Widecombe

Widecombe-in-the-Moor is a delightful 'picture postcard' village set within the heart of the Dartmoor National Park. Apparently the name is derived from 'Withy-combe' which means Willow Valley.

Probably Widecombe is most famous for its Fair and song - the Widecombe Fair folk song, Widecombe Fair is held annually in September and the folk song 'Widecombe Fair' is all about some local characters and what became of them once they had visited the fair! The words to the song are copied further down this page....

Things to do in Widecombe

Widecombe makes a great base for a day out on Dartmoor.  You can park your car in the public car park during the winter months for FREE! From Widecombe you can head out on foot, or bicycle and explore the village and moorland with numerous circular walks, short and not so short! We often see people first thing in the morning; they call in for a proper Dartmoor Brunch before heading out onto the moor, and generally we see them later in the day for lunch or more often than not a large piece of cake or a Devonshire Cream Tea. Widecombe seems to be a stop off point for cyclists and cycle clubs, a great place for refreshment and refueling after the somewhat numerous steep hills.

In the village itself - other than eating - there is much to keep you occupied and interested.  A visit to the church is a must; it is steeped in history and for centuries has been the centre of the parish. Alongside the church is The Church House, now National Trust, again full of history and well worth a visit. Whilst walking in the village and partcularly on the village green you will more likely than not see farm animals roaming freely, sheep, cattle and the famous Dartmoor Ponies.

Devon Folk Song - Famous the world over!

Tom Pearce, Tom Pearce, lend me your grey mare.
All along, down along, out along lea.
For I want for to go to Widecombe Fair,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan'l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

And when shall I see again my grey mare?
All along, down along, out along lea.
By Friday soon, or Saturday noon,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan'l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

So they harnessed and bridled the old grey mare.
All along, down along, out along lea.
And off they drove to Widecombe fair,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan'l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

Then Friday came, and Saturday noon.
All along, down along, out along lea.
But Tom Pearce's old mare hath not trotted home,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan'l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

So Tom Pearce he got up to the top o' the hill.
All along, down along, out along lea.
And he seed his old mare down a-making her will,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan'l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

So Tom Pearce's old mare, her took sick and died.
All along, down along, out along lea.
And Tom he sat down on a stone, and he cried
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan'l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

But this isn't the end o' this shocking affair.
All along, down along, out along lea.
Nor, though they be dead, of the horrid career
Of Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan'l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

When the wind whistles cold on the moor of the night.
All along, down along, out along lea.
Tom Pearce's old mare doth appear ghastly white,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan'l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

And all the long night be heard skirling and groans.
All along, down along, out along lea.
From Tom Pearce's old mare in her rattling bones,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan'l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.