What To See
Apart from the charm of its narrow country lanes festooned with flowers in springtime, the area boasts stunning natural beauty plus delightful towns and villages that are perfect to explore. From nearby Chagford to the market town of Tavistock – a glorious 25-minute drive away across the moor – to the cathedral city of Exeter, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to shop or merely browse.
There are also some wonderful National Trust properties nearby, as well as glorious gardens to visit. The north Devon coast is rugged and dramatic, while the south coast has a softer, gentler character to it. Coastal towns well worth a visit include Dartmouth and Salcombe in the south and Ilfracombe in the north. And of course, if all you want to do is relax, you’ll find our comfy lounge and cosy bar fit the bill perfectly!
Lying on the eastern slopes of the Dartmoor National Park, Moretonhampstead is surrounded by some of the most beautiful countryside in England. It sits at almost the exact geographical centre of Devon. This central position makes it an ideal base for exploring the whole of glorious Devon.
Head north through rolling countryside to the wild and dramatic north coast, or turn south through the soft folds of the South Hams to a stunning south coast of beaches and boats.
Our staff at the hotel will be delighted to help choose places to visit – please just ask!
There are some wonderful towns and villages to visit nearby:
The town of Moretonhampstead dates from Saxon times when ‘Mor Tun’ was a major settlement. Wool and, in later years, the manufacture of woollen cloth formed the basis of the town’s economy for over 700 years. It grew steadily through the Middle Ages and was very prosperous until the end of the 17th century. The town, however, continued to be a local trading centre and a vital watering place for travellers on the difficult routes across Dartmoor and from Exeter and Newton Abbot.
Today, much of the town is designated a conservation area, with many listed buildings of architectural and historic interest. As a town it is well served for sporting facilities and can boast local playing fields, tennis courts, a swimming pool for the summer and a sports centre. Fishing, golf, horse riding, guided walks, letterboxing and rock climbing are also popular activities close by.
As part of a local arts project, there are many examples of wrought ironwork and sculptures dotted around the town. A good way to find your way around the local sites is to follow the ‘Town Trail’. This, and lots of other useful information about the area, can all be found at the tourist information centre just a 30 second walk from The White Hart.
Chagford is our nearest neighbouring town and one with which Moretonhampstead always shares a ‘friendly’ rivalry! During the English Civil War, as any locals will tell you, Moreton (as it’s known) was a Roundhead stronghold, while Chagford sided with the Cavaliers!
Today, the former Stannary town of Chagford is a picturesque spot with a good range of independent shops and wonderful old buildings. Well worth a visit, it is also central to a number of beautiful walks.
North Bovey and Lustleigh
Equidistant to the north and the south, North Bovey and Lustleigh are picture-book perfect with thatched cottages and village greens. Both must rate as two of the prettiest ‘classic’ villages in England and are surrounded by lovely countryside and walks.
Tavistock is a bustling former Stannary town on the other side of Dartmoor, famous for its pannier market. The drive to Tavistock across the moor is an absolute ‘must’ giving some of the most dramatic views of this remote and beautiful area. Tavistock is packed with good shops, restaurants and pubs. It is only a short distance from there to the beautiful south Devon coast.