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  • Lisa

Top 10 family friendly places to stay on Dartmoor

Dartmoor is a great place to bring the family! With miles and miles of open space, fabulous wildlife and plenty of places to visit, there are lots of great family-friendly places to stay too.

Stickwick Manor is magical! This beautiful Georgian manor and its country cottages offer great facilities for youngsters. There’s a Rustic Games Barn, a large play area and a Toasting Shack – an outside kitchen with gas BBQ and fire pit for a magical way to experience the simple delights of fire watching, marshmallow toasting and watching the sun go down and the stars appear above. There are also woodland walks, child-friendly animals and a true ‘Peter Rabbit’ walled garden full of seasonal fruit and veg!

This campsite, with excellent camping facilities, is part of the award-winning River Dart Country Park that includes a fabulous holiday park – perfect for family fun! In a wonderful riverside setting in the heart of Dartmoor, the holiday park offers:

Adventure Playground, Commando Assault course, Dam Pool, Jungle Fun, Low Ropes Course, Mini Zip Wire, Pirate Ship, Secret Valley, Snake Slides, Toddlers Beach, Toddlers Playground (Lilliput) Wooden Play Fort and much more besides!

What youngster wouldn’t be wowed by staying in a yurt? Yurtcamp Devon is the ultimate glamorous camping, or glamping, yurt holiday for those who seek the simplicity of living under canvas without giving up the comfort of more conventional holidays. Yurtcamp has 22 contemporary yurts of two sizes set in forty acres of beautiful Devon woodland. The smaller yurts are ideal for couples, and the larger yurts for up to six. Each yurt has a log burner and is fully equipped for cooking, sleeping and relaxing in, and has access to an outdoor fire pit, for campfires and barbecues.

Children will enjoy the walks in Yurtcamp’s woodland where many species of wildlife live. Birds of prey are easily spotted and you may even see a wild deer. There is also table tennis, swings and see-saws, a sand pit, a zip wire and a full size woodland assault course for children and adults. There’s also a large field – great for impromptu games of football, cricket and rounders.

Woodovis Park is a small and friendly 5-star park, with a total of 35 caravan holiday homes, one holiday cottage, 50 touring pitches and a choice of four camping pods for glamping! You’ll find loads to do on-site and within easy walking distance. Venture out and you’ve got Dartmoor to the east, Cornwall a short journey west and easy access to the dramatic north and south coastlines with their stunning sandy beaches.

There's plenty to keep children entertained – a games room, children’s play area, outdoor table tennis table, nature trail, Pétanque court and ball games area. In high season enjoy complimentary weekly story telling or weekly archery and water walking sessions.

The Bearslake Inn is a fabulous old thatched inn dating back to 13th Century. Children will love its wobbly walls and low thatch – it looks like a fairytale house. The accommodation is generous and quirky with some lovely suites able to accommodate families very comfortably. As well as a pretty pub garden, the Bearslake Inn is set amongst some of the best moorland walking in the country.

Hotel Endsleigh is a Grade I historic house set in 100 acres of woodland, follies and grottos. There are five beautiful suites that can sleep two adults and up to three children, including a Lodge at the top of the drive with a private fenced garden. Nearly all the other rooms have space to comfortably fit a z-bed or two plus cots and even a crib for newborns. Children’s tea is available from 5.30pm to 6.30pm

The huge gardens are ideal for playing and letting off steam, with nooks and crannies to explore and hide in. There’s table tennis and croquet plus a pool stocked with trout so even young ones can have a go at catching their supper. Youngsters can also try Bush Craft, Canoeing, Cycling, Horse riding and Tree surfing.

Hay Tor Cottage is a really special place hidden away down a long drive, two miles from Widecombe-in-the-Moor… it is one of six cottages around a courtyard, superbly converted from an Edwardian 'model farm' and with direct access to open moorland. Hay Tor Cottage is single-storey with uninterrupted panoramic views to Haytor, it has its own private outdoor space looking to open grassy moorland through which runs the Becka Brook to Emsworthy Nature Reserve just 700 yards away and teeming with rare plants and wildlife and Dartmoor farmland beyond. It’s a fantastic place for star-gazing and exploring…

Kirkside Barn is a breath of fresh air, a comfortable and cosy self catering holiday home oozing charm and character – cleverly converted from two stone-built barns and a hayloft to provide a split level space that is bright and airy. One of the twin bedrooms has a unique bed – a particular delight for children, but equally suited to adults. The cot/small bed can be erected in any bedroom. The two first-floor areas are not linked, making it ideal for family groups of different generations or two families holidaying together.

Kirkside Barn is situated in a conservation area near the church in the tranquil and picturesque village of Mary Tavy. Watch the stars on a clear night or the birds feeding in the morning, and enjoy the peace and tranquillity.

If you are looking for an active holiday… look no further! A rural setting within the National Park on the western edge of Dartmoor, Old Sowtontown is a smallholding with three self-catering holiday cottages that include The Hemphouse. The cottage offers ideal accommodation for walking, hiking, cycling or riding holidays. Dogs are welcome and stabling is available should you wish to bring your own horse! Open moorland is within a ten-minute walk and the National Cycle Route 27 goes past the gate. A babysitting service is also offered.

Brimpts Barn is a very special place and perfect for a group of family and friends looking for adventure and wildlife. Set on the hillside above Dartmeet, where the East and West Dart Rivers meet in an outstandingly beautiful valley, Brimpts Farm is one of five ancient tenements of the moor. In 1307 it passed to the Duchy of Cornwall. The 700 acres of forests, tors, stone circles, East Dart River and open moor are traditionally farmed and the owners have received a wildlife habitat award from Prince Charles, as well as farm diversification and food producer awards.

Brimpts Barn can accommodate 32 people if you bunk up, or 20 very comfortably in 10 double or twin bedrooms, all en suite. Part of the joy of staying here is the range of activities available. Most popular are the farm tours by Landrover, but there is also climbing and abseiling instruction on the 30’ high climbing tower, guided walks, mountain biking tours or orienteering and pony riding can be arranged.

If you prefer gentle recreation, the farm has waymarked scenic walks, including a biodiversity trail, and for the more adventurous, long walks start from the farm across Dartmoor to tors or down the Dart towards Ashburton.

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