Devon LivingIssue #05

A rural paradise

Delicious, local, seasonal food and a place to rest your head at Badgers Holt in Dartmoor.

As far as we’re concerned, nothing beats a proper Devon cream tea in a beautiful setting, and we’ve found the perfect location for enjoying exactly that in Badgers Holt, in the heart of Dartmoor. Where better to stop and rest your feet than in a former fishing lodge in a beautiful countryside setting, serving delicious homemade food using the finest local produce? Badgers Holt is situated in Dartmeet, giving direct access to the surrounding beauty of Dartmoor, and making it the ideal stop-off point or base for your countryside adventures.

“the instant warmth and care given by the hosts from arrival was incredible and we felt we were amongst friends”

Recently taken over by Emma and Simon Beswick, Badgers Holt is a real family-run enterprise. As such, they’ve taken great care to create a warm welcome and inviting atmosphere, treating visitors and guests as part of the family too. Indeed, as one reviewer puts it, “the instant warmth and care given by the hosts from arrival was incredible and we felt we were amongst friends.” You really can’t ask more than that!

Of course, the food needs to stack up too. Thankfully, this is an area that Emma and Simon are extremely passionate about, as is highlighted in their ethical and varied menu which changes with the seasons to showcase Devon’s showstopping produce. As an independent business, they are keen to support other local businesses too in their offering – the idea that what is good for one is good for all. Just some of the local delights you might find on the menu include Devon Farmhouse Cheddar, Jail Ale Chutney, Dartmoor beer-battered fish, and Devon roast beef.

If you’re looking for a real treat, you simply have to try the ‘Badgers Holt Scone Cake’, which is homebaked to a secret recipe, over 50 years old, from the original Holt owners – the Ways. It is made as a large cake, then cut into individual wedges – truly delicious! Equally, the selection of fruit and savoury scones come highly recommended and are well worth sampling too.

Emma and Simon are keen to keep Badgers Holt an ethical business, recycling wherever possible, using biodegradable products and working with responsible suppliers. They also support local charities, including the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust, helping to put back into the countryside community they hold dear to their hearts.

From Badgers Holt you can enjoy some stunning riverside walks offering breathtaking scenery, including one towards Bellever. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous you could hike towards Yar Tor or Sharp Tor to sample yet more awe-inspiring views. The team at Badgers Holt know the area well and can advise you on the best local beauty spots and routes to take, ensuring you get the best out of your visit.

With so much to experience, why not make a proper trip of it and stay the night? Badgers Holt has beautifully presented accommodation in the form of two separate apartments, one facing towards Yar Tor and the other with views over the River Dart. Both are styled in a chic country fashion, offering calming respite after your day out on the moor. If you enjoy a spot of glamping, keep a look out for the launch of the new riverside Lotus Belle tent, bringing you even closer to nature.

As you reluctantly drag yourself away, all that’s left to do is pop into the gift shop and peruse the gorgeous British made wares to take home and remind you of your visit – or perhaps to find that perfect gift for friends and family back home. Whether you’re just popping in for lunch on a day’s adventure or staying for a few days, you’re sure to leave Badgers Holt feeling warm, contented, well-fed and already planning your next visit.

"the instant warmth and care given by the hosts from arrival was incredible and we felt we were amongst friends"