The market town of Tavistock (6 miles) - voted the West Country's Best Food Town in 2006 and Britain's Best Market Town in 2004 - is well worth a visit. It has a thriving pannier market and fortnightly farmers' market (voted the ‘Best Farmers’ Market in the South West’) as well as a good shopping centre, post office, supermarkets and tourist information centre.
Tavistock is one of the four Devon stannary towns, (so called from the Latin word for tin, stannum). The other three stannary towns are Ashburton, Chagford and Plympton, all within easy reach. Back in the 14th Century, tinners were required to take their metal to a stannary town, where the tin was weighed and stamped, and duty paid on it.
From Tavistock, Princetown is a 20 minute drive across stunningly beautiful moorland and is an excellent starting point for walking and hiking on the moors. It is also well provisioned with cafes and gift shops. The High Moorland Visitor Centre at Princetown (admission free) has extensive, interpretative displays that provide wonderful insights into Dartmoor, its history, culture and wildlife.
The Cathedral City of Exeter and the City of Plymouth with its historic Barbican area, marinas and renowned National Marine Aquarium are each about 45 minutes drive away.
Lydford and the bustling market town of Okehampton, which has impressive ruins of a castle mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, are both within a short drive. The charming town of Chagford with its famous octagonal market house and fascinating arts and crafts shops and cafes is a popular tourist spot.
The picture postcard Dartmoor villages of Lustleigh (pictured above) and Moretonhampstead with their thatched cottages and tea rooms and the village of Widecombe-in-the-Moor famous for its annual Widecombe Fair held in September are all within easy reach. Further on from Widecombe lies the attractive small Stannary town of Ashburton, a paradise for food lovers.
The quaint fishing villages and sandy beaches of Looe and Polperro are within half an hours drive on the south east coast of Cornwall.
Sally and Christopher Pancheri
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