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Rick O'Shay's blog

Moor the Merrier - A warm welcome at The Drake Manor Inn

A pub can be a magical place. In his 1968 book, ‘Journey Through Britain,’ John Hillaby said, “Few things are more pleasant than a village graced with a good church, a good priest and a good pub” and I think he got it just about right. Buckland Monachorum is a charming unspoilt village within the Dartmoor National Park surrounded by glorious countryside. Towering over the village is the beautiful church of St.Andrews and nestling snugly up against it is The Drake Manor Inn.

Moor the Merrier - The Rugglestone Inn possibly the top country pub in the UK

The Rugglestone Inn is firmly on the tourist map, nestling as it does, close to Widecombe on the Moor. The town is famed for its Fair …..and folk song, ‘Widecombe Fair’ which contains the chorus, ‘Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all…..’ which is often sung in the pub, apparently.

The Rugglestone Inn is surrounded by the Dartmoor National Park and with its 368 square miles area of moorland; it acts as a magnet for walkers, bikers and all other types of recreation seekers, many of whom seek refreshment in the pub.

Moor the Merrier - The Royal Oak Meavy a true traditional Dartmoor Inn

Now that the winter is well and truly upon us, there’s nowhere better to take refuge than in one of Dartmoor’s many cosy pubs whose charm and setting have remained constant for hundreds of years.

In the centre of Meavy village lies The Royal Oak Inn, a lovely traditional village pub which serves local food and a warm welcome.



Moor the Merrier - In search of the spirit of Christmas at The Bearslake Inn

In countries where Christmas is celebrated, the population probably divides fairly neatly into those who love Christmas and revel in every aspect of the festive season, and those who actively dislike it. I suspect there aren’t many who can take it or leave it. 

For some, the festive season cannot start until they catch the mood, like plugging in to the energy. It might be the smell of wood smoke or hearing a carol, or perhaps seeing the John Lewis or Coca Cola Truck commercials on television.

But at the back end of November on a cold Wednesday evening, we set out to visit another hostelry on the Dartmoor Real Ale Trail and we caught the Spirit of Christmas.

Moor the Merrier - Four latter day Pilgrims visit Dartmoor Brewery

Our two Real Ale bloggers, Rick and Julian thought their Christmas had come early when the MD of Dartmoor Brewery, Richard Smith kindly invited them to a private exclusive tour of the Brewery with Head Brewer, Ian Cobham. Read about the adventure here

Moor the Merrier – A pint on a summers evening at the Elephants Nest.

Well I know this is already a little dated but this is the first beer blog in our Moor the Merrier series of blogs and it was written on the evening when the Dartmoor Real Ale Trail was conceived, so hence why it has not been published yet, we were keeping it under wraps!  I now proudly pass you over to Mr Rick O’Shay for him to regal his findings on our first beer blog ….

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