Ruby’s Orchard sits tucked away in a very rural farming area of north Devon, between the small towns of Hatherleigh and Torrington, and between Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks. From the end of the footpath that runs along the boundary you can see Dartmoor in the distance. There is a great variety of things to do and see if you can drag yourself away from listening to the birds and watching the damselflies!
A taste of what’s on offer locally:
Within 10-15 minutes cycle ride.
The village of Sheepwash with the Half-Moon pub and village shop, and access to a short walk by the river Torridge.
The Tarka Trail. A 30 mile multi-use traffic-free trail from the old clay quarries at Meeth, to Braunton on the north coast. Braunton Burrows is the UK’s first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and a very large dune system, sited on the fringes of the Taw/Torridge estuary.
Cycle or walk the Tarka Trail inland to Meeth Quarry Devon Wildlife Trust Reserve, or set off in the opposite direction for Bideford, the estuary and coast.
Within a half-hour drive.
The small town of Hatherleigh, which has 2 pubs, one with its own micro-brewery, weekly market (Tuesdays), small Co-op supermarket, little art gallery and pottery. The War Horse Farm Park is also near Hatherleigh, with part of the War Horse novel by Michael Morpurgo having been set around this area.
Great Torrington. (Can also be reached by cycle along the Tarka Trail). Site of the last battle of the English Civil War, and situated in a glorious position atop a ridge on the side of the Torridge river valley. Here you can walk along the beautiful wooded valley of the Torridge, or on the 360 acres of common land which wraps around the town, or visit the town museum. The novel Tarka The Otter by Henry Williamson takes the river Torridge and its sister river the Taw as it’s setting. The wonderful RHS Rosemoor garden is also here at Great Torrington.
Great Torrington, although a small town (despite its name), has a brilliant little Arts Centre, The Plough, which has a very varied programme of film, theatre, live music, and a café.
A little further afield
40 plus minutes, depending on where you want to go; The glorious north Devon AND Cornwall coasts with all they offer in the way of beaches, surfing, snorkelling, coasteering, rockpooling and plain old lounging about on the sand.
Dartmoor National Park – 45 minutes drive to northern edge at Okehampton.
Exmoor National Park, a bit further, but well worth the effort for a long day-trip, with the fantastic atmosphere of moorland meeting the cliffs, the open airy tops or the wonderful wooded valleys.
Lundy Island. Take a day trip from Ilfracombe, or sometimes from Bideford if the tides are right.
If the weather won’t let you do any outdoor exploration, there are The Big Sheep and Milky Way Adventure parks for children on the A39 near Bideford, small museums in Torrington, Barnstaple and Okehampton, and a variety of rural pubs to sample.