Circular walks ... or cream tea ... or both!
A circular walk is one which starts and ends back in the same place and there are plenty of walks to chose from on Dartmoor, which is well know for beautiful views and weather being the biggest challenge to walkers.
A local circular walk to the Hotel is the one at Dewerstone Valley which commences in Shaugh Prior. Begin by head for Shaugh Bridge just down from the village of Shaugh Prior. There's a car parking area and limited room along the side of the road. Cross the River Plym on the footbridge east of Shaugh Bridge and you are standing on the north bank of the Plym. You then have two choices. For an easier walk, follow the quarry road that climbs towards Dewerstone Cottage and switches back towards Dewerstone Rock. Alternatively, for a more difficult start to the walk, follow the good path up the bank of the Plym to the foot of Dewerstone Crags. From there, walk and scramble up to Dewerstone Rock. You skirt the vertical crags for which the area is famous. Having taken either route you are now at the top of Dewerstone Rock. Paths rise north east of Dewerstone Rock over Wigford Down to Cadover Bridge Cross and Cadover Bridge. The views as you walk over Wigford Down near the top of Cadworthy Wood are remarkable. Cross the bridge and from there follow the south bank of the River Plym into North Wood. To begin with you are close to the water and you can drop down for a careful paddle. Continue south west and the path rises to then descend through the woods back to the car parking area by Shaugh Bridge. Autumn is a particularly beautiful time of year for this walk.
Clearly the Moorland Garden Hotel provides a fantastic cream tea! A cream tea is made with scones, clotted cream and jam. If you add sandwiches and mini cakes to this then you have an afternoon tea. A cream tea has a disputed origin although there is evidence to suggest that the tradition of eating bread with cream and jam already existed at Tavistock Abbey in the 11th century. The Devon method is to split the scone in two, cover each half with clotted cream and then add strawberry jam on top. The Cornwall method is to split the scone in two then spread with strawberry jam and top with a spoonful of clotted cream. A total variation from these is something called 'Thunder and Lightening' which consists of bread topped with clotted cream and honey. No matter your preference, a cream tea is a fabulous treat all year round, and there is something magical about it in the Summer.