Holberry & Bolberry Down with The Hope & Anchor Inn

Devon is home to some of the most picturesque rambling spots in the country.

With miles of well kept footpaths and tracks to follow, there are loads of options for beginners and experienced ramblers alike.

Although you might be tempted to venture off into the wilds of Dartmoor to get a truly outdoors experience, whilst Summer’s still a couple of months away it might be better to start with something a little more modest. Make it easier for yourself by ensuring there’s a pub or tearoom on your route; this simple circular path around Hope Cove covers all the bases.

During the heady days of the seventeenth century, the small seaside settlements in the Torbay area were crucial docking points for military vessels as well as trading ships. By the nineteenth century, a dozen boats could be docked at Hope Cove at any one time. Today the village isn’t quite the hub of sea-activity it once was, but plenty of visitors come to enjoy this relaxing coastal walk and eat at the wonderful beach-side pub.

Hope Cove, Bolt Tail & Bolberry Down

This circuit comes in just under 5 miles, takes in a long section of Devon’s sublime South coast and has a lovely pub conveniently placed at the end of the route. Some footpaths might be uneven or muddy in wet weather—there are also some gentle ascents and descents throughout.

You’ll begin and finish at the small car park in Outer Hope (TQ7 3HJ), a tiny thatched village perched just in from the coast. Taking a left out of the car park, follow the lane past the The Hope and Anchor Inn and head towards Hope Cove.

Once you hit Hope Cove, find the South West Coast Path by the slipway. Follow the path up to the headland.

You’ll soon find yourself up on a coastal path looking out over the sea. You can either stick to the path here or take a little detour over to check out the prehistoric fort on the tip of Bolt Tail.

After you’ve had a nose around this little area, you can head back onto the Coast Path and keep skirting along the coast. Stick to this path and ignore others leading back to Hope Cove.

When you see your Coastal path join a lane, take a left onto it and keep on until the junction. Once you’re over the cattle grid, keep on straight until you hit the T-junction at Bolberry, take a left here.

Fork right when you reach the fingerpost by a barn, then drop downhill before climbing up to a sharp right.

Take a left onto ‘Sweethearts Lane’, then another left following that – this should take you onto a footpath that is signposted for Galmpton. Ramble along here until you reach a left turn at the top of the hill.

Taking a left, over a stone stile, follow this path all the way back to Hope village – and a well-earned drink at The Hope and Anchor Inn.

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Places To Stay in Dartmoor

Dartmoor is one of the most popular hiking destinations in Devon and for good reason.

Covering 954 square kilometres, it offers miles and miles of unspoilt hiking and trekking that can prove to be more than a challenge for even the most able of ramblers.

Hundreds of tors (Dartmoor’s iconic granite landmarks) are dotted around the landscape as well as stone cairns, bridges and the occasional sinking mud marsh. One of the big draws of this area is the complete isolation and sparse nature of the landscape – whilst this is very beautiful to walk through, it can make finding a place to stay a little difficult.

There’s a great range of accommodation options to choose from, depending on your taste, budget and level of required comfort. Before you book your next trip down to Dartmoor, have a look at our options here and see if one takes your fancy:

The Dartmoor Lodge Hotel

Situated on the South Eastern edge of Dartmoor, the Dartmoor Lodge Hotel has been open since 2008 and is perfectly positioned for any hikers keen to start from the edge of the moor and work in. It’s position, on the periphery of the park is easy to access from the local major roads and the hotel also happens to have a lovely bar and restaurant offering a wide lunch and dinner menu. There’s enough home comforts here to keep a rambler happy and the prices are also very reasonable.

Website: http://www.dartmoorlodge.co.uk

Prices from: £98 p/night for a Double Room

Langstone Manor Park

On the western side of Dartmoor, just a short drive from the border town of Tavistock, lies Langstone Manor, a huge holiday site which caters for all manner of holiday makers. If you’re looking to rough it in a tent, then you can pitch up at Langstone right next to the camper vans and motor homes. If you’d like to not deal with the hassle of a tent then they have camping pods for hire, as well as whole apartments and cottages to rent.

