Discover War Horse Valley

close up of a horse's eye. War Horse. Michael Morpurgo

Discover War Horse Valley

Michael Morpurgo (2003 Children’s laureate) is our local celebrity! Everyone has heard of War Horse and many people have read the book, watched it in the cinema or been to see the award winning play with the iconic War Horse puppet. During your visit to Melrose Cottage, why not visit War Horse Valley Farm Country Park. It is only a short 20 minute drive from us.  There is so much to do there: visit the museum, see the animals and take a delicious Devonshire cream tea. 

War Horse Valley Museum

Why not take some time to explore in the museum in War Horse Valley Country Farm Park? There are ten diverse exhibitions to look around, with something for everyone.

  • World War I, and the effect the war had on this part of Devon, including the valuable role of horses.
  • The history of the Jack Russell Terrier, first bred on this farm in the 1800s.
  • Michael Morporgo’s Farms for City Children and the work of this wonderful charity.
  • Michael Morpurgo’s books. Everyone has heard of War Horse, but there are over 120 stories to discover from this local master storyteller.
  • War Horse. We know that’s what you came for! Discover the book, the play and the Stephen Spielberg movie. You can even see the original life sized puppet of the young horse used in the National Theatre.
  • The history of the local parishes.
  • Farming methods used one hundred years ago. Find out about ploughing with horses, cutting the grass with a sythe and more!
  • Vintage farm machinery. If you have a tractor fan in the family like we do, this will be the first place you head to to check out the historical farm machinery including one of the oldest tractors in the country!
  • World War I style trench – there are a few surprises here for those brave enough to enter the trench!
World War I soldiers watch a horse sunk to his haunches in the mud

Warhorse Valley Farm and Tearoom

National Theatre with a picture of Michael Morpurgo's War Horse showing

Once you have checked out the museum, why not go and say hello to the farm animals at War Horse Valley Country Farm Park. There are horses, miniature ponies, sheep, alpacas, geese, chickens, pygmy goats and many more.

Get your wellies on for the Warhorse Valley Country Farm Trail! You can start at the farm entrance and follow this on a circular 1/2 mile walk. The walk gives you spectacular views across Iddesleigh Village. You will also walk along the “Giant’s Staircase”! Given Michael Morpurgo’s literary roots, it is only natural that the Farm Trail involves collecting letters to form a place or name. 

Finally, why not treat yourself to a delicious traditional Devonshire cream tea at the on-site tearoom. The Tearoom is in a conservatory overlooking the stunning War Horse Valley. A perfect way to end the day!

Visit the Duke of York Pub, Iddesleigh (and perhaps bump into Michael Morpurgo!)

The Duke of York pub is the perfect way to end the trip. This is a beautiful traditional pub, that is like stepping back in time. It is wonderfully original and unspoiled. 

It is a fantastic place to stop for a spot of lunch or dinner, or just a local ale. Michael Morpurgo  who wrote War Horse, lives nearby in Iddesleigh, and is known to still drink here. So you may have the chance to have your copy of War Horse signed!

Allegedly, Michael Morporgo first learned the story of the War Horse in the Duke of York pub when he heard it first hand from one of the locals who the horse belonged to.