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Top 10 Things to do... in Tavistock

Updated: Feb 1, 2023

There are many wonderful things to do here in Tavistock. Whether you're local or

visiting on holiday, a fantastic selection of shopping, food, history & nature awaits you!

Here are our top picks for a great time in Tavistock...

1. The Pannier Market

Located in the heart of Tavistock is the famous Pannier Market. Full of local traders

& brilliant if you're a fan of handmade goods and beautiful artworks & crafts.

It's name deriving from the pannier baskets monks used to carry goods to the market;

it's been around for a long time, Since 1105! The current market building was built

in the mid-19th century when the Duke of Bedford remodelled the town centre.

Open 5 days a week, this is the perfect spot for some intimate, personal shopping.

2. Guildhall Gateway Centre & Tavistock Museum

A ‘gateway’ centre for information about the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site (WHS), the Guildhall also tells the story of Tavistock’s mining past and of the building itself as one of England’s first purpose-built combined court and police stations. And housed around the Grade I listed Court Gate - one of the original entrances to the Abbey - the Museum displays a wide range of fascinating exhibits. Run by volunteers, it provides an insight into Tavistock life across the centuries.

3. Soak it all in!

Everyone loves a cup of tea. Or perhaps coffee is more your thing? A glass of cola?

Whatever your thirst may be, the town is full to the brim of great places to sit back and take it all in. This foodie town also has a wide-variety of things to eat on offer - from gourmet meals to pasties and cream teas. Pick up a copy of our Food & Drink trail from the Visitor Information Centre or download it here at Visit Tavistock.

4. Home of the Cream Tea

Speaking of scones... Legend has it that cream teas originated in Tavistock, served by monks to workers restoring the Abbey after a Viking attack. There are plenty of lovely opportunities around town to enjoy this delicacy today in the atmospheric surroundings of its original home!

5. Independent Shops

Tavistock town centre is a magnet for shopaholics, boasting a very wide range of independent businesses. Everything from clothes, crafts, artwork, traditional butchers, delicatessens and bakers to bookshops, very few towns of a similar size can compare with their number - complemented by a few national retailers. We really think you'll love them so come take a look, chat with the owners & connect with our wonderful local business.

6. Meadowlands & The Wharf

With fun for the whole family set by the idyllic Tavistock Canal, you can go swimming at the Meadowlands pool, use the gym or try an exercise class. If that seems a little too energetic, catch a matinée or evening filmat The Wharf, or see one of the many live music events staged at this popular entertainment centre.

7. Riverside Walk and the Canal

Take a walk alongside the tumbling river Tavy, past old Abbey walls and into ‘The Meadows’. With a well-equipped playground for the children, its the perfect spot for an ice-cream or picnic on the grass. Follow the canal - built in the early 1800’s as a link to Morwellham Quay - right into the Crowndale Valley.

8. St Eustachius Church

Located right in the centre of Tavistock, this Parish Church of 1318 stands tall by the town hall and pannier market. With a beautiful facade & an open green, it's perfect for a chill in the sun. Remains of the cloister of Tavistock Abbey, destroyed during Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries, can be seen in the churchyard. It has grown over the centuries, including an additional fourth aisle, completed in 1447 funded by wool merchants.

9. Farmer's Market

Held on Bedford Square on the second and fourth Saturday morning of the month, this bustling Farmer's Market is a must for those looking to discover fantastic meats, vegetables, cheeses, liqueurs, flowers and fruits, all produced locally by passionate growers and farmers.

10. Heritage Walks

Discover the 28 ‘blue plaques’ on places of note throughout the town - a booklet about them is available from the town's museum. Or pick up a copy of the Heritage Trail leaflet from the Visitor Information Centre and learn the story of Tavistock as you wander between the town’s historic sites.

Get in touch with your favourite things to do here in Tavistock for our next blog!

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