Venturing out from Sampford Courtenay? Here we offer a few suggestions – from the beautiful, dramatic surroundings of Dartmoor to the accessible, child-friendly beaches on the north and south coast. We also provide some basic information for visitors on local pubs, restaurants, shops and places to take the kids.

More specific information on walks and cycle rides for visitors and residents alike can be found in the dropdown menus under Around & about. 

We would like to build this area of the website. Please email your suggestions for places to visit and things to do to or phone Janice Brown on 01837 82143.


Places to go

Dartmoor and around

Dartmoor Artisan Trail:

The Dartmoor Artisan Trail links Dartmoor's finest artists and craftspeople. You can pop in to see them work, book to watch a demonstration or have a go yourself on one of their mini-workshops. Visit the website to contact the artisans direct or to arrange an itinerary. 

Belstone (10mins): a pretty village with an active community. The Tors Hotel offers basic refreshments with outside seating overlooking the moor. Belstone Tor is a manageable walk.

Brentor (30mins): 12th century church of St Michael de Rupe, the smallest and highest parish church in England, spectacularly situated on the summit of Brent Tor. Unfortunately, currently surrounded by scaffolding! Fits with a visit to Lydford Gorge.

Haytor (45mins): probably the most famous of the tors. Great views.

Hound Tor (45mins): easily accessible tor and the visible remains of a medieval village. Near Widecombe-in-the-Moor, Bovey Tracey and North Bovey, all worth a visit.

Chagford (30mins): lovely little town on the moor.

Sticklepath (10mins): pretty walks by the river; also Finch Foundry (National Trust).

Lustleigh (35mins): very pretty Dartmoor village with pub.


Bude, north Cornwall (45mins; pictured left): nice town with independent shops and sandy beaches. Main beach, Summerleaze (left), has a good café.

Exmouth, south Devon (40mins): busy town; very long, sandy beach. The red cliff at the end of Exmouth beach is the beginning of the Jurassic Coast.

Teignmouth and Shaldon (45/50mins): Teignmouth has a pier; Shaldon, over the estuary, is a cute little seaside town.

Croyde, Wollacombe, Braunton, Saunton, north Devon (an hour or so): huge, sandy beaches with dunes, famous for surfing.


Dog-friendly beaches

Dog-friendly beaches in Devon:

Dog-friendly beaches in Cornwall:

Castle Drogo (30mins): still covered in scaffolding but lovely gardens (National Trust).

Eggesford Forest (20mins): network of trails and paths that link different woodlands and connect to the Tarka rail line at Eggesford station. 

Killerton House and Gardens (45mins): National Trust landscape garden, parkland and woodland.

Lydford Gorge (25mins): highly recommended National Trust destination.

Meldon Reservoir (15/20mins): good walk around the reservoir.

Rosemoor (30mins): RHS garden near Torrington.

Sticklepath (15mins): Finch Foundry, run by the National Trust, hosts demonstrations from March through to the autumn. Lovely walks beside the River Taw towards Belstone.


Dingles Fairground Heritage Centre, Lifton (25mins): rides and sideshows – fun for adults and children alike. Indoors.

Waie Inn, Zeal Monochorum, off the Bow road, towards Crediton and Exeter (15mins): indoor and outdoor play areas for kids, including ballpits, slides and climbing frames; small swimming pool.

War Horse Valley/museum, Iddesleigh (25mins): definitely worth a visit (see leaflet in folder). The Duke of York pub in Iddesleigh is where Michael Murpurgo conceived the story of War Horse.

Crealy Adventure Park, near Exeter (40mins): over 60 rides and attractions, soft play and animals.

Places to eat and drink

In the parish

The New Inn (left) in the village: good food, very reasonably priced; nice garden.

The Countryman (left) in the parish: on the B3215 Bow to Okehampton Road: renowned Sunday lunch.


Outside the parish

The Railway (5mins from the village by car): turn right at De Bathe Cross (towards Whiddon Down and the A30). After about 200 metres, you will see a turning on your right to a white building with a car park (looks like an ordinary house, opposite farm buildings). It’s like stepping back in time and Bert, the landlord, is a great character.

The Red Lion, Exbourne (5mins in the other direction): turn right at the New Inn, drive about two miles, then turn right into Exbourne; pub on right after about 200 metres. Camra pub with a range of beers and ciders.

The Highwayman, Sourton (20/25mins): quirky pub run by quirky landlady.

The Old Inn, Drewsteignton (20/25mins): very small fine-dining restaurant; excellent food.

Dartmoor Inn, near Lydford (25mins): fine-dining pub with rooms: very good food.

The White Hart Hotel (JD Wetherspoon), Okehampton (10mins).

The Oxenham Arms, South Zeal (15mins): ancient pub with lovely garden looking towards Cosdon Beacon.

The Tom Cobley, Spreyton (15mins).

The Fox and Hounds, Eggesford (20mins).

Graylings fish and chips, North Tawton (5mins): very good eat in or take out chippie.

Maida, Okehampton (10mins): Indian eat in or take out.

Gidleigh Park, near Chagford (35mins): Michelin-starred restaurant in beautiful setting. Also does afternoon tea.


Local shops

Spar, North Tawton (2 miles; 5mins by car): open 7am – 10pm.

The Burrow, Exbourne (2 miles the other way; 5mins by car): community shop and café; slightly irregular opening times.

Exeter (40mins; buses and trains also available): well worth a day out: museum, cathedral, good shopping, lots of pubs, cafés and restaurants.

Okehampton (10mins, 6 miles): Waitrose, Co-op and Lidl, plus a few restaurants, including Maida, the Toast café and a Weatherspoons pub. Simmons Park (signed) comprises a cultivated park with a leisure centre, children’s play area and pretty walks by the river.