Situated on the Dartmoor Way close to the larger town of Moretonhampstead (see below), walkers on a more relaxed itinerary will choose one or the other for an overnight stay in this area. North Bovey is the one for those who want a night right below the moors in a stunning and unspoilt time capsule village with nothing but a stroll over the medieval village green for entertainment. Those seeking a wider range of facilities should walk the few miles on to Mortetonhampstead.
North Bovey is everyone’s idea of a Devon village, with a handful of cottages with thatched roofs around a rough village green with stone cross and water pump.
The villages wealth came from the nearby moorland tin mining with both open cast and shaft workings, and the fine Wagon Roofed Church of St John the Baptist was built with the tithes from the mining.
The decline in tin mining left the village struggling, but in the late 19th century the land was bought by W H Smith from the former Earl of Devon and Frederick Smith, his son, inherited the estate and built one of Devon’s finest manor houses for himself.
After various incarnations as a convalescent home during the First World War and a military hospital for the duration of the Second this impressive building is now the luxury Bovey Castle Hotel. Those wanting a night of luxury can stay here and indulge in the spa at Dartmoors most famous hotel set in stupendous surroundings – ask for prices and options.
Today, the population of North Bovey is now less than half what it was a hundred years ago, but perhaps because of this it retains a unique charm for the overnight visitor.