Website: http://www.langstonemanor.co.uk

Prices from: £18 p/night for a Pitch for Two

The Plume of Feathers

There aren’t many other places that can boast a better position than The Plume. Sat literally between the moor and the outer limits of Princetown, this traditional English pub is the perfect place to warm up your feet after a long day of hiking. As far as sleeping arrangements go, you can either opt for a B&B arrangement, in one of 10 en-suite rooms or you can choose the more rough’n’ready Bunkhouse or Old Bunkhouse which offers dormitory-style bunk beds. There’s also a campsite for those wanting to eschew home comforts.

Website: http://theplumeoffeathersdartmoor.co.uk

Prices from: £90 p/night for a Double Room

Prince Hall Hotel

For some, the joy of experiencing somewhere like Dartmoor is having a truly luxurious room to return to, once the day’s walking has been completed. The 18th Century, Prince Hall Hotel has bags of luxury to spare and it’s central position (just down the road from Two Bridges and a short drive from Princetown) makes it a great base from which to start a day’s exploration of Southern Dartmoor. Whilst the rooms might set you back a fair whack, you’re guaranteed to get a good night’s sleep at this historical mansion.

Website: http://www.princehall.co.uk

Prices from: £160 p/night for a Double Room with Breakfast…

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Forest of Bowland with Bowland Fell Park

For those of us advancing in years, the prospect of a long drive book ending an exhausting ramble can be simply too much.

Thankfully there are alternatives that might delay your return home, but will certainly make your rambling experience a much smoother one.

If you’re looking to get away from Devon for a long weekend, then Bowland Fell Park in Yorkshire is worth exploring for a change of scenery. This amply equipped static caravan site is a great choice for ramblers who don’t quite fancy roughing it in a tent.

At Bowland Fell Park, you have the option of either staying in a spacious static caravan, complete with kitchenette and bathrooms, or renting a luxury apartment. Either way you’ll find yourself with a comfortable base of operations, somewhere that you can relax after finishing a ramble.

The Park lies on the very edge of the Forest of Bowland, an officially designated Area of Outstanding National Beauty. Over 500 listed buildings and 18 monuments litter this vast area of wilderness, which also contains the Geographical centre of Great Britain. Landmarks and geographical oddities aside, you can get easy access to the network of excellent footpaths in the local area directly from the Bowland Fell Park site. You can check out some more routes right here.

This 7-mile ramble shouldn’t take you any longer than 2 and a half hours, just in time to freshen up and head out to Crowtrees Inn, the Park’s onsite pub which is open 7 days a week.

It’s usually best to arrive at the Park for around 10am, unpack your things and meet the welcoming hosts. Take a little tour of the site to get your bearings, then head out to Stephen Park to begin your walk around the local area.

You’ll find Stephen’s Park (BB7 4TS) from Bowland by taking a left out of the Park grounds and heading town to the village of Tosside. When you reach The Dog & Partridge, cross the road and head on to Bailey Lane.

You’ll soon find yourself plunged into the Forest. After just under a mile, you’ll see a left turn down the Gisburn Green Bike Trail.

Whilst keeping an eye out for downhill bikers, follow this trail through the forest until you reach Stephen Park.

Once you’ve regrouped, you can head further down, following the same path, into the forest. Continue to follow the Gisburn Bike Trail until it turns into Dugdale Lane. You might need to look out for the odd car passing by here, as there are a few farms in the local area.

Take a left when you hit the B6478, this minor road will take you back up through the Forest and out by The Dog & Partridge for a quick pint, or perhaps something stronger. Of course, if you’d rather put your boots up back at the Park, then you can do that. Head on back the way came, to rest up at Bowland Fell Park.

