For an alternative holiday in the heart of Devon
The deepest gorge in the South West, with a spectacular 30m waterfall, this is an amazing place to visit at any time of the year. The wildlife, river, plants and trees provide a stunning show each and every day.
Dippers and wagtails can be seen flying low over the river, while woodland birds can be spotted darting about in the trees. Bluebells and wild garlic provide a heady scent and patchwork quilt of green, white and blue in May. Throughout the spring and summer, other wildflowers add to the array of colours from pink purslane to the yellows of primroses and buttercups. The trees provide a spectrum of colour from the bright greens of the spring to the rich reds, oranges and yellows of autumn.
Meldon sits well in the distinctive and dramatic Dartmoor countryside and provides an ideal starting point for moorland walks. Near Okehampton, it lies at nearly 900 ft above sea level. The banks are steep sided, but access is possible around part of the lake perimeter. However, there are plenty of walks on the moor overlooking the water.
By crossing the dam (which was completed in 1972), you can enjoy views of the water spanning the West Okement Valley. Meldon Viaduct can be seen on the north western edge of Dartmoor.
Dartmoor is a landscape of stunning views, awe-inspiring granite tors, deep wooded valleys with fast flowing rivers, and rugged, wide open spaces.
Covering an area of 368 square miles and containing the highest land in Southern England (High Willhays at 2037 ft), this breathtaking area has drawn people to it for millennia.
The Museum of Dartmoor Life
The museum tells the story of people on Dartmoor from prehistoric settlement to 20th-century mining and hill farming.
Extending over three floors, the fascinating collection and interactive displays bring to life 'the people's story' for visitors of all ages. Highlights include a reconstructed Bronze Age hut, Victorian kitchen, blacksmith's shop and farming exhibits.
3 West St, Okehampton, Devon EX20 1HQ tel: 01837 52295
With over 730 acres of water, Roadford Lake is a spectacular lake set on the edge of Dartmoor between Okehampton and Launceston. There is a cafe open daily 10am-5pm.
You can enjoy miles of footpaths and a cycleway which winds its way through a maturing planted forest overlooking the Lake. Or you can take a rowing boat to explore the scenery from a different perspective. Many activities are on offer including trout angling, sailing, windsurfing, rowing and kayaking.
The remains of the largest castle in Devon, in a stunning setting on a wooded spur above the rushing River Okement. Begun soon after the Norman Conquest as a motte and bailey castle with a stone keep, it was converted into a sumptuous residence in the 14th century by Hugh Courtenay, Earl of Devon, much of whose work survives. After the last Courtenay owner fell foul of Henry VIII in 1538, it declined into an allegedly haunted ruin.
There is a riverside picnic area and beautiful woodland walks nearby. It's also a great place for bird lovers with regular visiting species, and in spring and early summer you can enjoy a variety of seasonal wild flowers, which adorn the meadow, woodland and motte.