Our Summer UK Road Trip & The Moor Otters Trail

This summer I’m focusing our family travel experiences very much on the UK.  It’s a perfect time of year to enjoy what our country has to offer in terms of family holidays and I really want my children to understand that the country where they live is just as beautiful as destinations abroad.

Travelling in your own country is a great way to enjoy and celebrate your own culture and heritage and what’s even better is it’s really accessible for families.  As soon as the summer holidays begin, the car will be packed and we will be hitting the road to explore what the south of England has to offer families visiting the area.

Bedford Hotel Tavistock Garden

Camp Bestival

I’m sure that its hit everyone’s radar that festival season is very much under way in the UK, and our first stop is going to be Camp Bestival in Dorset.  It’s our first year at Camp Bestival and we are so excited.  There will be so much for the kids to do, which I talked about here, but there’s also some must see acts on the line up for Daddy and I.  There’s a vast list of live acts, and the top of my list to see are Madness, Mark Ronson, All Saints, Kate Nash and The Blockheads.  I will definitely be trying to relive my youth a little at the festival.

Moor Otters Trail

After a packed weekend of summer fun, we’ll be driving down to Dartmoor for a relaxing break exploring the Moor Otters Trail.  It’s a beautiful drive from Lulworth Estate, through to Exeter and towards the stunning backdrop of Dartmoor National Park.

On the way, we’ll be changing the pace of our summer break with a visit to Buckfast Butterflies and Dartmoor Otter Sanctuary.  It’s a great place to introduce the kids to the otters and learn more about this indigenous local species and why it’s so important to UK wildlife.

After a busy day travelling and getting to know the local otters, we will be ready for the warm welcome that awaits us at The Bedford Hotel in Tavistock and our first introduction to the Moor Otter’s Trail.  Our mission during our stay in Dartmoor is to spot as many otters on the Moor Otter’s Trail as possible and we’ve got this otter guide to help us out.

Our Summer UK Road Trip And The Moor Otters Trail | Moor Otters Trail Dartmoor | UK summer road trip ideas | Things to do in Dartmoor | Family Holiday Dartmoor | Road Trip to Bath | south of England road trip

The Moor Otters Trail is a public arts trail covering Dartmoor, gateway towns and surprise locations around the area.  One hundred local and national artists have contributed some very unique otters to this wonderful local project. They are celebrating the beautiful landscape and increasing numbers of otters in the area, who, a few years back weren’t doing quite so well.

The Moor Otters Trail is a fun and adventurous way to inspire children to think about the importance of protecting our local wildlife.  We very much enjoy puzzles and quizzes, and the Moor Otters Trail will be a lot of fun and a great platform for discussing why nature is so important to us.  It’s going to support my daughter’s school projects so well as they have been watching frog spawn grow and hatching chicks this term as well as going out pond dipping with the National Trust.

The Bedford Hotel & Two Bridges Hotel

Bedford Hotel Tavistock Devon

Our stay at The Bedford Hotel will also give us the opportunity to explore the local town of Tavistock, visit the Lydford Gorge and even Buckland Abbey in our quest to find the Moor Otters.  Our final mission will be to become acquainted with the Bedford Hotel dinner menu, which sounds mother watering to say the least, with fine offerings such as smoked haddock scotch egg and Dartmoor beef and Jail Ale pie.  I have to say I’m looking forward to it already.

Two Bridges Hotel Dartmoor

Our next stop will be the Two Bridges Hotel in the heart of Dartmoor.  It will be so relaxing to be surrounded by the natural beauty of Dartmoor National Park which has got to lend itself very well to a family walk  or two hasn’t it?  The banks of the West Dart River are the perfect setting for this family and pet friendly hotel, and I suspect it’s one that we won’t want to leave.

Moorland Garden Hotel

We have heard a rumour that there will be a Harry Potter otter staying at the Moorland Garden Hotel, so we have included a stay at this hotel on our UK family road trip.  We’ll be enjoying 2 nights at this hotel which is situated on the edge of Dartmoor National Park.  There will be plenty of opportunities to go out otter hunting while we are there as well as stay in and enjoy the beautiful gardens and stunning views of the local area.