Once you’ve changed your clothes you can take a well-earned break by the indoor swimming pool, that all residents of the park have access to. After your dip, take a shower in your cabin and then walk on round to the little on-site pub.

Packed full of character, the Crowtrees Inn was a farmhouse in the 17th Century. Now it’s a great place for the inhabitants of the park to enjoy a drink as well as a well cooked meal, at the end of the day. Drink and eat your fill, then take a relaxed walk back to your cabin for a good night’s sleep.

In addition to being able to take your dogs with you, Bowland Fell Park offers Launderette facilities and a Farm Shop that sells everything a rambler could need.

Prices in Spring are cheaper than in the Summer, so now’s the time to book a quick weekend away and take in an especially beautiful part of the country!

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Rambling the Trossachs with Highland Heather Lodges

Rambling is a hobby that can take you all over Great Britain, even as far as Scotland.

There’s some great rambling to be done up in Scotland, with the Highlands being one of the stand outs areas for experienced mountain climbers and hikers.

However, for those looking for a more sedate ramble, with less scrambling and easier to navigate routes, Scotland’s National Parks hold a treasure trove of paths and routes, offering long days of rambling without too many strenuous sections.

Although it might be tempting to simply stop at the stunning Galloway Forest Park, on your way up through Scotland, resist this and make the trip further up to the larger Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. This area may well lack the overtly dramatic nature of the Highlands, but there is still a rugged appeal to this place, whilst remaining relatively close to civilisation.

To guarantee yourself a good night’s sleep and the best chance at an early start in the morning, book a luxury holiday cabin (this site here is my personal favourite) close to your start point and make sure you’ve stocked up on supplies on the way up; there isn’t much in the way of shops this far North!

Trossachs, Loch Katrine and Callander 

Although you can tackle this 12 mile ramble from either direction, it’s recommended that you organise a drop off at the point furthest into the Park. Jump out of a car at Trossachs Pier Car Park (FK17 8HZ) and head down along the public road.

Soon you’ll drop off this road and head deep into the forest. Say goodbye to civilisation, you won’t be meeting back up with a real road for another 8 miles or so. For now take a right turn off the road, after passing a Scottish Water sign for the Loch Katrine dam you can take a left, this should lead you to a foot bridge, taking you over the Achray Water.

After the bridge, turn left on the far side of the track. Follow winding paths through the trees, you should be treated to a few views along the way of Ben A’an and Tigh Mor. Stately homes sit next to glittering Loch’s and dense forests, you can see why this is such a popular walking destination.

This path should bring you into brief contact with the A821. After making a safe crossing, turn right to get across the road bridge, then take the forest track to Three Lochs Forest Drive. Stay on this well laid track until you run into Loch Achray, from here you can keep the Loch on one side and enjoy the view of the lake as you ramble by.

After walking straight through a Farm, you’ll begin to follow the Black Water, a charming river that runs from the Loch. You’ll cross a very old stone bridge, before passing the Byre Inn. This is a great place to stop for some lunch, if the time’s right. If you don’t fancy pub grub, ramble on until you reach Brig’o’Turk where you’ll soon be presented by other options.

Once you’re refreshed and ready to continue, carry on the way you were going and head up the hill towards Glen Finglas car park. Head straight across the road and across the signposted bridge, before passing through the gate and bearing left once more. Take a right branch in the path and climb through native woodland to discover a mountain bike path of gravel head.

This convenient path will take you through to your destination, Callander. Ensuring that you keep Loch Venachar on your right, you should be able follow this gravel path carefree for the rest of your ramble.

Once you’ve reached Callander, enjoy a spot of dinner or simply arrange a pick up back to your luxury holiday cottage, so you can kick back and relax for the night. Staying in the Highlands doesn’t always have to be a high octane, high risk adventure.

Don’t forget this is simply a guide to a route, there are a tonne of paths to explore, just don’t forget to take a map.

Take your time and enjoy one of the real treats of Great Britain at your own pace.

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