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at the heart of devon
Hatherleigh, an ancient market town, lies at the centre of the Devon heartland. This is Ruby Country — taking its name from the distinctive tawny-coloured Devon Red Ruby cattle that can be seen dotted amongst the fields and meadows of this rich and fertile farming land. A hidden gem of central Devon revealing a softer, gentler side of the county; a swathe of green some thirty miles wide, being flanked by the two great moorlands, Dartmoor, just a few miles south of Hatherleigh, and Exmoor to the north.
The town was for many, many years renowned for its sheep and cattle market, and was at one time at the heart of the thriving and lucrative wool industry in Devon. Its narrow, intimate streets would have been alive with bustling everyday life, with many shops and hostelries catering for the many that would descend on the town especially on market days. In the 20th Century, cars and lorries brought congestion too, and tranquility only once more descended when the Hatherleigh By-pass was opened in the 1990's.
Today, this beautiful ancient town embraces a small yet vibrant community, and in July boasts its own Art & Music Festival, and in November holds its famous Tar-Barrel Rolling tradition and Carnival. Thousands from across the county turn out to see the colourful and lively procession pass by. The first tar barrel run is performed through the streets at the crack of dawn; the second, starts in the late evening from right outside of Raymont House at the top of the hill, and follows a phalanx of flaming torches in dramatic style through the crowds. Don't expect much sleep that Saturday night!
Two pubs, The Tally Ho and The George Inn, are at the heart of these festivities being on the central Market Square, just over a hundred yards down the hill from Raymont House. Both offer a great selection of lunch and evening meals, and a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Within a short drive
Raymont House is a great base from which to explore Devon and Cornwall by car. The surfing beaches of Bude are around a thirty minute drive away, and from there you can walk for miles on stunning and dramatic Southwest Coastal Path along the rugged North Cornwall coast. Another thirty minute drive will take you south to Tavistock, a World Heritage Site, and historical market town of the edge of the western reaches of Dartmoor.
Closer to home, just a short drive north takes you to the famous RHS gardens of Rosemoor, a beautiful destination at any time of year nestled deep in a Devon valley. A twenty minute drive south brings you to the spectacular and stunning Lydford Gorge with its 30 metre waterfall and beautiful walks.
Cycling, walking and wandering about
Hatherleigh is at the mid-point of the National Cycle Network (NCN) Route 27, linking the 32 mile section of the Tarka Trail, Braunton to Meeth, just 3 miles up the road, and The Granite Way to the south that runs 11 miles down to Lydford from Okehampton past breathtaking views of Dartmoor and Meldon Viaduct. These sections make up a large part of NCN Route 27, a.k.a. Devon Coast to Coast covering 99 miles from Ilracombe to Plymouth — over 70 miles of which is traffic-free — great whether on foot or cycle. Route 27 also forms an integral part of the circular Tour de Manche that takes in parts of France and England, which, in turn, forms a section of the Euro Velo Route 1 initiative linking several countries into an epic European cycling network.
Hatherleigh also links in well to the NCN Route 3 that takes you out to the North Cornwall coast at Bude and meanders its way south ending up at Land's End. This of course, forms either the start or finishing point for LEJOG or JOGLE — depending which way you are facing — the famous Land's End to John o'Groats cycle route, and the Route 3 section takes the rider all the way through to Bristol.
Also from Okehampton, just 7 miles south of Raymont House, The Granite Way section to Lydford forms a part of the epic and stunning beauty of the 95 mile circular route of The Dartmoor Way, that meanders its way around the edges of the whole moor eventually arriving back in Okehampton.
If that is not enough, there is still The Two Moors Way, stretching from Wembury on the south coast, 117 miles north across rugged Dartmoor, dropping down through the lush central Devon, and then across Exmoor to Lynmouth. Raymont House, Hatherleigh is less than 15 miles from its centre point.
We are very happy to cater for cyclists and walkers alike — wet or dry. Bikes are stored in our hallway safe and sound, and we offer drying facilities for wet clothing. A laundry service is also available for a small charge.