This post was written in collaboration with the marketing team at the River Dart Country Park.
Devon and Cornwall have been prime hotspots for British holiday-makers for many years, with great weather and a huge variety of destinations to choose from.
As we become increasingly mindful of eco-travel, and especially with all the complications around Covid, this beautiful part of the country is a great choice for an accessible holiday destination that doesn’t require a flight.
Located within Dartmoor National Park in Devon is the River Dart Country Park. With 90 acres of parkland and playgrounds it has been a hub for family holidays since 1976. It’s a place Flight Free UK Director Anna Hughes visited as a child.
“I remember it being a place full of mystery and excitement,” she says. “Each day we would explore a new part of the park. I loved the forests and the river itself, running through the middle of the trees. We did a lot of paddling and swimming – simple activities, but just as exciting for a young child as the rope courses and zip wires."
"The place gave me a thirst for adventure. I have never forgotten the holidays we had there and it gave me an incredible fondness for the River Dart. This is the kind of experience that shapes our future travel: as an adult, I appreciate so much more the value of making discoveries in this country.”
"This is the kind of experience that shapes our future travel: as an adult, I appreciate the value of making discoveries in this country.”
The camping and caravan park is open from Easter to September, but the park is open for day visitors throughout the rest of the year. “In the height of the summer, with the tree-lined Dart running through the site, there’s a real sense you could be anywhere in the world,” says Gareth Hack, Public Relations Manager at River Dart Country Park. “There’s a feeling of good old-fashioned summer fun here; it’s really nice to see children enjoying themselves away from tablets and mobile phones.”
So, here are all the benefits of a family holiday without the hassle of a flight. But that is not the only thing that sets the park apart.
“We are proud to be leading the way with our environmentally friendly ethics and practices,” says Gareth. “We won Gold for the Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award and we were also given the Special Award for Energy Efficiency at the Visit Devon Tourism Awards 2019. Our eco-friendly measures include a hydrodynamic turbine which generates 80% of our power needs, solar PV, a biomass boiler, electric buggies for use on-site, and a zero waste to landfill policy.”
“We’re backing the Flight Free campaign because we are well aware of the negative impact that the tourism industry can have. We often forget just how lucky we are to have places like this so close to home. There is so much to enjoy at the River Dart Country Park and the location is spectacular.”
That’s what makes holidaying at home such a great prospect: the chance to find those treasures that lie under our noses, and have fun and create memories without the need to spend hours at the airport. And, as we can attest, once you’ve visited you’re unlikely to ever forget it.
Find out more about the River Dart Country Park. The park is accessible by road, and the nearest train station is Newton Abbott, a 35 minute bus ride away.