Devon is a place of intrigue and wonder, of diversity, of nature, much history can be explored here. You can visit ruins, look in wonder upon historical artifacts, enjoy the coastline and take a walk in a magnificent and majestic cathedral. Shopping abounds for the exploratory tourist, in towns with charm and character.
Dartmoor is dotted with stone rows, but the most accessible is Merrivale Stones, you can access it by car and there is plenty of parking available when you arrive. Merrivale has a large complex of stone rows, circles, cairns, cists and standing stones. Locally, Merrivale is known as “The Plague Market” or “The Potato Market” both of these names reference the bubonic plague of 1625. Farmers in the area used to leave food out for the residents of Merrivale in rows, they left the food so they would not come in contact and be contaminated themselves. A total of 575 residents of the town died from the plague.
Nestled in the blanketed landscape of South Devon, at the edge of Dartmoor, lies a magical place of dreamy flora called The Garden House. The terraced garden wraps its multi colored boughs around a 16th century vicarage. In this vicarage, you are served cakes, cream teas and a variety of other lunch items. Paths wander lazily through the greenery leading through borders of multi colored flowering plants, the flowers lightly bowing in the breeze. The newly created Long Walk wanders through a variety of landscapes, you travel from South Africa, to a cottage garden to a flowering meadow. If you lift your eyes from the flowers you will see the beautiful Cornish hills. There are benches tucked away along the walk to give you a place of serenity and solitude to rest.
Peaceful wooded South Heathercombe is an estate run by the Claude and Margaret Pike Woodlands Trust. This is a registered charity who’s sole purpose is the conservation of this magical place. The grounds are covered with woodlands, you can walk on the carpet of leaves and lift your chin to the sky, enjoying the magnificent boughs towering above you. There is also an arboretum for you to wander through. Variety abounds and there are over one thousand well labeled specimen shrubs and trees.
Buckland Abby was originally founded in 1278 by Amicia, Countess of Devon as a Cistercian Abbey. It remained an Abby until the ‘Dissolution of the Monasteries’ by King Henry VIII. The King sold Buckland to Sir Richard Grenville in 1541 whom immediately began converting it to a residence. The conversion to a residence was completed but the church still remained the principal component. The Abby passed down through generations and then was sold to Arthur Rodd, who presented the property to the National Trust in 1948.
Dartmoor Zoological Park is better known as ‘Ben’s Zoo’, made popular by the BBC TV series following British columnist Benjamin Mee’s work in rehabilitating and reopening the ailing and failing zoo. The park is now home to over two hundred animals, from insect to lion. The park is nestled on 30 acres of gorgeous parkland. It sports picnic areas, a gift shop and a restaurant with commanding views across the South Hams.
This article was written by Tom Sangers on behalf of Powells Devon Cottages who provide Cottages in Devon for those looking to take there next unforgettable holiday in this beautiful county.