Bring your Dad to Dartmoor on Father’s Day – there’s a great range of places to visit and things to do with something for every Father to enjoy. Here’s our top ten suggestions for Sunday 18th June.
Steam trains and Dads, definitely go together. The multi-award winning South Devon Railway is the longest established steam railway in the south west. The South Devon Railway, or SDR, is a seven-mile former Great Western Railway branch line that runs along the stunning River Dart valley between Buckfastleigh and Totnes. With heritage rolling stock it’s a great all day, all weather attraction. To make a real day of it, you can also visit the Totnes Rare Breeds Farm and Dartmoor Otters and Buckfast Butterflies. Have a look on the website for details of the combined ticket.
This is a delightful museum with over 120 vintage and classic vehicles including cars, motorcycles and light commercials from pre-1920s to the 1990s, plus motoring artefacts and automobilia… and a very large dollop of nostalgia that Dads are sure to enjoy. Another all-weather option, the museum is fascinating for young and old alike. Just take a look at their TripAdvisor listing to see what a great attraction it is.
Nestled in 3,500 acres of woodland, just 15 minutes from Exeter, you'll find Go Ape Tree Top Adventures at Haldon Forest Park. Your Dad can experience the thrill of two zip wires flying you from hilltop to hilltop, taking in panoramic views as he goes! Whether you want to explore the forest on foot, bike, or swinging through the canopy, there's something for the whole family. If you can’t make it on Father’s Day, you could always buy him a gift voucher adventure!
To make sure you keep your Dad in line… take him to the Dartmoor Prison Museum! Whichever way you drive out to Princetown, you will be travelling through stunning Dartmoor landscape, an added bonus. This fascinating museum lets you learn about ‘life inside’ one of the world’s most famous and notorious jails. Some of the artefacts and documents on display will surprise you but will certainly enable you to form an opinion about prison life. Vividly portrayed are more than 200 years of this prison’s turbulent history ranging from the beginning, when Dartmoor was a Prisoner of War Depot for French and American prisoners of war, to the later convict era through to today.
If you want to treat your Dad to a meal, there are lots of great pubs and hotels on Dartmoor, so you can combine lunch with a lovely scenic drive, or walk off some calories after your pud!
A beautiful thatched pub, The Bearslake at Lake, is easy to reach being on the A386 between Okehampton and Tavistock, and set amongst some of Dartmoor’s most dramatic scenery. It also has plenty of parking! The Bearslake has a special Father’s Day menu with a choice of two or three courses and children’s options. Early booking essential. Tel: 01837 861334
Treat your Dad to a splendid, traditional Father’s Day Lunch at the Two Bridges Hotel in the heart of Dartmoor. There’s a delicious three-course menu and a free bottle of Jail Ale from its own Dartmoor Brewery for Dad to take away and enjoy later! Why not make a day of it? Come early and enjoy a coffee, or leave your car in the car park and enjoy a Dartmoor stroll after lunch. Again, early booking is essential! Tel: 01822 892300
If the wilds of Dartmoor are not quite your thing, you could explore the historic town of Tavistock and take your Dad for a traditional Father’s Day Lunch at The Bedford Hotel. Three delicious courses, served in the very elegant surroundings of The Bedford Hotel, in the heart of Tavistock. And Dad can take away a free bottle of Jail Ale from Dartmoor Brewery too! Tel: 01822 613221
Looking for something a bit more energetic? Here are some ideas for activities that you could enjoy on Father’s Day, or give as a gift to be enjoyed whenever suits your Dad.
Fox Tor Café at Princetown now have cycles available for hire so you can explore the best of Dartmoor! They have cycles in various sizes for adults and the kids too. Daily hire is just £18.50 for an adult bike or £10 for children’s bikes or tag a long.
This would make a lovely gift for Dad! Sit back and relax as your guide, Tich Scott, drives you over open moorland and down narrow lanes, passing through hidden hamlets. View farmsteads and fields relatively unaffected by time and learn more about farming throughout the decades, the family names and the folk who have farmed on Dartmoor for centuries. Hear about the cattle and sheep that graze on the moorland, as well as the famous Dartmoor ponies that roam freely over the rugged tors in all weather. Tich has lived, farmed and worked on Dartmoor all his life and would love to share his wealth of experience of the area with you.
Why not introduce Dad to a new hobby, or help him develop his existing photography skills? Plymouth-based photographer, Mark George, runs Dartmoor photography workshops that can be booked in advance. These workshops offer the beginner and intermediate photographer an opportunity to learn essential skills to improve their landscape photography technique.
I am sure you will be in your Dad's good books with any of the above choices :)