Dream Vacation in England: Great Places to Stay—Ring of Bells


North Bovey is a picture postcard village at the edge of Dartmoor, with thatched houses and a village green which has been planted with a new tree to mark every major royal celebration since the days of Queen Victoria. A stone at the base of each tree identifies the event it commemorates. 


The village church, St. John the Baptist, is over 800 years old, and is the reason the Ring of Bells exists. The Inn was built to house the stone masons who came to construct the

church sometime in the late 13th century, presumably before 1279, when the name of the church’s first Rector was recorded.

The Ring Of Bells is in the center of the village. It has a pub, of course, and a restaurant, with low ceilings and lower beams, which are padded at the places people over six feet tall would hit their heads. 


The low-beamed restaurant

The Ring of Bells has been sold since I last stayed there and some renovation has taken place. It looks like the stairs up to the room we stayed in, which were so steep they were closer to a ladder, have been replaced by a spiral staircase. I’ll miss those stairs— I used both hands and feet to climb them—and kept looking for excuses to go back to my room so I could scramble up and down once more, but they sure limited the number of people who could stay in those rooms. You can see the remodeled rooms, with their deep window seats showing the thickness of the walls, on their website: http://www.ringofbells.net/

Part of the adventure of visiting North Bovey is driving there for a fair amount of the road is a single lane. If you meet a car coming toward you, one of you backs up to the nearest place to pull over.



This tree was planted to celebrate the Coronation of Edward VII on August 9, 1902.

The Ring of Bells Inn

North Bovey, Devon

This inn’s website: www.ringofbells.net/

Looking from the church yard to the village

The hedgerows were so thick with blackberry bushes in September, their branches scraped both sides of the car.

Even the bridges are single lane.


                    ©2009 JoAnne Stewart Wetzel                                                                                               



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