Local attractions and family days out

One of the reasons our lodges are so popular with couples and families alike is our central location to so many local attractions and family days out. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the outside world, yet in easy reach of a wide range of activities to suit every taste.

Below is an overview of just some of the key places and activities in Devon and Cornwall that you may wish to try during your stay at our Roadford Lake Lodges.

People on skywire at Hangloose, Eden Project

Attractions under an hour away from Roadford

Dingles Fairground Museum

The Dingles Fairground Heritage Centre is home to the National Fairground Collection and an ideal attraction if the weather is a little damp! It is a facility unique in the UK, designed to capture the magic of a bygone age through exhibits, vintage engineering and stunning artwork displays. Enjoy the super dodgems, the Victory Gallopers, Moonrocket, Ghost Train and the Chariot Racer Ark along with smaller rides for little people. There are also classic stalls such as Hook a Duck, Plate Smasher, Shooting Saloon and Crazy Mirrors. Tickets can only be purchased for pre-booked sessions from the website for morning or afternoon sessions. (A 5-minute drive)

Dingles Fairground Museum website

Morwellham Quay

World Heritage Site on the bank of the beautiful River Tamar. Take a look inside the historic boat ‘Garlandstone’, then tour the village and see a victorian school, miners’ cottages and shops; then take a ride on the train into a copper mine plus many more activities. Why not visit Ruth’s Cottage, the location of the BBC series Edwardian Farm. (A 27-minute drive).

Morwellham Quay website

The Lost Gardens of Heligan

The Lost Gardens of Heligan near Mevagissey in Cornwall is well worth the drive, one of the most popular botanical gardens in the UK. The Lost Gardens provide families with possibly the best natural playground ever, making them one of the top family days out in Cornwall! There’s a network of magical gardens, woodland walks and farmland brimming with interest and intrigue; and with over 200 acres – enough room to tire the most energetic little legs! Visit their website for events, tours, demonstrations and courses.

The gardens were created by members of the Cornish Tremayne family from the mid-18th century up to the beginning of the 20th century and still form part of the family’s Heligan estate. The gardens were neglected after the First World War and restored only in the 1990s, a restoration that was the subject of several popular television programmes and books. (A 1-hour drive.)

Lost Gardens of Heligan website

Trethorne Leisure Park

Only a 12-minute drive away, Trethorne Leisure Park is a great all-weather family tourist attraction. The outdoor park has trampolines and a zip wire, crazy golf, Dino Karts a climbing wall and paddle boats. If the weather is a little unwelcoming, then enjoy the indoor fun park with scary drop slides, a helter-skelter, trampolines, Zorb football, bungee run and a rotating climbing wall. as well as a ball pool and Didicars for smaller people.

The animal barn is home to ponies, donkeys, calves, goats, rare breed chickens, geese, ducks, guinea pigs, rabbits, a horse, a cow and the sweetest Shetland pony. Why not try hand milking the cow, bottle feeding the calves and their ‘In touch with animals’ session where you can hold the guinea pigs and rabbits.

Separately, if your want more adult pursuits, there are 8 lanes of Ten Pin Bowling, Dodgems Rink, Games Arcade, and Restaurant. Booking is stongly advised at peak holiday times.  (A 12-minute drive)

Trethorne website

Horses on Dartmoor at Cholwell Riding stables

Cholwell Riding Stables

Cholwell Riding Stables is a family-run business that has been providing escorted rides and riding lessons on Dartmoor for nearly forty years.

Situated on the A386 between Okehampton and Tavistock, next to the famous ‘Wheal Betsy’ Silver Lead mine, they are perfectly located to ride straight out onto Dartmoor with no need for any road work. This allows you to enjoy your whole ride on the moor and admire its breath-taking views.

They cater for all types of riders from the complete novice to the most experienced rider and have a wide selection of quality, fit and well-mannered horses. (A 22-minute drive). Booking essential.

