Darts Farm Devon
From its origins as a pick-your-own farm in the 1950s, Darts Farm in Devon has been on an incredible journey. It’s a great place to both eat and shop but also offers you the chance to get closer to nature through bird-watching, fishing, exploring the farm on foot or cycling the nearby Exe trail.
Still a working farm, the emphasis here is firmly on food that is locally grown, reared, baked or caught. Darts Farm is a celebration of both West Country produce and the surrounding countryside. There’s plenty for Foodie Travellers to eat, drink and do.The Foodie Travel Guide
- Shop for West Country produce
- Do the farm walk
- Cycle the Exe Valley trail
- Eat fish & chips at The Fish Shed
Shop at One of the UK’s Best Farm Shops
Trust us, you’ll need a trolley when you’re shopping here. The shop is the size of a supermarket and has its own on-site master butcher, fishmonger, baker, deli and cider maker. Its beauty lies in the fact that its produce is home-grown and comes directly from the farm next door. The shop stocks excellent local suppliers too such as Burts Crisps, Good Game, Godminster cheese, Georgie Porgie’s Puddings and soft drinks from Heron Valley and Luscombe.
Buy Wine From Devon Vineyards
For wine-lovers, take your pick from local vineyards including Pebblebed, Old Walls, Kenton, the Sharpham Estate and its nearby Cornish neighbours, Camel Valley. The choice is truly excellent. There are even bottles of Pol Roger which visitors to Chartwell will know was Winston Churchill’s favourite Champagne.
Have Lunch in the Restaurant
The restaurant at Darts Farm buzzes with the chatter of families and at half term, expect there to be a long queue of people waiting to be seated. It’s clearly popular. The chefs use the farm and foodhall produce as their daily inspiration. Alternatively, if it’s a warm day, sit outside and enjoy fish and chips at the excellent Fish Shed.
Hire a Pashley Bike
Cycle the Exe Valley Trail from here, world famous for its birds, beautiful scenery and mussel beds. Hire a traditional Pashley bike and fill the wicker basket with a baguette, cheese from the deli counter and lashings of Fentimans’ ginger beer. The recommended family trail takes 3-4 hours (including time for lunch).
Meet the Farm Animals
Walk around the farm and meet the resident pigs and the Alpacas. A popular attraction during the summer months is the ‘Maize Maze’, a maze that’s constructed out of the maize crop grown in one of the fields.
Spot local native species such as oystercatchers, little egrets and buzzards in the spring, and in the autumn, hobbies, green sandpipers and finches. There’s a free guided RSPB walk every week and binoculars are available for hire.
Bring your fishing rod and spend a peaceful day fishing at the farm ponds. They offer 24 hour rod fishing of carp, roach and bream.
- Keep an eye out for special events such as family camp and food safari visits to local producers
- The Devon Wine School offers tutored Discover Wine Tasting evenings
For a delicious brunch, add a spoonful of crème fraîche to scrambled eggs and serve with smoked salmon and a bottle of Luscombe’s St. Clements drink. It’s made using oranges and lemons from the volcanic soils of Sicily to which they add orange blossom water.
WHERE TO STAY IN DEVON
Salcombe Harbour Hotel
On the waterfront, Salcombe Harbour Hotel offers a bistro style restaurant and spa.
Rooms from £104 a night.
This elegantly restored Victorian country house is the new venture of chef, Michael Caines.
Rooms from £125 a night.
Doggie Heaven! There’s a Dog Café for well-behaved dogs like me, two shady parking spaces to keep me cool on a hot day and a great farm walk.