Explore the seasonal change on Dartmoor in this driven tour. Classic Beech and Oak lined river valleys, ferns and hawthorn on the open moor as well as the ever-changing skies that signal the turn from summer to autumn.
Capture and experience some of the autumnal magic that Dartmoor National Park shows off at this time in the year, before the grip of winter takes hold and the moorland changes once again.
A perfect tour for the budding photographer as our guide Mark is a master at getting the perfect shot or for those just wanting to see Dartmoor at this beautiful time of year.
Happy Birthday Dartmoor! 70 years ago, Dartmoor was designated as one of the the UK’s first National Parks, on 30 October 1951! In the same year, the Peak District, Lake District and Snowdonia were also awarded the designation. Dartmoor is a beautiful, wild, and incredible place to visit and explore, why not visit for yourself and find out why we love it here so much.
To celebrate Dartmoor’s 70th Birthday we have come up with the top 7 things to do on Dartmoor in 2021 (there’s so much to do here it was hard choosing just 7), keep reading to find out more…
The rich history of Dartmoor dates back to around 10,000 years ago, where people were visiting Dartmoor to hunt for food and then, from about 4,500 years ago people who were known as the Bronze Age Farmers began to settle down and farm the land. In medieval England, roughly 1,000 years ago the improving climate and increasing population brought many new settlers on Dartmoor. And even today you can still see the medieval landscape the same as it would have looked 700 years ago.
When visiting why not explore the old manor houses, churches, and medieval fields. You can take a short trip from Bovey Castle to the iconic Hound Tor Medieval Village which is a deserted village from the Bronze Age, consisting of a cluster of 13th century stone longhouses or why not visit the restored longhouse in Higher Uppacott?
The history continues with the Victorians, who brought different industries and lots of wealthy people to change the Dartmoor landscape, inviting steam trains to be built with a train line running over the Wray Valley which can still be visited and explored today!
Did you know? Dartmoor was covered in tropical forests for millions of years! Today, Dartmoor is an important reserve for rare species including different varieties of plants and animals, it also has one of the main concentrations of oak woods in the UK.
Visit Dartmoor are celebrating the 70th Birthday of Dartmoor with their ‘Time for Nature Challenge’. Come and test yourself with this interactive nature challenge which was created to help visitors not only explore the wildlife make new discoveries about the world around us. It’s important to recognise how the small changes we can make as individuals have a great impact on protecting the wildlife around us for future generations. Discover how to get involved with the ‘Time for Nature Challenge’ on their website click here.
There’s so much wildlife to enjoy and the Dartmoor Ponies are a species that are iconic to Dartmoor. So iconic that the pony was chosen as the National Park’s logo in 1951. They are an integral part of the moorland landscape and one of the main attractions for visitors to the area, contributing to Dartmoor’s unique character. There are lots of different types of ponies who reside on Dartmoor today, they have been used for many different jobs including pit ponies, shepherding, taking the family to the market and even sometimes carrying the postman to deliver the mail! The smaller ponies are called Shetlands and were originally used in the mining industry. Click here to read more about the Dartmoor Ponies and how to keep yourself and the ponies safe when visiting.
If you want to spook yourself out, discover the many legends and folk lore’s that reside on Dartmoor! These stories are passed on by word of mouth down the generations and are based on true tales. Discover the stories of the past giants, witches, pixies, and evil ones who have inhabited Dartmoor over the years. Learn about ghost stories of Dartmoor too. Click here to discover myths and legends on Dartmoor and learn about all the strange phenomena’s that have prevailed over the years. Delve deep into your imagination and picture the wicked Vixana peering over the top of Vixen Tor or imagine the body of poor Childe the Hunter lying next to the cross which marks where his body was found.
Moor Otters is a feel-good public arts project that attracts young and old for an amazing journey of discovery and making memories. The Moor Otters Arts Trail consists of 81 stunning sculptures of otters with cubs, all designed by local and national artists creating a total of four arts trails. This fun and interactive arts trail encourages visitors to spot the otters on the moor. Ending on Sunday 19th September 2021, where the otters will then be rounded up ready for auction and be available for collectors to purchase their favourite piece. The funds raised are put towards vital conservation projects for the National Park. Find out more about the Moor Otters Arts Trail here.
The granite that belongs to Dartmoor was produced over 300 million years ago and over the past 10,000 years humankind from the Middle Stone Age have shaped the landscape into a beautiful place to live. People have been living on the moor for thousands of years, explore the moors and you can discover traces of past lives etched into the land itself! Together, Mother Nature and Humankind have joint forces to create a stunning landscape full of varied for beautiful nature and wildlife to inhabit. If you’re into rocks and geology, why not visit the top 10 archaeological sites on Dartmoor, discover more by clicking here.