Cholwell Riding Stables

Girl on tree surfing at Tamar Trails

Tamar Trails

Located in the Tamar Valley is a network of trails for walking or cycling and a range of outdoor activities including canoeing, tree surfing courses (one for adults and a separate junior course for 4-12-year-olds), zip wire, the leap of faith (free fall from 40 ft treetop platform with a soft landing) and archery, plus a café when you need to recover. They also run group challenges, ideal if you are your staff are staying at Roadford Lake Lodges. (A 24-minute drive).

Tamar Trails website

Eden Project - ©Hufton+Crow

The Eden Project

The Eden Project offers an astonishing day out. People come from around the world to visit the site and when you visit you can understand why – it really is extraordinary.

In the year 2000, after years of planning, investment and hard work, the Eden Project team transformed a former barren china clay pit in Cornwall, 15m below the water table, with no soil and no plants, into a groundbreaking, beautiful and infamous ‘Living Theatre of Plants and People’. Why did they do it? To demonstrate the transformation and to show that we can all leave the world better than we found it.

Today, nestled in this crater, their massive covered Biomes house a fully-grown rainforest, Mediterranean landscapes, crop displays, art installations, exhibitions and stories. They serve as the backdrop to their striking contemporary Outdoor Gardens where they grow wild and cultivated landscapes, exhibits, artworks and seasonal programmes that reconnect us to the natural world.

This destination, cultural venue and global garden showcase our dependence on plants and demonstrate technological ingenuity and the protection and regeneration of landscapes and livelihoods. It was they say ‘our first ‘shop window’ for the future we want to help shape. Healthy planet, healthy people.’

Registered charity number 1093070 (The Eden Trust).

All Eden Project photos by kind permission of Eden Project – ©Hufton+Crow

Eden Project website

Hangloose at The Eden Project

If you want an adventure in the South West then ‘Hangloose Adventure’, an excellent adrenaline activity centre based right at the Eden Project, is a must! You can fly down their Skywire – England’s Fastest Zipline – with wonderful views soaring over the Eden Project Biomes! Or you could book a base jump, have a go on their aerial trekking high ropes course or try out their ‘Gravity Giant Swing’!

It’s a great ‘add-on’ to a visit to the Eden Project with a range of exciting adventures which can be booked individually or in a flexible range of discounted packages. Take a look at their website and the pictures which demonstrate the fun they offer better than words!

Before you book, Hangloose asks you to read their Terms and Conditions.

(A 52-minute drive).

Hangloose website

Hangloose Terms and Conditions

Dartmoor Zoo tiger

Dartmoor Zoo

Set in 33 acres of beautiful woodland, Dartmoor Zoo features the largest collection of Big Cats in the region including African Lions, Amur Tigers, Jaguar and Cheetah. Visitors will also find Iberian Wolves, European Brown Bears, South American Tapir, Ostrich, Meerkats, Otters, Monkeys and much more.

Immerse yourself in a fun day out with the kids: see the big cats feed, hear the wolves howl and feel the snakes wriggle through your fingers in Close Encounters.

Follow the daily timetable of events including public talks at feeding times and animal encounters, with falconry displays and kids activities during the holidays such as quiz trails and face-painting.

The zoo is open all year round (with the exception of Christmas Day) and hosts large picnic and outdoor play areas.

Dartmoor Zoological Society is a charitable zoo with a unique history. In 2006 the Mee family purchased the struggling Dartmoor Wildlife Park, reopening as Dartmoor Zoo in 2007. Zoo Director, Benjamin Mee recorded the family’s story in his book, “We Bought a Zoo” which was made into a movie of the same name starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson in 2012.

(A 59-minute drive).

Dartmoor Zoo website

Dartmoor Zoo map

Spend a day in the Ocean City of Plymouth

The City of Plymouth is only an hour’s drive away from Roadford Lake Lodges, and with so much to see and do, it’s well worth spending the day there.

