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Chagford perches peacefully on a woodbegirt hillside along the northern side of Dartmoor National Park. It's the kind of place you dream of getting married in or retiring to: full of traditional thatched cottages strewn along quiet country lanes, a 13th century granite church nestling close by, a wealth of family-owned independent shops and statistically, some of the friendliest locals in the UK. Ideal for a weekend-away or a honeymoon, you will find yourself lost in the rolling green tranquility of this pretty postcard town, and our collection of the best places to stay in Chagford will ensure that you will want to come back again and again.
Chagford is one of the four original Stannary Towns chartered in 1305, where tinners brought their metal for assay and stamping. Yet the town's roots dig deeper than that and has arguably been a settlement for some 4000 years, shown by the prehistoric remains scattered about like the Scorhill Stone Circle. The buildings of Chagford are evidence of the depth of her past: the Church of St. Michael, for example, was originally built in 1261, though much of the architecture you see today is from the 15th century. Amongst the old thatched cottages peppering the narrow streets are picturesque 16th century houses, like Endecott House - the house of one of the Pilgrim Fathers before he set off for the New World.
The real beauty of Chagford, (which literally means "Gorse ford" in Old English) lies in her old-school charm. There are countless independent shops, from arts & crafts to stylish boutiques, and many of the shops are family-owned and have been for over a century. Bowden's, for instance, has been in the family for 100 years and even has a small museum dedicated to its history, and Webber's is much the same. Chagford has also been twice voted as the friendliest place to visit in the UK, and was voted three times for being the best place to live in the UK. It is the classic country town where everyone knows everyone else (and their business), the sort of place where if you pass someone on the street they are bound to cheerily say hello and comment on the weather, so if you're looking to escape the nail-biting mania of modern life, look no further than Chagford.
Not to miss
- Head over to the Church of St. Michael and get lost in the tranquility of this old and pretty church. Built in 1261, it has some finely carved roof bosses and a beautiful interior.
- Check out Castle Drogo, built in the early 20th century in the style of a medieval castle. On a crag overlooking the Teign Valley, it provides some beautiful views.
- If you're holidaying in May, why not have a dip in their iconic freshwater open-air swimming pool?
- If you fancy a rural ramble, go for a hike in the Dartmoor National Park, a place renowned for its extraordinary beauty and calm.
- If you're dying for a bite to eat, why not check out Gidleigh Park, the two Michelin-star restaurant owned by the indomitable Michael Caine? It is in a lovely setting of secluded gardens and woodland.
- Go for a walk along the high street and soak in the wealth of charming independent boutiques and shops, some of which have been family-owned for over 100 years.
- Walk over to the Scorhill Stone Circle to truly appreciate the depth of Chagford's roots.
Full of traditional charm and incredible natural beauty, Chagford is the ideal destination for those looking for a rural weekend away. With great walks, charming shops and a fascinating history, our collection of the best places to stay in Chagford will give you the break you deserve.
The best places to stay in Chagford
- Three Crowns: a charming old thatched inn at the foot of the Dartmoor National Park. With 21 rooms that mix contemporary and traditional styles, it makes for the ideal weekend-away rural escape. There is a fabulous gourmet restaurant.
- The Globe Inn: a warm and atmospheric inn offering 7 rooms, many of which are decorated with old oil paintings and bright colourful wallpaper. There's a charming restaurant serving hearty pub-grub made from local produce. Ideal for couples.
For an apartment or cottage
- Our partner Booking.com has a wide range of cottages and apartments in the nearby area.
- The best time to go is during the summer months, when the iconic open-air swimming pool is opened and the festivals are in full swing. The temperature flits between 11 and 21 degrees.
- Fly to Exeter Airport and get a bus to Chagford.
- If you want to rent a car, contact our partner Rentalcars.
Still not sure?
Best Hotels in Chagford
Mill End Hotel 15 rooms from £90Devon
Nestled in the Teign Valley sits this lovely hotel and restaurant. Open log fires and cosy interiors makes this the most welcoming place to come back to after a day exploring Dartmoor. Enjoy a delicious cream tea or gastronomic delights for dinner in the restaurant. Beautiful scenery all around.Fishing - Upper Teign Fishing Association has six miles of fishing for brown trout, sea trout and salmon.Sights nearby - Visit Castle Drogo, Fernworthy Resevoir and Buckland AbbeyGreat walks - The hotel is surrounded by scenic walking trails.Local markets - Visit Tavistock, an award-winning market town.Recommended by - Sawdays
The Globe Inn 7 rooms from £95Chagford (Dartmoor)
An atmospheric inn set in the heart of the pretty market town of Chagford. Individually styled rooms are spacious and bright with large sash windows and boldly patterned fabrics in soft hues. A lively restaurant serves traditional fare using local produce. Perfect for exploring the moors.Active Holiday - Dartmoor National Park offers a plethora of outdoor pursuits.Great walks - Explore the miles of secenic walking trails that run through Dartmoor.Lively - Hip and happening.Traditional
Bovey Castle 64 rooms from £229Chagford (Dartmoor)
Family friendly country hotel with something for everyone: lego room service for the little ones & bespoke spa treatments for the adults! Ideally situated for exploring the wilderness of Dartmoor and more activities on site than you can imagine.Child friendly - Daily egg collecting, meet the ferrets and falconry displays. Colouring books & crayons for little ones at meal times!Spa - UK's flagship SUNDARI spaFamiliesGreat walks - Complimentary walking guides and dog towels.Recommended by - Tablet, Frommers, Small Luxury Hotels
Gidleigh Park Hotel 24 rooms from £270Chagford (Dartmoor)
Super luxurious and pampering Dartmoor retreat, on 107 acres of mature grounds. The plush rooms come with antique furnishings, original art and huge sash windows. The Michelin stared food is served in an atmospheric and grandiose dining room. Peaceful, restful and totally heavenly.Fishing - Fly fishing on the River Teign - licenses and tuition providedRestaurant - Michael Wignall's award-winning restaurantGarden - Beautiful landscaped gardenGreat walks - There are inumerable lovely walking trails both on thr 107 acres of mature grounds and on nearby Dartmoor.Recommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, Frommers, Johansens, Kiwi Collection, Relais & Chateaux, Sawdays, Michelin Travel