Finch Foundry (National Trust), Sticklepath, Dartmoor National Park

Finch Foundry (National Trust), Sticklepath, Dartmoor National Park

Family attraction

Finch Foundry is a National Trust property on the north border of Dartmoor National Park. Located between the National Trust's Castle Drogo and English Heritage's Okehampton Castle, it's easy to overlook Finch Foundry which is a great shame as it's a fascinating place in a very beautiful area on the fringe of the high moors by a stunning wooded valley. We'd very much recommend a visit if you're on holiday in Dartmoor.

To visit, head for Sticklepath. Finch Foundry is well signposted. There's a car park behind the property. Buy a ticket from the National Trust shop and make sure you listen to the talk given by the National Trust guide as it will give you a much better understanding of the foundry and its history than the (excellent) information boards and displays alone.

The foundry produced tools for farms and local industries. The machinery in the foundry was powered by water and this significantly increased output. You'll see, and hear, the machines at work. Giant hammers shape metal. Giant scissors cut red hot metal. After the talk, you move upstairs to see the giant waterwheels at work. You then visit the museum. Kids can try on costumes. Last, you can walk out to see the waterway that controls the flow of water to the wheels.

Whilst you are there, follow the signs into Belstone Cleave. If you want a much larger walk, try the Two Museums Way to Okehampton and the Museum of Dartmoor Life. We'd also recommend a yomp up to the summit cairn on Cosdon Hill (Cawsand Hill).

Sticklepath is very pretty. The road that runs down its middle was once the main route from Cornwall and the South West to London. Today, it's part of The Trafalgar Way. There are pubs in which to grab a drink and bite to eat.