Rivalling Africa’s infamous ‘Big Five’ wildlife (the lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros), Dartmoor’s ‘Little Five’ are infamous on the moorlands and are rare, secretive and fascinating…
First up, the blue ground beetle. The ancient oak woodlands contain moss-covered boulders and tree trunks where this fierce predator hides. The blue ground beetle is one of the largest and rarest beetles in the UK it grows to a whopping one and a half inches and has long metallic blue legs. Next, the cuckoo bird. The cuckoo is a dove sized bird with grey colouring. They spend summer on Dartmoor and migrate 10,000 miles to the Congolese tropical rainforests in winter. The marsh fritillary butterfly is a rare, medium sized butterfly which can be spotted from May to June in the wet grassland on Dartmoor. Otters are infamous to Dartmoor with a medium-dark brown colouring and grow up to a metre in length. Otters are mainly nocturnal and travel large distances of up to 20km of river habitat. And finally, the ash black slug which is renowned as the world’s largest slug and can exceed 20cm! Another nocturnal animal, it can be found in the woodlands on Dartmoor and will feed on fungi and algae along the tree stumps. Did you know? Slugs are hermaphrodites, meaning they have both male and female reproductive organs. Find out more about Dartmoor’s ‘Little Five’ wildlife and how to find it by clicking here.
Sound like fun? If you need more time to ‘Explore More on the Moor’ why not enjoy a fabulous private lodge break with our exclusive offer. Get either five nights for the price of four or seven nights for the price of five! Discover our fabulous lodge offer and book now by clicking here.
If you’re planning a visit to Bovey Castle, then you will know we have the best range of activities for one of the best adventure holidays in Devon this year. From exhilarating off road driving tracks to peaceful visits to our Deer Park we have something for everyone. You will have so much fun at Bovey Castle, why not come and find out for yourself?
We couldn’t run our activities department without our fantastic team, and we are so grateful to have our very own female Bear Grylls right here at Bovey Castle, meet our Activities Manager, Hannah! We asked Hannah a few questions so you could get to know her before visiting, if you’re interested, please keep reading…
Growing up, what did you want to be when you were older?
A dentist or a dancer which I still do.
How did you get into the activities role you are in now?
I had worked here previously in activities from 2008 for 3 years. I had other jobs in between but was looking for an outdoors activity job again years later and the timing was right as they were hiring again. Have been back about 4 years now.
What season is your favourite at Bovey for activities?
Spring because the flowers are just stunning here.
You are a qualified 4×4 driving instructor, tell us about how you got your qualification?
Other instructors and I go to train up at Honiton with Land Rover Experience on their tracks there. I am BORDA British off-road Driving qualified and passed the ‘higher standard’.
What do you do in your spare time? Any interesting hobbies?
I love dance and performing, horse riding and clay shooting. I am a trainee horse trick rider and our team perform in jousting and trick shows up and down the country.
Favourite animal spotting on the estate?
Little baby stoats playing. I love ferrets so it’s a wild version of that.
If you were a Disney character, which one would you be?
Merida from Brave, as she is a strong character and can handle a bow and arrow!
If you could have dinner with one famous person, dead or alive, who would it be?
Dawn French because she’s really funny and likes chocolate a lot!
What are two items on your bucket list?
Long horse-riding holidays and an aeroplane wing walk.
What would be your dream holiday?
Horse riding across Canada staying in ranches as I go.
If you could choose any superpower, what would it be?
To stop time, as there’s never enough hours in the day!
If you could time travel, where would you go?
VE day on 8 May 1945. There were lots of celebrations and street parties to mark the end of the war, everyone would have been in such good spirits.
If you had a magic lamp, what would your three wishes be?
To have massages every day. Never get old. It not to rain.
Now you know more about Hannah, why not come down and meet her? We have so much to do here and Hannah is very excited to meet you! Discover adventure holidays at Bovey Caslte… Plan your stay here or book your activities here.
The best way to unwind this spring is with a refreshing spring staycation on Dartmoor.
Enjoy fabulous sunsets over the rolling Dartmoor hills, long scenic walking routes visiting the quaint South Devon villages and exciting daily activities to get involved with on site at Bovey Castle.
To help you plan your break, we’ve suggested how to discover the best spring staycation in the UK…
If you’re a nature lover, looking for the great outdoors and some fresh air on your spring staycation, get your walking boots on and discover Dartmoor National Park, we have 275 acres on our doorstep or if that’s not enough we can suggest plenty of scenic strolls around the local villages and beyond.
Explore the nearby village of North Bovey on your walk, with beautiful scenic views of quaint white thatched English cottages and a large village green.
For a more challenging walking route, why not try visiting the nearby Castle Drogo with plenty of walking trails with magnificent views over the Teign Gorge and you can even take your pooch! Castle Drogo was constructed between 1911 and 1930, it was the last castle to be built in England, the rich history of the area can be explored on the many walking routes.
Venture out to Exeter, a 30 minute drive away from Bovey Castle, you will find the Princesshay centre for chain stores and if you look to visit the Castle Quarter you will find independent shops. Fore Street is a haven for hip and historic shops in West Quarter where you will find treasures including vintage clothing and electric guitars.
If you’d rather not travel, we have a wonderful selection of gifts, toys and children’s games, books and outdoor attire for sale in our boutique store on site at Bovey Castle. You can browse high end and designer brands all stocked in our store with no need to leave the hotel!
