The Rock Inn Pub with rooms in Haytor Vale, Devon

Prices from:
£110 per night

David Hancock says:

  • Classic inn full of old English charm
  • Quality, comfortable rooms
  • Fantastic Dartmoor location
  • Seasonal, modern British food
  • Family owned and run

Sticky FingersMuddy PawsGood for WalkingOutdoor PursuitsCandlelitVisit a Stately Pile

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Overview

The Rock Inn Haytor Vale, Devon, TQ13 9XP

The personal touch

You can’t see the rock – Haytor Rock on Dartmoor, that is – from The Rock Inn, but it’s not far away: step outside the front door, turn right, and in just 25 minutes’ walk you can be at the top of the tor and looking out at the stunning Devon countryside stretching all the way down to the sea. It’s an idyllic spot, and The Rock Inn couldn’t be a better base for exploring all that Dartmoor and wider South Devon have to offer. Dating back to 1826, the inn has a real sense of history about it. Don’t expect a modern, minimalist, neutrally decorated interior: old English tradition is what this place is all about, with wood beams aplenty, low ceilings, antique furniture and open fires or log burners in the public rooms. Husband and wife Christopher and Susan Graves have owned and run The Rock for 35 years now (son Oliver is the manager) and although they’re continually upgrading the accommodation and public areas, the building has lost none of its historic charm and character. The bar is an intimate little room where you can enjoy a pint of local ale – Jail Ale from Dartmoor Brewery perhaps – while the restaurant is spread over three rooms, including a light and airy breakfast room, plus there’s a cosy lounge to relax in with a log burner and plenty of board games to wile away a few hours if the weather isn’t up to much. And if the weather is being kind, there’s a lovely garden just across the quiet road from the inn.

Sticky fingers

Children can choose from their own menu, while highchairs and cots are available.

Muddy paws

Dogs are welcome in part of the restaurant, as well as in three of the bedrooms.

Alfresco

The large garden just opposite the inn is a pretty and peaceful spot to enjoy a meal or a drink in the sunshine.

What’s the damage?

9 doubles £110-£170; 1 cottage £250 per night (minimum three night stay)

What Else?

All credit cards accepted (not Amex)

Alfresco dining

Disabled access to bar & dining room

Parking

Gongs

AA 4 Stars & 2 Rosettes; Good Pub Guide Devon Dining Pub of the Year 2018

Sleep

The Rock Inn Haytor Vale, Devon, TQ13 9XP

Do Not Disturb

The nine guest rooms are spread across the two upper floors and are all named after Grand National winning horses (a former owner of the inn kept a Grand National winning horse at the end of the garden, so says Susan Graves). Each room is traditionally styled, with classic English furniture, cream or racing green on the walls, and lots of photographs of local scenes. Some rooms have king- or super-king size beds, while a couple have four-posters, and one bedroom has a balcony looking out over the moor. Four of the bedrooms feature a piece of 1970s nostalgia in the form of a working radio built into the wall, which also dispenses little bottles of gin and whisky. If you’re not in the mood for a tipple, there are also Tea Pig teas, coffee and homemade biscuits to enjoy. Some of the bathrooms have walk-in showers and freestanding baths, and all feature luxury Duck Island toiletries. Next-door to the inn, Early Mist cottage sleeps eight people across four bedrooms and you can stay on a purely self-catering basis or head to the restaurant to eat.

What’s the damage?

9 doubles £110-£170; 1 cottage £250 per night (minimum three night stay)

What Else?

All credit cards accepted (not Amex)

Alfresco dining

Disabled access to bar & dining room

Parking

Gongs

AA 4 Stars & 2 Rosettes; Good Pub Guide Devon Dining Pub of the Year 2018

Eat & Drink

The Rock Inn Haytor Vale, Devon, TQ13 9XP

Mastering the Menu

(Starters: £6.25-£9.95; Main Courses: £14.50-£24.95; Desserts £5.85-£7.25; lunch menu £6.25-£19.50)

