Things to do at Parke
This historic estate on the edge of Dartmoor offers a wide choice of things to do and surroundings to enjoy, from the walled garden and mixed orchard to wildlife spotting on the river. Here are a few of the highlights.
The orchard surrounds the walled garden on three sides and covers about two acres. According to the tithe map, an orchard has been here since at least 1841 and the apples were used for cider making.
In 1999 the orchard was planted up with 150 apple trees – mainly old apple varieties and a few damson trees. These live alongside the six remaining apple and pear trees from the original orchard, so there is now a mixed orchard.
In 2021 the apples were picked by local community groups, sharing the harvest through Apple Days in the surrounding towns and villages and with the wider community.
The orchard is grazed at various times of the year by native breeds.
The unusually-shaped walled garden is looked after by staff and volunteers in partnership with Bovey Community Gardeners. It now produces a wide range of fruit and vegetables.
The lower two plots have been given over to the community gardeners while National Trust volunteers look after the two upper plots, which contain the vines and fruit trees, the herbaceous border and the walled fruit.
You can visit the garden most days between 10.30am and 2.30pm. Walk down the hill from the car park past the orchard; the garden is through a gate to your left.
The River Bovey starts its journey on the moor above North Bovey, eight miles north-west of Parke. It continues through Parke, into Bovey Tracey, and eventually joins the River Teign.
For many centuries it has been used in industry as an important source of water to power Bovey Tracey's historic mills.
Cycle along the old railway track that forms part of the Wray Valley Trail
Enjoy walking the maze of paths through the woodland and parkland
Have a run – you could join Parkrun on Saturday mornings
Tick off all the fun and wild '50 things to do before you're 11¾'
Keep your eyes peeled and you might see a kingfisher or dipper on the river
Also at Parke
Home Farm Cafe
An independent café and restaurant located within a pretty courtyard at the heart of Parke, offering delicious local seasonal food.
Dartmoor National Park Authority
Parke House is leased to the DNPA as their headquarters so is not open to visitors, but feel free to stroll through the gardens at the front of the house. The DNPA looks after Dartmoor's natural environment, wildlife and heritage.
Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust
The DPHT was set up following concerns about the long-term survival of the Dartmoor pony and they have an education centre which is based at Parke.
One of the National Trust holiday cottages, The Lodge makes a great base for exploring Dartmoor and is just a short walk from nearby Bovey Tracey.
Find out what outdoor activities you can enjoy on your visit to Parke. Bring your bike, go for a run or walk or enjoy an orienteering adventure.
The River Bovey runs through Parke and was an important source of water to power Bovey Tracey's historic mills sited downstream. Find out more about its history.
Discover the important work of the ranger and garden teams at Parke, from conservation grazing and woodland management, to the productive crop and cutting garden.
Plan a visit to one of the special countryside places in our care and discover the benefits of being in the great outdoors. Pack your walking boots and get ready to explore woodlands, valleys and rivers.
Explore some of the finest landscapes in our care on coastal paths, accessible trails, woodland walks and everything in between. Find the best places to walk near you.
There's a network of woodland paths and trails to await you in Devon from riverside walks to gentle hill climbs with far-reaching views. Keep the family interested this winter with a visit to Devon.