The Rock Inn
, Haytor Vale, Haytor.
Nestling below the famous Haytor Rocks and just inside the Dartmoor National Park is the rural hamlet of Haytor Vale and the Rock Inn. This traditional English country inn has been offering travellers hospitality, good food and shelter since its foundation as a coaching inn in the mid-eighteenth century. Owned and run today by the Graves family, it remains a relaxed, friendly place, with personal service reminiscent of a bygone age. It gives the almost unique experience of being able to walk straight from the front door onto the Dartmoor wilderness, returning to a cosy dinner by the log fire followed by a comfy bed.
The pub is open every day for drinks, lunch and dinner. Freshly caught fish, locally sourced meat and game, and locally grown produce feature on the à la carte menu. Real ales come from the excellent local Dartmoor Brewery (based in Princetown right next to the famous prison) and include Dartmoor IPA and Jail Ale, along with the occasional guest beer. There is also an extensive range of wines by the glass, ports, and malt whiskies. The intimate bar area is filled with attractive features, including brass work, oak furnishings, and welcoming log fires. Numerous secluded eating areas are scattered throughout the building. The Rock Inn has received 1 AA Rosette Award for Culinary Excellence every year from 1996 to 2015 and since 2016 has been able to boast 2 AA Rosettes. Breakfasts too come highly recommended.
The Rock Inn has nine comfortable guest bedrooms each with bathroom or shower en-suite. All are well appointed with quality furnishings and decor, in keeping with the ambience and historical period of the inn. All rooms have a television, direct dial telephone, and beverage tray. Each room is centrally heated, some have DVD players and some are equipped with a novel historical minibar for dispensing spirits. The Country View rooms at the back have views direct across the moor. Garden View rooms are at the front and look over the hotel’s garden on the opposite side of the road. Most romantic are the Superior Four-Poster Rooms.
There’s an interesting history to The Rock Inn. The whole village of Haytor Vale including the inn was created in the early 1800s when the local landowner started operating granite quarries and iron mines nearby. Right beside Haytor Rocks are the remains of a tramway built to carry rock down to a canal and from there to the sea at Teignmouth. Walkers can still find and trace the granite sets that make up the path of the tramway.
From Haytor, the whole of Dartmoor is on your doorstep, inviting visitors to explore on foot, by bike or by car. Be sure to include Haytor Rocks, Becky Falls, Widecombe, Dartmeet, Two Bridges, Princetown, Fingle Bridge and Castle Drogo in your itinerary.