Spring Walks With the Best Pubs on Dartmoor

There are loads of excellent pubs on Dartmoor – and plenty of rewarding walking routes too.

Put the two together and you have a recipe for a great day out. You'll see some stirring views, get a bit of exercise and – to cap it all off – enjoy the best of our local hostelries. After all, what's a walk without a pint or some hearty grub waiting for you at the finish line?

Get your OS Maps ready. Here are five walks that either pass a pub or take you directly to the bar.

The Royal Oak Inn

The Royal Oak Inn, Meavy: an easy trudge with plenty to see

The pub: as one of the finest country pubs on Dartmoor, the Royal Oak Inn has all the trimmings you'd expect – a cosy log fire, tasty, uncomplicated food and an ever-flowing parade of friendly regulars. The walk begins and ends at the pub, so you could start your day with a local scrumpy then finish with a classic ploughman's lunch. It doesn't get much better than that.

The walk: this gentle, circular walk takes you from Meavy to Sheepstor, before looping back via Lovaton. Along the way, you'll visit a 15th-century church, a medieval stone cross and a tranquil Victorian reservoir. This one's good for beginners who want to see lots of local scenery without busting their walking boots. If you prefer, you can shorten the walk by a mile or so.

Key information: Easy difficulty, with a few stiles and one steep ascent. Five miles long. Download the route here.


The London Inn

The London Inn, Okehampton: through deer park and back to the bar

The pub: don't be fooled by its unassuming appearance. At the time of writing, the London Inn has a near-unanimous five-star rating on Tripadvisor. Reviewers praise its 'lovely' food, its 'fab' atmosphere and – especially – its friendly, welcoming staff. The pub isn't technically on the route, but it's only a 15-minute walk from the starting point. Well worth the diversion, we think.

The walk: another beginner-friendly circular route, this one. You'll start at Okehampton YHA, before trailing through the town's historic deer park – once part of the Okehampton Castle estate. History fans, take note of the ruined hunting lodge and medieval longhouses. Okehampton Castle is well worth a visit too. You'll pass very close to it on the way back to the pub.

Key information: Easy difficulty – but watch out for uneven terrain and a couple of steep climbs. Four-and-a-half miles long. See the route here.

The Prince of Wales Princetown

The Prince of Wales, Princetown: great views and great beer

The pub: if you're looking for craft ale pubs on Dartmoor, make sure to visit the Prince of Wales in Princetown. See, the village is home to Dartmoor Brewery, an award-winning brewhouse that's famous for using pure Dartmoor water in its ales. The brewery started life in a small building behind the Prince of Wales and the pub proudly serves its beers to this day.

The walk: here's something a little different: an audio walk! Grab a smartphone and some walking boots, and you'll be treated to a guided stomp across the gorgeous local moorland. Key sights include a waterfall, a bronze age settlement and a disused granite quarry. The route starts at Princetown's National Park Visitor Centre, which is just a short stroll from the Prince of Wales.

Key information: moderate difficulty. Six miles long. Download the map and audio files here.


The Drake Manor Inn: 16th-century splendour

The pub: visiting the Drake Manor Inn is like stepping back in time. This historic hostelry is said to have been a favourite haunt of Sir Francis Drake – and it's rumoured that parts of the pub were constructed using wood from 16th-century ships. There are several centuries-old pubs on Dartmoor, but the Drake Manor Inn has some of the best stories to tell.

The walk: this dog-friendly walk traces the path of the river Walkham, so is ideal for a breezy spring morning. You'll have to veer from the planned route to visit the Drake Manor. This adds a fair trudge to the walk, but it's worth the extra effort.

Key information: moderate difficulty. Six miles long (not including the diversion). See the route here.

The West Devon Way

The West Devon Way: the world's most scenic pub crawl

The pubs: at 37 miles, the West Devon Way is a long old trudge. But if you're a strong walker with a healthy appetite, it's a great excuse to visit some of the best pubs on Dartmoor. The route passes through several towns and villages, each with its fair share of cosy pubs. Consider it a very scenic pub crawl, with plenty of exercise thrown in for good measure.

The walk: of course, you won't complete a 37-mile walk in a day. That's why the West Devon Way is divided into eight stages, each between three and seven miles long. If you're brave, you could attempt the whole thing over several days. Otherwise, it's best to pick a section or two and tackle them at your own pace. The route goes from Okehampton to Plymouth, crossing much of Dartmoor's western edge.

Key information: generally easy, though some sections are tougher than others. Thirty-seven miles long. Download the route here.

Hotel in Summer

There's more than just pubs on Dartmoor…

Pubs are great. Obviously. But sometimes you need a bit of peace and quiet in between the mirth and the merrymaking.

Allow us to be your refuge. Our country house hotel is located in Tavistock, right on the edge of Dartmoor National Park.

While you're here, you can enjoy exceptional service, award-winning food and easy access to some of the most beautiful parts of the UK. (And some of the best pubs on Dartmoor, too.)

Are you bringing Fido along for the ride? Here at The Horn of Plenty, we pride ourselves on being a dog-friendly hotel, so you can pamper pooch as well as yourself.

Just imagine. You could head off for a morning walk, stop for lunch at one of the top-rated pubs on Dartmoor and then return to The Horn of Plenty for a gourmet dinner and a good night's rest. Perfect.

Published on Thursday 23rd February 2023 / By Oliver Pyper