HAYTOR VALE, Newton Abbot, TQ13 9XP
Just inside Dartmoor National Park, below the Haytor Rocks, this beamed and flagstoned 18th-century coaching inn occupies a stunning location within wonderful walking country. The traditional interior is full of character, with antique tables, settles, prints and paintings, a grandfather clock, and pieces of china above the two crackling fireplaces. After a day's exercise, healthy appetites can be satisfied with some robust and contemporary British cooking, which uses top-notch local produce in attractively presented dishes. From the fixed-price dinner menu, carrot and tarragon soup could be followed by pan-fried salmon fillet with samphire, and rounded off with sticky toffee pudding, caramel sauce and the county's famous clotted cream. West Country cheeses are a particular feature, as are Devon Mist or Ashridge Devon Gold ciders from the bar. In fair weather, your chosen refreshment can be enjoyed alfresco in the courtyard or in the peaceful garden across the lane.