Video of North DevonAccommodation plotted on a map (opens new window)About the area

About Tarka Country

As is the way throughout Britain, holiday regions are often rebranded under a name linked to a famous person, a long-running television series, a dramatic film or, as in this case, a popular book. For Tarka the Otter is the case here. The fictional story of the adventures of an otter roving the rivers and estuaries of North Devon was written by local author, Henry Williamson, in 1927. A book popular with all ages, it was made into a film in the 1979.

Nowadays, Tarka Country generally refers to that rural area of lush pastures, lazy rivers, fat cattle and fly fishermen, to the south and south-east of Barnstaple. Narrow country lanes meander amongst the rolling hills flushing out a hilltop hamlet with its welcoming tavern or an open garden.

South Molton awakens from its slumbers every Thursday morning to welcome what seems to be the entire farming community from miles around. A livestock market held in the heart of the town starts its sales at eleven in the forenoon. The pannier market close by has more genuine country traders than the markets in the larger towns.

twenty different barometers on one of the many walls at barometer world

Barometer World

Quicksilver Barn, Merton, Okehampton, Devon. Tel: 01805 603443.

Unique collection of English barometers through the ages from c1680 to the present day.

Opening Times: Tue-Fri, 0900-1700, plus 1st and 3rd Saturdays. Closed Bank Hols.
Admission Charges: Adult: £2.50 Child: £1.00
Dogs admitted: No.

a ww2 tank parked outside the cobbaton combat vehicles museum

Cobbaton Combat Vehicles Museum

Chittlehampton, Umberleigh, Devon. Tel: 01769 540740.

Private collection of World War II British, Canadian and Warsaw Pact tanks, trucks, armoured cars and allied equipment. Items from the Home Front. Children's play area.

Opening Times: Easter-31 Oct, Sun-Fri, 1000-1700. Winter opening most weekdays, 1000-dusk.
Admission Charges: Adult: £6.50 Schoolchild: £4.00 Child under 5: Free Concession: £5.50
Dogs admitted: Yes - but not in buildings.

a glass blower works a red hot  ball of molten glass

Dartington Crystal

Linden Close, Great Torrington, Devon. Tel: 01805 626262.

Manufacture of hand-made crystal table glassware by skilled craftsmen. Glass centre and glassware exhibition. Visitors can watch glass blowers hand-blowing glassware.

Opening Times: Factory tour and visitor centre: Mon-Fri, 0930-1600 (last admission 1515). Factory shop and restaurant: Mon-Sat, 0930-1700, Sun, 1030-1630. Please telephone for Bank Hol details.
Admission Charges: Adult: £ Child: £ Concession: £. Click link and print Two for One Voucher.
Dogs admitted: No.

castle ruin upon a hill

Okehampton Castle

Castle Lodge, Okehampton, Devon. Tel: 01837 52844.
Website: English_Heritage/Okehampton_Castle

Ruins of one of Devon's largest and most important castles, set upon a wooded spur above the river Okement. Built in 11th century, home of the Courtenays, Earls of Devon, from 1172 until 16th century. Remains of Norman keep, motte and 14th century hall.

Opening Times: 1 Apr-30 Sep, daily, 1000-1700 (1800 in Jul+Aug).
Admission Charges: Adult: £3.50 Child: £1.80 Concession: £3.00
Dogs admitted: Yes - on a lead.

a close-up view of bees at their honeycomb

Quince Honey Farm

North Road, South Molton, Devon. Tel: 01769 572401.

Working honey farm, live bees exhibition, honey and beeswax products.

Opening Times: 29 Mar-30 Sep, daily, 0900-1800; Oct, daily, 0900-1700. Shop open all year.
Admission Charges: Adult: £5.95 Child 3-16yrs: £4.95 Child under 3yrs: Free Concession: £5.25 (prices subject to change without notice)
Dogs admitted: No.

spring in the woodland walk

RHS Rosemoor Gardens

Rosemoor, Great Torrington, Devon. Tel: 01805 624067.
Website: Rosemoor

Rosemoor is a 65 acre garden of intoxicating beauty, meticulously crafted and planted, retaining the essence of rural North Devon within a dramatic backdrop of steep wooded valley sides.

Opening Times: All year, daily, Apr-Sep, 10.00-18.00 (last admission 1500)
Admission Charges: Adult: £7.00 Child 6-16yrs: £2.50 Child under 6: Free
Dogs admitted: No.

the imposing facade od south molton's town hall and museum
Admission Free

South Molton Museum

Town Hall, The Square, South Molton, EX36 3AB. Tel: 01769 572951.
Website: South Molton Museum

Life and times of the Town and surrounding area Highlights of the collections include: South Molton fire tenders, dating from 1736 and 1886; two Town Charters, granted by Elizabeth I and Charles II; Victorian household items; a Penny-farthing bicycle; an 18th Century cider press and mining and geology collections.

Opening Times: 5 Mar-30 Nov, Mon, Tues, 1030-1600, Thurs, Sat, 1030-1300.
Admission Charges: Free
Dogs admitted: No - Guide dogs only.

an advertising compilation showing oliver cromwell and charles the first for the torrington 1646 centre

Torrington 1646 Centre

Castle Hill, South Street, Great Torrington, Devon. Tel: 01805 626146.

The Battle of Torrington was the last major conflict of the Civil War, involving 15,000 troops. The town was occupied by The Prince of Wales' Army under the lords Hopton, Capel and Wentworth. On the night of February 16th 1646, the town was taken by the Parliamentary New Model Army under Sir Thomas Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell. This led to the defeat and eventual execution of King Charles I. Step back in time and meet the colourful 17th century characters, who will guide you through Torrington on the night of the battle.....

Opening Times: 1Apr to 31Sep, Mon-Fri, 1000-1700, last tour starts 1500.
Admission Charges: Adult: £7.95 Child 5-16yrs: £5.50 Child under 5: Free. Concession: £6.95 Family (2+3): £23.00
Dogs admitted: No - Guide dogs only.

torrington museum and town hall surmounted on archways over the pavement
Admission Free

Torrington Museum

The Town Hall, Great Torrington, Devon. Tel: 01805 624324.
Website: Torrington Museum

The Way We Lived Industry, agriculture, dairying, railways, roads, people, costume, bygones, the town, the country and the customs are all featured in our collection. Of special interest amongst the wide variety of artifacts is a display about the life and works of William Keble-Martin, author and illustrator of the Definitive Book of Wild Flowers and vicar of this Parish for 9 years. Portraits of note include the Clinton Collection.

Opening Times: Temporarily closed.
Admission Charges: Free
Dogs admitted: No.