Moorland Garden Hotel view

I’ll also be very surprised if we don’t have one of their famous afternoon teas during our stay.  I think it looks absolutely divine and it would be rude not to wouldn’t it?

It will be hard to tear ourselves away from Dartmoor, but at some point we will have to leave the Moor Otters behind and start heading back home.  The route lends itself very well to a stop in the spa town of Bath.  I’ve wanted to visit this town for many years, but haven’t quite made it.  It would be foolish not to visit Bath on our road trip to explore it’s stunning architecture and Roman history so I suspect we will be spending a few days there too.

Are you going on holiday in the UK this summer?  Will you be visiting the Moor Otters Trail?

This post discusses press trips to hotels in Dartmoor and Camp Bestival

Zena's Suitcase
Zena's Suitcase

Zena Goldman is a UK based travel, family & lifestyle blogger who left her 9-5 job behind in the not-for-profit sector to follow her creative dreams and enjoy a more flexible family life. She began writing Zena’s Suitcase in 2011 and shares the holidays and adventures she goes on with (and without) her 2 young daughters. She wishes her son would join them more often but he’s carving out his own dreams now and enjoying university life.

Since beginning Zena’s Suitcase she has worked with a number of brands and also has a regular monthly feature in the ASDA Good Living Magazine feature, ‘Ask The Expert’ where she shares helpful parenting tips. In 2018 she was also a finalist in the prestigious BIBs Awards for Social Media.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

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  1. Diane Wareing
    June 27, 2017 / 7:11 pm

    After a stroke a couple of years ago I’ve had no choice but to give up the long haul holidays but in one way it’s been great, because I had never been anywhere in the Uk. In the last couple of years we have been to some beautiful places and had a wonderful time learning about our own culture, traditions and history. I have loads more yet to explore and you have set me off wanting to go to Dartmore now. (Off to talk the other half into booking up ) haha

  2. Kayleigh Watkins
    June 28, 2017 / 8:21 am

    Sounds like a busy and fun summer, my mum absolutely loves otters so I’ll have to take her to the sanctuary it would be an ideal day out for her xxx

  3. MARGARET gallagher
    June 28, 2017 / 11:55 am

    Oh wow your adventures just amaze me
    Always fabulous fun
    Maybe I’ll follow your footsteps one day

  4. June 28, 2017 / 1:28 pm

    What a great road trip you have planned! We look forward to welcoming you to Devon, and to The Bedford Hotel and Two Bridges Hotel!

  5. paula cheadle
    June 29, 2017 / 4:10 am

    it looks like you went to see some nice places

  6. July 1, 2017 / 9:50 pm

    We absolutely love the south of England, its just beautiful. I bet you can’t wait for the summer holidays to start to get on the road and visit these wonderful places.

  7. Dean of Little Steps
    July 1, 2017 / 11:34 pm

    Wow, looks like you have a busy summer planned ahead of you. I do miss road trips. Our last one was two years ago. Must plan another one soon 🙂

  8. July 2, 2017 / 9:05 am

    Sounds like it will be a fab trip and definitely can’t go to that hotel without trying the afternoon tea x

  9. July 2, 2017 / 9:41 am

    I have not heard of the Moor Otter Trail but will have to pay a visit (I want to do the butterfly farm too). Can’t wait to see you at Camp B
    Kara recently posted…My Sunday Photo – 2nd July 2017My Profile

  10. July 2, 2017 / 8:42 pm

    My kids would love this place. Sounds fab. I am off on holiday this weekend. I can’t wait!

  11. Robert Price
    July 3, 2017 / 4:06 am

    There looks like there is so much to see and do

  12. July 4, 2017 / 10:28 pm

    Looks like you’re going to have a lot of fun! The Moor Otters Trail looks great, will have to check that one out.

  13. Helen J
    March 30, 2018 / 2:59 pm

    Sounds fantastic!

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