The Rock Inn has long held a reputation for good food, and rightly so. The menu is informed by the seasons and chef Josh Porter and his longstanding team are unswerving in their resolve to source ingredients as locally as possible. Herbs are grown in the garden and the kitchen team make all their own breads daily, along with their own flavoured butters. Both the lunch and dinner menus are a la carte, although evening diners have the option to go down a fixed price route if they choose certain dishes (two courses for £19.95 or three for £24.95). At lunch you can begin with something like a crispy duck Scotch egg with homemade brown sauce, followed by a pan-fried hake fillet with spiced kedgeree, micro coriander and lime oil, or maybe go for something more straightforward like a club sandwich or fish and chips. At dinner, choose something from the “nibbles” section of the menu to kick things off – perhaps monkfish scampi with lemon mayonnaise – before a starter of Brixham crab salad with compressed watermelon, lemon puree and bread crisp, or pan-fried foie gras with gingerbread, plum puree and red vein sorrel. Main course could be confit pork belly with wholegrain mustard creamed potato, asparagus and red wine jus, or roasted sea trout with Jersey royals, baby leek, cauliflower and raisin puree. To end, how about a wild elderflower pannacotta with fresh strawberries and strawberry sorbet, or banana parfait with salted popcorn and chunky toffee ice cream? The wine list covers all bases and includes some English wines from Sharpham and Lyme Bay Winery for those who like to keep things local.

Time to Eat

Breakfast: 8am – 9.30am

Lunch: 12 noon – 2.15pm (2.30pm Saturday & Sunday)

Dinner: 6.30pm – 8.45pm

Time at The Bar

12 noon – 10.30pm

What’s the damage?

9 doubles £110-£170; 1 cottage £250 per night (minimum three night stay)

What Else?

All credit cards accepted (not Amex)

Alfresco dining

Disabled access to bar & dining room

Parking

Gongs

AA 4 Stars & 2 Rosettes; Good Pub Guide Devon Dining Pub of the Year 2018

Food Trail

Take it back home
Tour the brewery that brewed your favourite pint, visit the shop on the farm that reared your delicious Sunday roast beef, and seek out the roadside stalls selling the local crab and samphire on the inn’s menu, the Food Trail features the local artisan producers and suppliers where you can buy to enjoy at home.

Change of scenery
Looking for a pub for lunch following a country walk, a different venue for dinner, or a good café for coffee, light lunch or afternoon tea, then the best in the area are listed below. If you find a new and exciting eatery in the area that’s worthy of a mention on the Food Trail, then please to do let us know – gabrielle@innplaces.co.uk.

1 Inn Location - The Rock Inn

2

Totnes, Devon TQ9 5YR

Totnes is a mecca for foodies – throw a stone and you’ll hit a good butcher, cheese shop, fish monger or grocer. Ben's Farm Shop is an organic ‘convenience’ store, the urban outpost of the Watson family’s Riverford Farm, where you’ll find meat, poultry, fruit, veg and wine. The Ticklemore Cheese shop sells local artisan cheeses, including those from Sharpham. Cranches Sweet Shop is packed with goodies you haven’t seen for years - sherbert lemons, pear drops and midget gems.

4

Sharpham Wine & Cheese, Sharpham Estate, Totnes, Devon TQ9 7UT

Sharpham Vineyard is set in one of Devon's most magical locations. The beautiful 550 acre estate is set on the bank of the River Dart, with 12,000 vines basking in the sun on the south facing slopes. The Estate also has a herd of 80 Jersey cows that graze the grassland whose milk is used for a range of handmade soft cheeses. The cheese dairy has viewing windows so visitors can view the process. Book a tour of the vineyard; cafe overlooking the River Dart.

5

Riverford Field Kitchen, Buckfastleigh, Devon TQ11 0JU

Family-friendly organic restaurant with a set menu that only uses the finest, seasonal, organic food, with herbs and vegetables picked daily on the farm. Visit the Field Kitchen Garden just yards from the restaurant. Cookery workshops and demonstrations.

Out & About

1 Inn Location - The Rock Inn

Activities

3

Dartmoor National Park, Devon PL20 6TH

From spectacular, wide open moorland to more secluded and sheltered tree-lined river valleys, Dartmoor has so much to offer all year round. Great walking, cycling, horse-riding and canoeing are just a few of the possiblities.

4

Discovery Surf School, Bigbury-on-Sea, Devon TQ7 4AR

Learn to ride the rolling waves under the expert guidance of top British surfer Martin Connolly and his highly experienced BSA instructors. Quality coaching in small groups for all ages and abilities from absolute beginners to experienced surfers

5

South Devon Railway, Buckfastleigh, Devon TQ11 0DZ

Enjoy unspoilt Devon from the comfort of a vintage steam train. The line hugs the beautiful River Dart between Buckfastleigh and Totnes for seven miles - period uniforms, original station buildings and vintage motors complete the picture.

