If you’re looking for something a little more laid back and off the beaten track then the town of Ivybridge gives you a great alternative to the usual seaside holiday destinations. Surrounded by beautiful countryside and moorland, Ivybridge has a magnificent natural setting and a rich heritage of traditional South Devon industries such as milling and cloth making. The town’s name comes from the bridge over the fast flowing River Erme, which powered Ivybridge’s mills.
The first recorded reference to Ivybridge was in 1280 as a place to cross the River Erme, and by the 1700s the town was thriving as a coaching station on the Exeter to Plymouth road, with a hotel and other facilities for travellers. The bridge was widened to allow heavier traffic and then in 1819 a new bridge was built.
Things to do
The original Ivy Bridge – the medieval packhorse bridge – still stands and is well worth a visit. You can also follow in the footsteps of famous artists including Turner, who was inspired to immortalise the bridge on canvas. As a gateway to Dartmoor National Park, there are plenty of trails leading you out of Ivybridge and into the surrounding countryside. Once you’ve had enough of exploring, the town centre has some characterful pubs to relax in, and small independent retailers selling quality local produce and arts and crafts.
Food and drink
If supporting local businesses and sustainable farming is important to you, you’ll fit right in here. All the pubs in Ivybridge offer speciality ales from local producers and fresh local produce is promoted extensively both in the restaurants and retail outlets.
Something a little different
For the truly intrepid, Ivybridge is the starting point of the Two Moors Way - a long distance walking route to Lynmouth on the North Coast of Exmoor. The route goes across Dartmoor and Exmoor linking the two National Parks, and much of the 102-mile route is way marked with information boards on places of interest along the way – ideal if you’re looking for a week’s walking holiday.