There’s so much to explore on site at our resort, we have an abundance of activities available daily and suitable for all ages. From deer park tours to horse drawn carriage rides, with so much choice there’s no need to leave the hotel grounds…
If you’re ready to explore all that Dartmoor has to offer, why not make the most of your visit with our spring staycation offer?
Our exclusive offer includes one night’s overnight accommodation in a Classic Room, a refreshing glass of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Champagne and dinner in Smith’s Brasserie. After a relaxing night’s sleep, you can also dig into a delicious full English Breakfast.
Choose to extend your stay with us and spend more time exploring with a two night trip and enjoy all of the above plus full afternoon tea with a glass of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Champagne.
We look forward to welcoming you to Dartmoor on your spring staycation this year.
With two distinct coastlines, one facing the Atlantic Ocean and the other overlooking the English Channel, Devon has plenty of attractive golf courses to explore.
However, the county also stands out from the rest of the south west because of its inland courses; some of which overlook dramatic natural scenery; not least those in the National Park of Dartmoor. If you usually play on the Costa Del Sol or the Algarve, then Devon cannot necessarily guarantee similar weather. But, it can promise the exhilarating experience playing golf in a unique environment matching anything in southern Europe. For a golf resort in the UK where golfers can enjoy in perfect scenery, why look at anywhere other than Devon?
One of the top luxury golf resort destinations in Devon is Bovey Castle. Designed in the 1920s, it is located between the villages of Moretonhampstead and Lettaford in the heart of the National Park. A truly stunning 18-hole championship course, it was first devised to match the splendour of Gleneagles and Turnberry and, by the time it opened in 1930, it had certainly achieved that aspiration. The golf course architect, J F Abercromby, a highly regarded course designer of the twentieth century.
The River Bovey runs by the luxury golf resort; an almost ever present feature of the first few holes. The use of this natural feature in the course design is what Bovey Castle is all about. Although your ball may end up in the river, it is not deep or wide and therefore your ball can be retrieved without much fuss. The third and sixth holes are a particular delight to play and involve plenty of potential water traps, despite both being deceptively easy par threes. The seventh is named after the Open Championship winning Henry Cotton. He listed it as among his favourite holes to play in the UK. It, too, features the river as it meanders its way through the plush estate.
Although the course is established as one of the best golf courses in Devon, there are more reasons to visit. A golf resort that UK visitors can all truly enjoy, it provides a fully-equipped and modern clubhouse plus a driving range, a golfing academy and a brasserie for meals and snacks. Indeed, luxury golf packages can easily be combined with stays at Bovey Castle’s excellent hotel, making it an ideal choice for corporate golf days, for example.
Rated as a 5-star hotel, Bovey Castle features a luxuriously appointed spa and a fine dining restaurant, named the Great Western. There are 60 bedrooms in total, all of which have been individually styled to match the splendour of the manor house. Many of the rooms overlook the golf course and wider views of the natural scenery that Dartmoor provides.
Why not discover more about our golf packages?
Birds of prey are fascinating creatures, getting up close and personal to them is a dream opportunity. Discover our top flight falconry experience at Bovey Castle…
Although falconry displays offer the chance to see these wonderful birds working under the guidance of an experienced handler, there is something to be said for going that step further and flying them for yourself. Birds of prey are handled in an exhilarating way at Bovey Castle, in the dramatic landscape of Dartmoor.
Among the top destinations in the UK for wild birds of prey, our team offer a falconry experience visitors can enjoy at any time of year. A hands-on falconry session is on offer which runs on either a morning or afternoon for roughly three hours. A typical session starts with an introduction to the various types of birds of prey that can be handled and flown. Clients will subsequently gain experience of flying owls and working with falcons, one of the fastest wild birds of prey in Devon. The thrill of a falcon hurtling towards you at up to 100 miles per hour is something to behold!
However, the action does not stop there because the highlight of the experience is yet to come… The majestic eagle is a bird of prey that is also available during the experience. Flying the most iconic of all hunting birds makes a falconry experience a cut above the norm.
Well-known for its often bleak beauty, Dartmoor is the perfect place to learn how to handle wild birds of prey. Bovey Castle is also home to a stunning and naturalistic championship golf course which has a river running through its frequently challenging holes. As such, the short walk between the falconry centre and the hotel located at Bovey Castle is a joy. Why not book a superb experience that you will never forget when you happen to be in such great surroundings? You will get the chance to wear a handler’s gauntlet and to feed and fly raptors under the guidance of experts in a perfect natural environment.
After a face-to-face encounter with a beautiful bird of prey, what could be better than relaxing at Bovey Castle’s premier spa facilities or taking in a round of golf? The hotel is equipped with a number of places to eat, including a sumptuous à-la-carte restaurant, and a charming bar. Set in one of the country’s most stunning National Parks, the hotel has 60 rooms and is dog friendly. Bovey Castle benefits from a grand country manor feel with bedrooms individually decorated to complement that sensation.
Would you like to meet our resident birds of prey? Book this activity.
Eden Hotel Collection is part of Rigby Group (RG) plc.
Bovey Castle Property Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with Company Number 09552863.
Registered office address: c/o Eden Hotel Collection, Bridgeway House, Bridgeway, Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 6YX
VAT Number: 806641241