Places to see & Things to do

Straight out of Blue Slates’ door, you can wander through the most magical ancient oak forests, stroll beside the meandering Plym and Meavy rivers, which tumble down from the moors, and explore the epic landscape of Dartmoor’s 368 square miles.  Blow the cobwebs away and hike up to Shaden Moor, where the beacons were lit in 1588 – as part of a chain of torches along the South Coast from Cornwall to London – to warn Sir Francis Drake of the arrival of the invading Spanish Armada. Breathe in the jaw-dropping 360-degree view, stretching down to Plymouth Sound, and take in the panoramic vistas of South Devon and East Cornwall. Indulge in some deep-fried Cornish Yarg and a pint of Cornish Korev at our local pub, The White Thorn, which is a mere five-minute walk from Blue Slates.  You may even catch Mad Dog McCrea having an impromptu rehearsal session in front of the log fire.

Perfect for cyclists, Blue Slates is just minutes from national Cycle Route 27 (also known as Drake’s Trail).  Horse riders have a number of local stables to choose for a moorland hack and shoppers can enjoy the multitude of independent shops in the charming and quirky market towns of Totnes (21 miles) and Tavistock (11 miles).  Be sure to treat yourselves to a decadent Devonshire clotted cream tea. 

Plymouth, of course, has its own famous gin distillery on the cobbled Elizabethan streets of the Barbican, together with a plethora of award-winning restaurants to suit every taste. Be sure to visit Plymouth Hoe, the city’s focal point, with its spectacular view of Plymouth Sound, one of the world's great natural harbours. Historic sites here include the Royal Citadel, Smeaton's Tower lighthouse, and Plymouth Sound’s four-and-a-half-million-ton granite and limestone breakwater. The coastline to either side of Plymouth into Devon and Cornwall is peppered with glorious beaches and romantic hidden coves. 

There are many National Trust properties in the area. Buckland Abbey (4 miles), which was the home of Sir Francis Drake; the Georgian mansion of Saltram (4 miles), the atmospheric, mediaeval and Tudor Cotehele House (17 miles) near Calstock, and the 18th century Antony House and Garden (14 miles via the Torpoint Ferry).  You could take the train from Plymouth to Calstock and walk 1½ miles to Cotehele along the beautiful Tamar Valley.

There are just too many things to list here but we would be happy to help with suggestions for local sightseeing and activities.


For lots of inspiring ideas on things to do, places to explore, walks, folklore and great places to eat, see the Visit Dartmoor website at