A Perfect Day in Tavistock
With our new Regional Farm Shop Manager Bethan Teare
Like many firsts, the first of our growing collection of organic Farm Shops has a special place in our hearts. Not only because it was the first opportunity for us to take a step into the wonderful world of brick-and-mortar retail and meet our customers face to face, but also because of its location in the ancient stannary market town of Tavistock.
Situated on the picturesque River Tavy, Tavistock is the only town in Devon to hold world heritage status. The town is known for its award-winning markets, direct access to Dartmoor National Park and for being the home of the iconic Devonshire cream tea. With so much to offer, from local shopping to delicious eateries and stunning walks, we’ve spoken to the team at our Farm Shop (including our new Regional Farm Shop Manager Beth) to plan the perfect day in Tavistock.
When searching for the location of our very first Farm Shop, it was the friendly community spirit of the town that drew us to Tavistock. This is one of the first things that came to the minds of our staff, too, who enjoy living, working and exploring the historic town. Our team at the Eversfield Organic Tavistock Farm Shop love seeing and getting to know our regular local customers, serving them up a hot drink (for free with purchases over £20) to start their day and assisting with all their organic food needs.
The Pannier Market at the heart of the town is a feature that also draws a lot of people to Tavistock. Locals can enjoy a different market theme for each day of the week, with visitors and tourists entertained with the element of surprise as to what they will find when they visit. The Tavistock market has a steep history of its own, having been granted a Royal Charter way back in 1105 and surviving with no rest for over 900 years.
The Pannier Market goes hand in hand with the traditional high street, bursting with local producers and independent retailers. As a small, family-run organic farm, we felt the strong “support local” ethos of Tavistock was exactly what we were looking for. Our organic Farm Shop at 2 West Street sits between a hoard of fantastic local businesses, from florists to cafés and a varied selection of delightful restaurants.
Tavistock’s large sense of community spirit shines through in their many community events, which we love getting involved in. Last year, as part of Totally Locally’s Fiver Fest, we joined lots of other businesses in offering customers of our Tavistock Farm Shop a £5 deal on some of our organic best sellers. The campaign celebrates high streets and independent businesses, aiming to encourage shoppers back to their high street to shop local and boost the wellbeing of communities. Research shows that for every £1 spent in an independent business, 63p remains for the local economy. This is compared to only 5p when £1 is spent online shopping or with larger corporate businesses. With this in mind, we will be bringing back Fiver Fest to our Tavistock Farm Shop this year– keep your eyes peeled for more about this soon.
A Perfect Day
Not only does Tavistock boast some of the best local businesses, but it also has a rich history that will impress even the biggest history buff. Beth and our Tavi team love to begin their perfect day by exploring the mining heritage of the area. Many refer Tavistock as the Eastern gateway to Devon and Cornwall’s mining heritage, with parts of the region stretching back over 1000 years. The United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) recognised the West Devon Mining Landscape as a World Heritage Site in 2006, putting it on the same scale as the Taj Mahal and The Great Wall of China!
Tavistock’s location on the edge of the National Park marks it as a great place to start or finish some lovely Dartmoor walks. Drake’s Trail is a popular choice amongst our Farm Shop staff for a walk or a cycle, running for 21 miles from Tavistock to Plymouth. The trail is surrounded by beautiful scenery including wooded valleys, open moorland and an abundance of wildlife (look out for the native Dartmoor Ponies).
One of the biggest attractions of the trail are the spectacular Isumbard Kingdom Brunel tunnels. These tunnels were carved out of solid rock by the engineer to form part of the South Devon and Tavistock railway line. The most impressive of them all is the Leighbeer Tunnel, nicknamed locally as the “Shaugh Tunnel.” This enormous tunnel near Clearbrook in Yelverton is dimly lit with an eerily lower temperature than the outside world. Perhaps not for those who spook easily.
The next pit stop on our perfect day in Tavistock is another great one for history lovers and walkers alike. The Harrowbeer airfield and museum in Yelverton presents a flash of what used to be, plus it’s a great place for exploring the moor, settling down for a picnic or grabbing an ice cream from the van. More museum goodness can be found in the Tavistock Museum itself, which showcases permanent exhibitions relating to the monastic, market and mining history of the town. In addition, there are also ever-changing community exhibitions that display the interests of the locals and surrounding organisations.
A trip around Tavistock and the wider area wouldn’t be complete without a riverside stroll. As previously mentioned, the town is situated on the River Tavy but it’s where this river meets the River Walkham that presents a truly magical scene. Continuing the walk along the Walkham, located between two Dartmoor tors, treats the eyes to more historical mining archaeology with the lime kiln chimney and remains of the industrial landscape that is now covered in moss.
And to conclude the day, Beth and the team like to head over to the Eversfield Organic Dartmoor Inn for an evening of organic indulgence. The organic food and drinks served at the inn are sourced from our farm or a small selection of local producers. Organic meat from our Aberdeen Angus and organic vegetables from our Market Garden pair perfectly with a choice of organic ale from the barrel, organic wine, cocktails or soft drinks. Our new Ox Grill sears grass fed beef steaks to perfection, whilst we also offer wild, sustainable fish, vegetarian and vegan dining options. All whilst overlooking the stunning views of Dartmoor National Park.
You’ve heard it from our resident experts at the Eversfield Organic Tavistock Farm Shop, but we’d love to know how you like to spend a day in Tavistock. Pop into our organic shop at 2 West Street, PL19 8AD and let us know!