The National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth

A great attraction for a rainy day, the UK’s largest aquarium, located in Britain’s Ocean City, Plymouth, is part of the Ocean Conservation Trust, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the Ocean. The Aquarium is made up of four main zones, with lots of different exhibits and animals found in each. The way the Aquarium is laid out means you start your journey in the local waters of Plymouth Sound. The further you journey around the Aquarium, the further you journey around the world’s Ocean, finishing up in the stunning Great Barrier Reef. Don’t miss the Atlantic Ocean zone, the deepest tank in the UK with huge Sand Tiger Sharks! There is a café and a small soft play area. (A 1-hour drive).

National Marine Aquarium website

The Barbican, Plymouth

If you are visiting Plymouth, it’s well worth making the short walk from the National Marine Aquarium to the historic Barbican, Plymouth’s delightful old port, full of narrow cobbled streets, Elizabethan warehouses, specialist shops, art galleries, cafes and restaurants. Sir Francis Drake sailed from Plymouth as well as the Pilgrim Fathers who departed England to settle the New World. The Mayflower Steps are flanked by the British and American flags and mark the final English departure point of 102 passengers who set sail on the Mayflower in 1620.

Boat Trips from Plymouth

Set sail with Plymouth Boat Trips, the South West’s premier cruising, ferry and fishing company. They offer sightseeing cruises around the harbour, river cruises, private charters as well as fun-packed fishing trips. They also operate ferry trips across to Cornwall via the Barbican and Royal William Yard to Mount Edgecumbe. Explore the coastline, trails, and segway around the grounds of Mount Edgcumbe, the ancestral home of the Earls of Mount Edgcumbe.

Plymouth boat trips website

The Royal Citadel

Above the Barbican is a dramatic 17th-century fortress built to defend the coastline from the Dutch, and keep watch on a recently rebellious town, the Royal Citadel is still in use by the military today. Tours can be booked 24hrs in advance

Due to its nature as an operational military establishment, tours may be suspended or cancelled without prior notice. There are strict regulations for entrance please ensure you read the before you go section of the website for further details. Please note: No dogs are allowed, except for guide dogs.

The Royal Citadel website

Plymouth Hoe and Smeaton’s Tower

Above the Barbican is the world-famous Plymouth Hoe Promenade for a beautiful scenic view. The word “Hoe” is derived from old English and appropriately means “high ground”.

Popular legend has it that it was here, on 20th July 1588, that the Elizabethan Sea-Captain Sir Francis Drake was playing bowls when the first news of sightings of the invading “Spanish Armada” was brought to him. Thereupon Drake ostensibly signified his wish merely to continue his game of bowls undisturbed, a cool reaction fabled as an act of English heroism. In reality, however, Drake and his fellow captains probably knew full well that the wind and tide conditions at that particular moment precluded the English Fleet from putting to sea immediately from Plymouth!

True or not, a substantial statue commemorating Drake and his circumnavigation of the Globe stands overlooking the Hoe, whilst the corridor of landscaped greensward behind sweeps down the heart of the modern city where it continues the association with Drake – as “Armada Way”.

A centrepiece on Plymouth’s Hoe, Smeaton’s Tower has become one of the South West’s most well-known landmarks.

The lighthouse was originally built on the Eddystone reef in 1759 at a cost of £40,000 but was taken down in the early 1880s when it was discovered that the sea was undermining the rock it was standing on. Approximately two-thirds of the structure was moved stone by stone to its current resting place on the Hoe.

Now standing at 72 feet high, Smeaton’s Tower offers fantastic views of Plymouth Sound and the city from its lantern room which, along with the rest of the building, has been painstakingly restored to its original glory.

Opening hours
Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holidays – 10am to 5pm (last entries at 4pm)
Smeaton’s Tower is open until Sunday 30 October before closing for winter.

