Visit Great Torrington: Places to stay, things to do

Fancy a step back in time through the English Civil War? Charlotte Gay takes a look at North Devon's Great Torrington


Why go there


Standing on the edge of Great Torrington’s castle grounds, it’s hardly surprising that you can see for miles of natural Devonshire countryside. Centred on top of a large inland cliff, the town looms over the top to look down upon the River Torridge, and the village of Taddiport – previously a 17th century exile for the lepers. This area of untouched countryside has been the foreground for many historical and literary check points in history.

If we take a step back into the past, Great Torrington resumes it role as the key battle grounds of the Cavalier / Roundhead civil war. Nowerdays the stone castle of Great Torrington has been re-mastered into the vivacious Heritage Centre. Local townspeople work and volunteer at the here re-enacting 17th century life in genuine traditional clothing, including musket displays and tours of the castle ground and physic garden. The Bonfire displays organised by the town’s Cavaliers have become a must see sell out occasion with past burnings such as the Great Fire of London. The local people are passionate about their town’s history are pleased to see the continuation of said traditions.

Within the centre of the town local attractions include The Pannier Market, The Plough Arts Centre, 14 The Gallery and the secret memorial garden.
Yet there’s more to discover once you step out of the market square. Dartington Crystal Glass factory is popular visit for tours where you can watch the award winning craftsmen at work. RHS Rosemoor Gardens is a mile and half out of the town and currently stands at 65-acres of garden surrounded by awe inspiring valleys.

Where to stay

Great Torrington prides itself of its time-honoured pubs and so an overnight stay at The Black Horse Inn situated in the centre of the Market town would certainly do Great Torrington justice. Originally a 16th century coaching Inn, it is one of the oldest Inn’s in North Devon. The price for a double room stands at £60 a night, complete with oak beams, just above a bar and restaurant with plenty of local ales and bar food it makes for an affordable night’s stay.

Where to eat

Of course being an Inn you could also eat at The Black Horse, but Great Torrington has an immense array of pubs to choose from. The Globe is another traditional hotel with an established menu,  yet if you’re partial to a fantastic value carvery then why not set foot in The Cavalier.

Tell us a secret

The Tarka trail, a popular walking cycle and bridle path runs which alongside the River Torridge and is named after Henry Williamson classic novel and now feature film “Tarka the Otter” originally written not short of a century ago.

Explore more of Britain’s rural treasures this weekend:

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