 30 minutes' drive.

The nearest course is Cherrybrook. Undulating course with slight incline from final bend to the winning post and very sharp downhill bend after the ditch; mixture of portable and narrow permanent fences. 20 minutes' drive.

Tuition available. 35 minutes' drive.

Caterers

Harrie Kivell is a talented chef particularly known for her cakes.

High quality frozen meals delivered - perfect for large group catering

A local caterer with a good reputation

Top notch catering from Sam Rom, former head chef at The River Cottage.

A clever idea: you fill in the date of your event and your postcode, and the website delivers a list of available chefs and the menus they can offer (from £39 per head). 

Contact Ginny Lyons

Michelin starred chef Peter Gorton is local foodie celebrity

Telephone 01392 444877

Contact Diana Cornewall-Walker

Based in Okehampton

Talented chef Dave and his partner Sally offer bespoke catering 

Contact Sally on 07414 720 077 and thirstchoice@yahoo.co.uk

Menus from only £28 per head 
Telephone 01288 359010 or 07817804614.

Pet Sitting

Over 16 years veterinary experience 
Please call Louise on 07968698641

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