A local

A local's guide to Bovey Tracey

Sam T 12 November 2018

It’s no surprise that with beautiful beaches, bustling towns and pretty harbours, Devon is one of the top holiday destinations in the UK. But sometimes the beauty of the Mid Devon towns and villages gets forgotten in favour of the draw of the seaside. Let’s just take a few minutes to tell you why we love the welcoming market town of Bovey Tracey with its maze of streets and pretty parks.

Stay with us whilst we guide you through some of the best bits of Bovey Tracey and provide some suggestions of where you can create a home from home whilst holidaying in this truly lovely part of Devon.


Skip to section:



Getting outdoors

Food and drink




Tranquil Waters

About the town

Situated on the edge of beautiful Dartmoor, Bovey Tracey is a Devon market town steeped in history and with all the charm of a quintessential Devon village. With just 6,000 inhabitants, this peaceful place will allow visitors to wind down to a slower pace and truly relax. Also known as ‘The Gateway to the Moor’ and with the appeal of rugged landscapes and over 100 listed, traditional and unique buildings, it’s no wonder that visitors come here to experience a slice of Devon life.

Events and places to visit

Children playing

If you’re thinking about cooking up a real storm for dinner, take a trip to Union Square on the first or third Saturday of the month to discover the farmers’ market which is brimming with fresh local produce including meat, fresh fish, cheese and preserves.

Once you’ve picked up your delicious fresh goods, pack a picnic and enjoy it in the splendour of the National Trust’s Parke Estate which is on the fringes of Dartmoor and a mile walk from the town itself. Explore the secret garden, picnic in the orchard or stroll, bike or jog through the woodland and past the river.

When the children are in need of entertainment, take them to the fascinating House of Marbles where you can be entertained for hours by the myriad of mechanical marble runs and many other hidden amusements. With the museum of glass and Bovery Pottery as well as a restaurant and secret garden, not to mention the shop where you can buy many traditional toys, you can while away many a happy hour here.

Getting outdoors

With Haytor as a stunning backdrop, Bovey Tracey provides the perfect access point for you to don walking boots and explore 358 square miles of dramatic Dartmoor National Park. Adrenalin junkies won’t be short of a thrill with a range of sports to choose from: you can canoe, kayak and climb at various points, enjoy a relaxed ramble across the moor, or discover the perfect picnic spot.

Travel the Templer Way - an 18-mile trek between Dartmoor and Teignmouth on the south coast which skirts the edge of Bovey Tracey. Simply lose yourself in the spectacular beauty of the open moors and take in valleys, woodland and quays and locks along the way.

Beautiful walking routes

Bovey Tracey is also an ideal location for golfers with beautiful views of Dartmoor from across the coast.

The food and drink

For a very small town, Bovey Tracey has a surprisingly good selection of restaurants, bars and coffee shops.  Located at the Parke National Trust Estate, the Home Farm cafe (homefarmcafe.co.uk) uses rustic, local, in-season ingredients to produce delicious brunches, lunches and afternoon teas. From Thursday to Saturday you can even enjoy a romantic evening meal as the cafe is transformed by candlelight.

An alternative is The Terrace - a licensed cafe with a great reputation for locally sourced food. Enjoy a bite to eat in relaxing surroundings; there’s even a rooftop terrace for enjoying the local views. There are also a number of pubs including the Cromwell Arms and Bell Inn which produce good food.

The accommodation


Offering a gateway to Dartmoor, a stay at one of our fabulous Bovey Tracey properties offers guests the chance to explore the sights and rugged beauty of the area before cosying up back at the cottage. From gorgeous rural retreats for two, to larger properties for families and groups, as well as a great range of dog-friendly cottages, spend some time browsing our collection and find exactly what you’re looking for.

The history

Its name derives from the River Bovey (originally Bovi) that threads its way through the western edge of the town and also from the de Tracey family who settled in the area after the Norman Conquest. William de Tracey was one of the four knights who, supposedly at the will of King Henry II, was complicit in the murder of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas a Becket. Part of his penance for the murder was to rebuild the town’s church of St Peter, Paul and Thomas after 1170. The current church’s architecture is mainly that of the 14th and 15th centuries.

River Bovey

If you feel that this slice of insight into Bovey Tracey has whetted your appetite, why not browse our great range of cottages in Bovey Tracey and find whatever you’re looking for to enjoy a memorable trip.

Discover more of Devon:

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

Like it? Share it...

Read more like this

The UK’s best 24-hour city trips

It turns out you don’t need to head to the big cities for fun adventures - come and discover the UK's best cities that can be seen in a day!

Things to do and see in Appledore

Discover Appledore in North Devon and find out what makes it a magical holiday destination.

15 secret North Devon beaches

North Devon’s coast is home to many amazing beaches, but discover the most secret and hidden ones today.
The Travel Chapter Limited trading as Stay In Devon is an appointed representative of ITC Compliance Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (their registration number is 313486) and which is permitted to advise on and arrange general insurance contracts as an intermediary.
The Travel Chapter Limited trading as Stay In Devon | The Travel Chapter Limited is registered in England and Wales. | Registered office Travel Chapter House Gammaton Road Bideford EX39 4DF Company No. 02431506 | VAT reg: 143053210.