“ I have never before, in my long and eclectic career, been gifted with such an abundance of natural beauty as I experienced filming War Horse on Dartmoor.” Steven Spielberg.

River Dart Country Park – Your Holiday Destination in 2021?

Devon and Cornwall have been prime hotspots for British staycations for many years, and this year even more so. The South West region in general has been a focal point for holidaymakers looking to relax, explore and experience what homegrown holiday destinations have to offer. Aside from the government’s current position on foreign travel, a huge advantage to choosing Devon and Cornwall is that emissions are dramatically lowered immediately, due to lack of flying. As we are all becoming increasingly mindful of eco holidays, this beautiful part of the country is a great choice in 2021 and in the years to come.

What makes holidaying at home such a great prospect? The options? The possibilities? The chance to visit somewhere previously overlooked? The most exciting consideration for many, is the opportunity to have fun and create wonderful memories without the need to spend hours at the airport. Now, you certainly don’t have to fly to have a great holiday and there will be many people lucky enough to experience this first-hand very soon.

Located within Dartmoor National Park in Devon, sits one of the most adored visitor attractions and campsites in the country. River Dart Country Park in Ashburton has been the hub for fun-filled family holidays since 1976, with day visitors and campers looking to enjoy outdoor adventure in over 90 acres of stunning parkland and playgrounds. A real bonus to this site, is their environmentally friendly approach to tourism. This, combined with the abundance of outdoor activities available, River Dart Country Park is a unique choice for holidaying in the UK.

During the height of summer and with large Adventure Playgrounds filled with activities, kids can be seen making a splash in the large Pirate Ship Lake. In the shaded woodland areas, there are competitive kids (and big kids) taking on Assault Courses, fun slides, Play Forts, Agility Trails and Bike Pump Tracks. There is a sense of good old-fashioned summer fun at the Park, and to see children enjoying themselves away from the distractions of tablets and mobile phones is always nice.

Visitors that relish a challenge can take on some Dare Devil activities. Perfect for those looking for some high-adrenaline experiences while holidaying. Activities include a Mega Zip Wire, High Ropes Course, Canoeing, Kayaking and more. These run during certain times of the year and are available to pre-book online at www.riverdart.co.uk

For all the high energy activities available at the Park, there are certainly moments of calm to be had too. The Park’s location is made for moments like this, with the charming tree-lined River Dart running through the site, there is a real sense that you could be anywhere in the world. The lushness of the unspoilt landscape is enough to entice any visitor back time and time again. From the moment you wake up and emerge from your tent in the morning, you are greeted by picturesque views of forest-filled hills for miles and there are secluded areas perfect for taking time out with a nice, chilled beverage. Bliss!

With the overwhelming natural surroundings, River Dart have actively taken steps to minimise their own environmental impact, and this is something they are immensely proud of. Recently awarded the Special Award for Energy Efficiency and Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award at the Visit Devon Tourism Awards, River Dart are leading the way. A Hydro dynamic screw installed in 2007 was the first of its kind in the UK. Powering the Park on average for 8-9 months of the year, it was a great starting point for introducing further sustainable practices throughout the business. With the addition of the Biomass Boiler and District Heating Scheme in 2010, Solar PV Scheme in 2011, and recycling and zero waste to landfill policy being utilised across the site, they certainly take it seriously. In more recent years, the business replaced standard LPG buggies used for travelling around the site with TE Gator Utility vehicles. The new machines have electric engines, zero emissions and a charger that automatically shuts off after reaching full charge. With these vehicles being used so often, River Dart felt it was vital to replace the petrol buggies with electric alternatives.

Holidaying at River Dart Country Park is a popular choice for all. There’s the option to enjoy a relaxing camping trip, embrace the outdoor life with some peace and tranquillity or there’s the wealth of activities available for the adrenaline junkies. Visitors not so fond of camping can stay in the onsite accommodation available at Holne Park House. A quaint onsite wedding and corporate venue giving guests a comfortable alternative to camping. Continuing the eco theme, Clean Conscience recycling scheme toiletries are available in the accommodation bathrooms and are all part of River Dart’s efforts to improve sustainability and remove plastic bottles. The scheme works with River Dart to ensure that partially used soaps and toiletries are recovered, re-purposed and redistributed for the benefit of those most in need of hygiene. River Dart Country Park’s attitude towards being an active environmentally conscious tourism business is fantastic to see in all areas.

Four decades on, River Dart is still helping families create fun-filled memories. Visitors return time and time again looking to enjoy a totally unique holiday in Devon. Whether that’s in search of reliving the magic they experienced there in years gone by, or perhaps simply looking to explore the wide-open spaces on offer. For many, it merely comes down taking time out to relax and unwind from day-to-day routines.

We often forget how lucky we are to have access to places like River Dart Country Park. We are frequently just a car journey away from some truly remarkable places. The fact of the matter is, there is so much to enjoy at River Dart and the location is spectacular. Camping holidays should be what we want to make of them, give us the options and let us decide how we spend our time. After all, time is precious and so are family memories. River Dart Country Park gives the visitor those choices and much more, that’s what makes it so uniquely special.

Visit www.riverdart.co.uk for more info.