Smeaton’s Tower website

Drake’s Island

Visit Drake’s Island from the Barbican for one of the most unique and interesting guided tours in Plymouth and throughout the Southwest.

Learn all about the history and the mysteries surrounding the island. Walk the tunnels, deep into the island itself, see the abundance of wildlife that has made Drake’s Island their home and view Plymouth from a whole new perspective, as you climb to the highest part of the island for that perfect photo opportunity.

The public tours of Drake’s Island are run in conjunction with Plymouth Boat Trips, which provides an independent ferry service to and from the island from the Barbican Landing Stage in Plymouth.

Drake’s Island website

Plymouth Gin Distillery

Located in the Barbican is the Plymouth Gin Distiller, the oldest working gin distillery in England.

The building dates back to the early 1400’s with the oldest part of the building – the Refectory, a medieval hall with a fine hull-shaped timber roof, dating back to 1431.

Take a guided tour and learn about the art of making the world-famous Plymouth Gin, enjoy a tutored tasting of the range and then relax in the Refectory cocktail lounge – the ultimate place to enjoy a cocktail and where the Pilgrims are said to have spent their last night before setting sail in the Mayflower to the New World.

Plymouth Gin Distillery website

The Box – Plymouth Museum

A short walk up from the Barbican, The Box is Plymouth and the South West’s major new museum, art gallery and archive. They received a special commendation as European Museum of the Year 2022. With free admission, they run lots of events throughout the year.

The Box website

National Trust properties

 

Visitors admiring the view over the countryside from the roof at Castle Drogo, Devon.

©National Trust Images/John Millar
Visit the National Trust website

Castle Drogo

The National Trust property ‘Castle Drogo’ Drewsteignton, EX6 6PB is situated about 25 miles from Roadford Lake Lodges, up the A30 and high above the spectacular Teign Gorge. The dramatic ‘castle’ was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens for self-made millionaire Julius Drewe and sits on acres of beautiful garden and woodland with really dramatic views of Dartmoor. There are lots too for the little ones including the castle’s famous teddy bear hunt. One of the bears is over 100 years old! For more information on things to do, opening hours and charges visit their website. (A 30-minute drive).

Castle Drogo website

Visitors walking at Lydford Gorge, Devon.

©National Trust Images/John Millar
Visit the National Trust website

Lydford Gorge

The National Trust property ‘Lydford Gorge’, Lydford EX20 4BH is situated about 10 miles from Roadford Lake Lodges on the road towards Tavistock. The Gorge, where the River Lyd crashes and tumbles through, offers a range of dramatic and picturesque walking trails through what feels like a prehistoric world filled with green vegetation, water and wildlife. The 28.2m high Whitelady Waterfall is a particularly special sight to see! We feel it’s well worth a visit. It also has two nice tea rooms including the Devil’s Cauldron tea room with a shop and a great range of second-hand books. For lots more information on things to do, opening hours and charges visit their website. (A 19-minute drive).

Lydford Gorge website

Gardens to visit

RHS Garden Rosemoor

Nestled in the Torridge Valley, Rosemoor is an enchanting place to visit in every season; cherry trees blossom in the spring, the iconic Hot Garden dazzles with vibrant colours in summer, while the woodlands blaze with autumn finery and the Winter Garden catches the eye later in the year. There is a huge amount of information on their website to help plan your visit. Don’t forget to drop into the Garden Kitchen or Otter Café as noted in our Eating out by the sea section. (A 45-minute drive).

RHS Garden Rosemoor website

A lodge holiday at

Roadford Lake

Explore the trails and cycle routes around the 250 acres of Roadford Lake in the Wolf Valley, with breathtaking views across the trees and open fields surrounding our Devon lake lodge. The ideal retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Open all year

Prices from £767/week

for 6 guests - that's £127.83 per person for a week

Heron, Hornbeam and Snowdrop Lodges

Roadford Lake Lodges
Broadwoodwidger
Lifton
Devon
PL16 0RL

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