Things to do in Tavistock

Wondering what to do in Tavistock? Check out our Guide on Tavistock things to do...

Your Guide for things to do in Tavistock

When you visit Tavistock, you are immersing yourself in history! This is a town which dates back well over a thousand years, as evidenced by the ruins of Tavistock Abbey; which you can still see today in the town centre. 

At Rockmount Bed and Breakfast Tavistock, we welcome many outdoor enthusiasts thanks to Tavistock’s location on the edge of Dartmoor, the peaceful stretch of moorland which is a protected National Park. That means a dream for walkers, hikers and cyclists. 

Back in the town centre, there is no shortage of events which take place all year round. These include the Goosey Fair, a historic convention for geese trading that has grown to become a huge social event in its own right – it takes place on the second Wednesday in October. 

Then there is the local food and drink festival, the two day Garden Festival and the two day Balloon Fiesta, as well as the Tavistock Music & Arts Festival. You will find that these events have a great community atmosphere, but are by no means restricted to local people. On the contrary, travellers are always welcome in Tavistock. 

The Rockmount Bed and Breakfast Tavistock is the perfect location to appreciate Tavistock from the ‘inside out’, giving you all the attractions of the town within walking distance, as well as putting you in touching distance of the wondrous sights of Dartmoor and beautiful South Devon. 

Things to do in Tavistock:

  • Food and Drink
  • Tree Surfing
  • Buckland Abbey
  • Cotehele
  • Learn about the history of Tavistock

Food and Drink

Enjoy Tavistock Locals Bars and Restaurants!

Tavistock Food and Drink

Local Bars Tavistock

Tavistock is blessed with a great selection of local bars and pubs, all with their own unique atmosphere. That means plenty of options when it comes to nightlife, as well as pub lunches. If live music is your thing, you will find local bands strutting their stuff on a regular basis, while there are also many pool tables dotted about for those with a competitive spirit. Check out Jack Cham’s for a live music spot in tune with the younger crowd, while the Cornish Arms is often cited as an example of the quintessential West Country pub. We want you to have an enjoyable ‘night on the tiles’ in Tavistock, and only ask that you respect other guests by keeping the noise to a minimum on your way back in. 

Restaurants Tavistock

From organic eateries with a focus on local provenance to Chinese, Indian and gastro pubs – you won’t go hungry in Tavistock. Taylor’s is fast growing a reputation for its scrumptious tapas list, and Tharik’s Tandoori caters for those with a passion for more fiery flavours. Have you discovered a fantastic Tavistock restaurant you want the world to know about? Before you jump on to TripAdvisor, let us know here at Rockmount B & B Devon so that we can spread the word to our other guests. Being such a foodie magnet, perhaps it is no surprise that in peak seasons for visitors, the restaurants can fill up quickly, so booking well in advance can be a good idea. Occupied with exploring the area? Not to worry, just let us know where you would like to eat and we will be happy to book a table on your behalf.

Tree Surfing Tavistock

Thinking about tree surfing in Tavistock? You won't regret it!

Tree Surfers Tavistock

Just out of town, three miles from the Rockmount B & B Tavistock, lies Tree Surfers, which is bound to be a hit with family and younger groups. Tree Surfers has the ability to immerse visitors in nature, rather than simply allow them to view it. If you have a taste for adventure, take yourself along and enjoy the Family High ropes course, mountain biking and archery – not to mention the famous Tree Jump! If you haven’t tree surfed before, you will find it to be an exciting experience which will certainly appeal to fans of extreme sports. 

Blaze a trail over the treetop eco-trail and find yourself transported through the amazing canopy in one of the country’s most beautiful woodlands. This network of ladders, zip wires, walkways and rope bridges, offers a unique perspective of nature and can provide a memorable way to see an area which is a designated Area of Natural Beauty. You also have the option of mountain bike hire with over 30km of off-road trails to explore, and can get involved with jump archery, kids adventures days and canoeing. Tree Surfers is worth devoting a day to, that’s for sure!

Buckland Abbey

Explore this 700 year old property.

Explore the 700 year old Buckland Abbey

Set in a tranquil valley, Buckland Abbey, Garden and Estate was first chosen by Cistercian monks as a base from which to worship, farm their estate and trade. The Abbey was converted into a house by Sir Richard Grenville and later lived in by Sir Francis Drake. 

What you see now is part museum, part home, and a fantastic opportunity to see a 700-year-old property in all its splendour. Part of the fascinating collection in the museum is ‘Drake’s Drum’, an impressive snare drum which Sir Francis Drake took with him on his travels around the world. 

Shortly before he passed, Sir Francis ordered the drum to be taken to Buckland Abbey and beaten every time England was in danger, whereupon he would return to defend the country. 

Cotehele Tudor House

Don't miss seeing Cotehele the Tudor House!

Tudor House

A splendid Tudor house with superb collections of textiles, furniture and Tudor Armour, all set in wonderful extensive grounds. Beautifully maintained gardens, quay and working mill on the Cornish bank of the river Tamar.

Tavistock History

Learn about the history of Tavistock.

History of Tavistock

Tavistock is the main town of Dartmoor’s western moor. It is an exceptionally attractive town owing as much to some fine Victorian architecture as to its picturesque location on the banks of the River Tavy. A busy market town, there is no shortage of shops and cafes plus Tavistock is home to a purpose built pannier market, possibly the best in the region. 

It was the establishing of a Benedictine abbey on the banks of the River Tavy that put Tavistock on the map. Ordgar, Earl of Devon began building the abbey in about 960AD near the site of a Saxon settlement this is where the town gets its name Tavi from the river (originally Tau Vechan) and stock from stoc meaning stockade or enclosure. 

The abbey was rebuilt at around the turn of the millenium after it was destroyed by Vikings and generated enormous wealth over the following century, becoming the West Country’s most important Benedictine abbey. There are a few scattered remnants of the abbey in existence around Tavistock town centre. Most notable are the section of cloisters in the St Eustace’s churchyard, Court Gate, an archway that has become incorporated into the town hall buildings and the oddly named Betsy Grimbal’s Tower. The name apparently comes from a young woman who was murdered by a jealous monk on the site.


In 1116 Henry I granted Tavistock a charter as a market town and with the discovery of quantities of tin the town became a stannary town in 1281 one of three on the edge of Dartmoor, the others being Chagford and Ashburton. The stannary towns were where tin miners brought the tin to be weighed, stamped and sold by the assay master. The towns prosperity grew and grew Tavistock became a borough with two members of parliament by the end of the 13th century. With the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII Tavistock was gifted to the family, ancestors of the Dukes of Bedford.


It was Francis Russell, the 7th Duke of Bedford who really shaped the town into its current state.  Tavistock’s heritage as a market town dates back to the Friday Charter Market granted in the year 1105. The existing pannier market is located in the centre of the town and was purpose built by the 7th Duke of Bedford in the mid 19th century. The buildings reflect the wealth that was generated by the mining boom of the 1840s. 

Built in Guildhall Square, just off Bedford Square in the mid 1800s by the then Duke of Bedford, Francis Russell. The town profited greatly in both financial and architectural terms from the copper boom of that era. Saint Eustachius in Tavistock, built on the site of the 10th century abbey, the present day church is mainly 15th century. We are now a World Heritage Site set in an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty!! Come and stay at the only Bed and Breakfast in Tavistock that has been in the Michelin Guide for 6 years running. 


B&B Tavistock Room Availability

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Location of our B and B in Devon

Drake Rd, Tavistock, PL19 0AX
United Kingdom

Contact the Rockmount!

Phone: +44 7445 009880