Parke Estate (National Trust), Bovey Tracey, Dartmoor National Park

Parke Estate (National Trust), Bovey Tracey, Dartmoor National Park

Parke is a country park on the eastern border of Dartmoor National Park. Whilst it has always been a beautiful place in its own right, lots of attractions have been added to Parke in recent years to turn it into a leisure destination. There's the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust Education and Visitor Centre and Home Farm Cafe, miles of walking trails and some magnificent views. If you see people working on computers or congregating for meetings, it's because buildings are used by both the National Trust and Dartmoor National Park Authority. There are plenty of signs to reassure you that you're allowed to be there although it can be disconcerting! Study one of the information boards or, preferrably, grab a Parke leaflet and go exploring.

We've positioned Parke on Google maps so zoom in on the 'Satellite' setting to see its location. To visit, head for the Bovey Tracey area. There's a small roundabout by Bovey Tracey fire station. Parke is just off the road that climbs to the Haytor Rocks and Manaton areas from that roundabout. Follow the long drive through parkland. Signs direct you to a spacious car park. The Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust Education and Visitor Centre is to your left. Home Farm Cafe is situated in the cluster of buildings by the car park. As is the case with Becky Falls Woodland Park just up the road, there are numerous trails to follow dependent on time available and fitness levels. We'd recommend walking to the medieval weir. Parke is particularly beautiful in Autumn.

Other points of interest include the dismantled railway. This used to run up the Wray Valley to Moretonhampstead. The Wray Valley Trail is being built at the time of writing January 2015. Also visit the orchard and walled garden and look out for wildlife and flowers. Last, we'd suggest you walk through Parke and follow the road and path that leads into Bovey Valley Woods and Lustleigh Cleave. Big walk. Astonishingly beautiful. Consult the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map for detail.

Other country parks in the area include Becky Falls Woodland Park and Canonteign Falls, Stover Country Park and the River Dart Country Park.

Visitor attractions near Parke include House of Marbles and Teign Valley Glass and The Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Yarner Wood and Haytor Rocks.