12

Dartmoor Hawking, North Bovey, Devon TQ13 8RJ

Try a taster session over a couple of hours, showing you the basics of the falconer’s skills of handling before hawks are flown to and from your arm on a trip onto the moors. A longer, full day’s instruction includes the chance to fly owls.

14

Devon Cycle Hire, Sourton Down, Devon EX20 4HR

Waymarked cycle routes on and around Dartmoor include the circuitous Dartmoor Way and the Granite Way, which follows a disused railway across lonely countryside near Meldon Reservoir. Hiring cycles allows exploration of lanes and minor roads virtually free of traffic, penetrating to the heart of the Moor and to some of the famous Tors.

Shopping

Places to visit

2

Becky Falls Woodland Park, Manaton, Devon TQ13 9UG

Set within a spectacular ancient valley in which wildlife and woodland thrive the park has been attracting and inspiring poets, writers, painters and visitors since it opened in 1903. Several graded and well-marked walks and for families there’s lots of children’s entertainment during weekends and school and bank holidays. Spring is an especially magical time to visit.

7

Buckland Abbey, Yelverton, Devon PL20 6EY

Once home to Sir Francis Drake; exhibitions here trace his life and achievements. The Cistercian Abbey dates from the 13th century and has some fine plasterwork and a series of galleries. Much remains of the old abbey, transformed into a grand country house by Sir Richard Grenville, another of England’s naval heroes and who sold the building to Drake. The grounds include a large herb garden, a tithe barn and craft workshops.

8

Dartmoor Prison Museum, Princetown, Devon PL20 6RR

The captivating story of this iconic establishment is revealed at this novel visitor centre next to the famous prison. It’s origins as a prison for French captives during the Napoleonic Wars are the start of a fascinating history and heritage lesson taking in riots, mutinies and chain-gangs; crime, punishment and rehabilitation

9

Castle Drogo, Drewsteignton, Devon EX6 6PB

This stunning granite edifice was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens in the 1930’s and perches above the gorge of the river Teign. A fascinating interior combines the grandeur of a medieval castle with the latest household design and comfort ideas of post WW1 England. Elegant terraced gardens enhance the site of the castle.

10

Finch Foundry, Sticklepath, Devon EX20 2NW

A remarkable survival of a once-common enterprise. Dating from the early 19th century, the foundry machinery and forge are driven by the power of three waterwheels, enabling skilled smiths to form agricultural implements and machinery as well as household necessities. Truly the B&Q of its age!

11

Prehistoric & Medieval Dartmoor PL20 6TH

The Moor has been settled for thousands of years, and our ancestors have left tantalising evidence of their activities in many places which are readily accessible. These include the clapper bridges at Postbridge and Dartmeet; hut circles at Grimspound on Hameldown Tor; Foale’s Arrishes settlement near Widecombe and the medieval village at Hound Tor. Other sites include the mysterious Wistman’s Wood near Two Bridges, a stunted, moss-covered oakwood, and the granite tramway at Haytor.

16

Berry Pomeroy Castle, Totnes, Devon TQ9 6LJ

A perfect romantic ruin hidden in a steep wooded valley with woodland walks that provide fine views of the castle from below. Within the 15th-century defences of the Pomeroy family castle looms the dramatic ruined shell of its successor, the great Elizabethan mansion of the Seymours. The audio tour tells of blood curdling ghost stories and more.

17

Coleton Fishacre, Kingswear, Devon TQ6 0EQ

Revel in the gorgeous Art Deco style in this former holiday home of the D'Oyly Carte family. A magical 30-acre garden affords views out over Start Bay and tender plants from the Mediterranean, South Africa and New Zealand thrive in the moist and sheltered valley. Glorious 1920s’ elegance and a real Jazz age feel fill the rooms and music plays, echoing the family's Gilbert and Sullivan connection.

18

Bradley Manor, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 6BN

Bradley Manor is a delightful small medieval manor house surrounded by woods & meadows, with an impressive collection of pre-Raphaelite pictures & Arts & Crafts furniture inside.

Getting there

Location, Location, Location

By Road: 

By Rail: Nearest railway station is Newton Abbot (3 hours from Paddington)

Address:

, Haytor Vale, Devon, TQ13 9XP

Make booking enquiry

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