Bovey Tracey is a small market town, built of cob and granite and known as one of the gateways to Dartmoor. It is the ideal location for exploring the southern edge of the moor and is close to the famous Haytor, one of the high points of Dartmoor. At nearby Parke is the headquarters of the Dartmoor National Park Authority. This large house and estate was left to the National Trust in 1974 and is leased to the Park Authority.
A gateway, known as Cromwell’s Arch, lies a little off the main street. This is all that remains of a monastery which once stood on the site until it was demolished in 1822. It now serves as a reminder of Bovey Tracey’s connection with the Civil War. In January 1646, the town was the headquarters of Lord Wentworth. Cromwell's troops are said to have surprised Royalist officers who were playing cards in a house in East Street. The Royalists threw coins out of the windows, leaving the poorly paid Roundheads to fight over the money while they escaped by the back door. They still managed to lose the Battle of Bovey Heath the following day when Cromwell’s army overcame them. A section of Bovey Heath is a Scheduled Ancient Monument Site and important artefacts from the battle have been found there over the years. Bovey Heathfield is a haven for rare plants and wildlife owned and managed by Devon Wildlife Trust.potteries are believed to have played a significant part in the development of English industrial pottery. Ball clay and lignite, a sort of coal, were readily available close to the town so the industry expanded swiftly. At the height of their success, Bovey Tracey Potteries provided jobs for about 250 people. By the middle of the 20th century, the industry was in decline. Today the bottle kilns and examples of local pottery can be seen at the museum located at the House of Marbles, to the south of the town, where there is also a glass blowing centre and the largest collection of marbles in the world. Other potteries produced different types of products within the area. These included the Candy Art Pottery, Wemyss Ware and Plichta. Wemyss Ware is still manufactured locally.
In 1820 George Templar built an eight mile tramway to connect the granite quarries at Haytor and the Stover Canal at Teigngrace and thus to transport granite down to the River Teign and the coast. Templar Way Trail follows much of the original route of the tramway from the moor to the sea. The railway linking Newton Abbot to Bovey Tracey was built in 1866 and closed in 1959. The Grade II listed Railway Station building is home to the town’s Heritage Trust.