Things to do and attractions in Devon

Buckland AbbeyBuckland Abbey, a National Trust property near Yelverton. Why not become a member of the National Trust, it can be cost-effective enjoyable it is to have access to so many interesting properties. Do not expect a traditional abbey at Buckland. It has been surprisingly transformed into a wealthy country home and formerly belonged to none other than Sir Francis Drake, about whom there is much history throughout the visit. The gardens are delightful.

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Waterwheel at Morvellham QuayMorwellham Quay, an open-air museum with a historic port on the River Tamar and a former copper mine. There are very interesting ‘living history’ talks by staff on various aspects of life in the heyday of the port, and the highlight is a trip into the mine on the mine train (additional charge for this). The museum is quite small, especially in comparison with others such as the Black Country and Beamish Museums, and the visit needs little more than half a day.

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Cotehele HouseCotehele House, just over the Tamar into Cornwall. Access by road is not particularly easy given the narrow country lanes, but it’s a fabulous Tudor house that has been very well restored and maintained. The rooms are decorated luxuriously in the style of the period, with much original furniture. There is an amazing amount to see, with further interest in the nearby quay and mill.

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Arrow Jacket - Dartmoor Prison MuseumDartmoor Prison Museum, at Princetown in the centre of the moor, is an interesting diversion from country houses. It’s a little quirky, but with excellent for information about life and events during the prison’s history. You can even buy a garden gnome, painted by a prisoner, as a souvenir of the visit!

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Castle DrogoCastle Drogo, another National Trust property on the edge of Dartmoor. It’s undergoing a massive repair and restoration programme at the moment which will take a further 3 years, so visitors cannot see the castle as it would normally be. It is interesting to see the improvements that have been finished and how the rest of the building works are going, but it will be far more impressive when it’s done!

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Plymouth Gin DistilleryIf you like gin, you’ll like the Plymouth Gin Distillery visit, but it’s not really a tour as there is only one room where the spirit is made. The tastings are good, however, and you can stock up on favourite tipples in the shop!

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Contributions by retired language teacher and traveller David Thompson.

Read David’s Guest Blog about his stay at the Moorland Garden Hotel

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