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Five Things to do with Your Elderly Parents in Tavistock, Devon

Situated in West Devon, midway between the Dartmoor National Park and the Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Tavistock is the perfect destination for a short break or holiday. The birthplace of Sir Francis Drake, the town is the largest in West Devon and has strong historical links with the tin mining trade which used to be the principal source of income in the area.

Its central position in the south-western peninsula makes Tavistock the perfect destination for exploring Devon and Cornwall, with plenty of attractions that hold appeal for the older generation. Now that so many families are choosing live-in care at home options to ensure that their loved ones can remain safely in their own homes, it’s never been easier to arrange fun outings and short breaks.

Elderly care options such as these give the whole family greater freedom to explore new places, and whether your parents require companion care in the home, or perhaps dementia care, there are plenty of attractions to visit that now offer free admission to caregivers. Some places also offer wheelchair and mobility scooter hire which sometimes needs to be pre-booked quite a way in advance. Be sure to check before you set out.

There are numerous shops in Tavistock, including plenty of places to eat and drink, but the area is also packed with tourist attractions. Here are our suggestions for five fun and entertaining ways to spend some time with your parents in the local area.

Pannier Market

Open every day except Sunday and Monday, Tavistock Pannier Market has a long history dating back to 1105, when it was granted its Royal Charter. Mainly an indoor market, on sunny days the stalls spill over into the nearby streets, and although some traders operate five days a week, there is a general theme for each day. Saturdays feature local farm produce and local arts or Aladdin’s Cave collectables, Tuesdays are for antiques, Wednesdays and Thursdays are for crafts and Fridays are for the traditional Charter Market.

Launceston Steam Railway

Everyone loves a steam train, and at nearby Launceston, you can ride on a narrow-gauge railway for over two miles, to the nearby village of Newmills. At Launceston Station, there is a shop, café and museum, where you can view vintage motorcycles, cars and machines, along with a host of railway memorabilia. There is no café at Newmills, but there are walks nearby and picnic tables if you want to bring refreshments along. Your ticket is valid for use throughout the day, so you can travel as much as you wish on the trains when you visit. Check opening times and dates at http://www.launcestonsr.co.uk/plan-your-visit/opening-train-times/.

Buckfast Abbey

If you’re in search of serenity then a visit to nearby Buckfast Abbey, at Buckfastleigh, is a must. This working monastery is home to a community of self-sufficient Benedictine monks, and visitors are welcome to attend the daily services if they so choose. Entrance to the Abbey is free, including the magnificent gardens that surround the buildings. You can explore the Physic Garden, the Sensory Garden and the Lavender Garden, all via level and accessible pathways. Visit the on-site bookshop and then head for the Monastic Shop, which offers goods handmade by monks and nuns from across Europe. You can then rest and relax in the Grange Restaurant, over a selection of hot and cold drinks, snacks and hot meals.

Mikis’ care story

In this short video, Nick and Maro explain their reasons for choosing Elder live-in care. They discuss how live-in care has allowed Nick’s father Mikis to stay independent in his own home while making a new friend at the same time.

National Marine Aquarium

Head south to Plymouth for a trip to the underwater world of the National Marine Aquarium. As a conservation charity, the Aquarium plays an important part in ensuring the survival of many marine species and offers visitors a unique glimpse into the lives of a wide range of sea creatures. The Eddystone Reef Tank boasts the largest viewing panel in the UK, and you can also explore the marine animals in the Atlantic Ocean Tank, and the Great Barrier Reef Tank. The entire venue is accessible to wheelchairs, with a few available for use by visitors, and carers are admitted free of charge.

Devon Guild of Craftsmen

Head east to Bovey Tracey on the other side of Dartmoor to visit the Devon Guild of Craftsmen. The exhibition centre is full of artwork and local crafts - watch craftsmen and women at work, learn about their work, and even have a go yourself. Lifts and ramps throughout make the centre accessible for everyone, and there is an on-site café offering a selection of snacks and meals. Don’t forget to visit the shop, where you can purchase homewares and gifts.

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