Towns & Villages
Towns & Villages
The town of Ashburton was a small river side place that started to develop in the 16th century. This town on the banks of River Ashburn is now attracting scores of tourists. Ashburton historically was the epicenter of wool and tin mining. It is the remains of this that people come to see today. You can just walk around the town or along the river. As the Saxons were originally settled here you will find lots of their art and culture, which can be worthy of note.
As mostly every town in Dartmoor has a story to tell so has Ashburton. This place has Cutty Dyer who is pivotal to all mythical haunting stories. If you are interested in Dartmoor Ponies, then this is a must come town. Apart from this they also have a museum to guide you through the journey of Ashburton. Ashburton is an impressive town that will surely etch itself into your memory.
Widecombe is esteemed as one of the tourist hot spots in recent times. The trademark attraction of this place is the annual fair that it holds. This fair began as a live stocks fair, a place for localities to show off and trade their domestic animals. Gradually with increasing popularity of the fair, authorities took interest. Today, Widecombe is still known for the fair. To enjoy the place to the optimum, you must take a stroll along the river bank and you will surely be mesmerized by the natural show of flowers.
The sight of this place is just picture perfect, flowers, small cottages, river, a small church, no wonder these are the kinds of places that inspire artists!!! Widecombe has interesting remnants of Iron Age and Bronze Age, you can find detailed information about them from the local tourist information centre. If you are planning to visit side of Dartmoor, then plan it around September, so as to be a part of the famous fair. Even if you can not make it that time, nonetheless widecombe has lot more to offer.
Okehampton is situated right in the heart of Devon and very correctly it has been often remarked as "the gate away to the wild North moor". This place has much to offer and so has a year round tourist flow. Usually tourists prefer to camp down at Okehampton and then roam around in nearby towns and villages. Okehampton is famous for three important attractions that every tourist must see: Museum of Dartmoor Life - though there are innumerable museums, one in every town and village to tell their own history, but the Museum of Dartmoor Life is the biggest and an all inclusive one.
This Museum traces the history of Dartmoor as a whole, its art, culture, traditions, society, trade and much more. Dartmoor Railway - a trip on this train will make you believe why it forms the main attraction. Dramatic change of scenery and the train whistling through the moorland seems like a scene from a fairy story. Okehampton Castle is an intriguing place. It has a repututation of been the most romantic castle. The largest castle remains to be found in all of Dartmoor. Once you step inside the castle you are transported to an all together different place. Go and enjoy the place that has such variety to offer.
Princetown has many interesting caps of repute to wear. Firstly Princetown is geographically the highest town not only in Dartmoor but in the United Kingdom itself. Wouldn't it be thrilling to climb to the highest point of Princetown and see the world under your nose! Secondly Princetown in the past had a notorious image as it's the home of Dartmoor Prison. This location was chosen because of its isolation. Now this is the very aspect that attracts hordes of tourist every year to Princetown.
It is a very relaxing place where you can be close to Nature, away from the commotion and stress of city life and has a therapeutic effect. Princetown has a strange isolation and a peculiar haunted ethos. So much so that it attracted author Conan Doyle to make this town the backdrop of his famous novel "Hounds of the Baskervilles". He has immortalized Princetown through his words. Princetown like other towns in Dartmoor has excellent walking routes full with bounties of Nature, Princetown has modern amenities to make for a comfortable stay.
The name Buckfastleigh is interesting enough to generate curiosity. Literal translation of "Buckfast" is bastion of buck and deer, & "leigh" meand pastures. Thus this place was a natural pastureland for deer's and is a town of historical significance because of wool manufacturing and other mills. It is a pretty old town having reminisces of medieval architecture, though only a few of them are left. The place has developed now with modern buildings and houses. Buckfastleigh is famous for the Holy Trinity Church. All believers of God will find solace here, most of it was burnt down in 1992, still the place has a charm and continues to be stronghold for believers.
If you have come to Dartmoor to enjoy walking and cycling then Buckfastleigh is the best place to put down your baggage. This can be your camping ground while you can take the Two Moors way or the Abbot's Way and enjoy the adventure. There is so much to do here, take a trip to Church, make a secret wish, go to the Abbey and you can have a chance to meet the Benedictine monks or justgo shopping, whatever you do, you surely will have lots of fun.
IvyBridge is unique, for it has a perfect blend of splendid natural ambience with vestiges of an industrial town. For centuries IvyBridge was a mill town. Situated on the banks of the river Erme this town has a simple and a rural feel to it. The place is just so comfortable and laid back that it allows you to relax and rejuvenate. The Erme River makes a natural landscape of the town and makes it even more scenic.
It is a great place for walkers and cyclists with the famous Two Moors Way. A piece of information for all walking enthusiasts in 2008 IvyBridge Walking Festival will begin on 25th of April and continue till 5th of May, so this would be a good time to visit. Here you will have good shopping opportunities and open cafes where you can enjoy the ambience of the place with a whiff of coffee.
Drewsteingnton is a small village that has a charm of olden times. This village is located towards the northern side of River Teign. Historically Drewsteignton was an agricultural village. The rural agricultural culture is in abundance here. Local people are very helpful, it will remind you of the good old days. As for the major tourist attractions of Drewsteignton, Castle Drogo is one of the most popular, Castle Drogo is just one and a half kilometers away from Drewsteingnton.
Castle Drogo has a haunting effect and an intriguing story. While you stay in Drewsteignton you should walk to the Fingle Bridge. This is a beautiful romantic spot that will surely inspire you to write down a few verses! For history buffs you can visit the Neolithic chamber and the Iron Age fort hill and charm yourself with a thought about the past.
Plymouth is a city that has bravely survived through the Luftwaffe attack by the Germans during the Second World War. Most of the place had to be reconstructed after the war and today it has emerged as a popular tourist destination with a perfect blend of historical attractions and modern day attractions.
There are great assortment of shops including the high end ones, making it great for the shoppers. A great symbol of art and culture is the Theatre Royal that can proudly claim to be the intellectual epicenter. For historical attractions you have the City Museum and the Art Gallery that showcases the historical journey of the place. The famous Crown hill Fort with excellent architectural structure and lot of stories to go with it, St. Andrews Church is also worth visiting.
Tavistock is a delightful place to be, mainly because it is Victorian. Somehow I feel that every Victorian place has a different charm. The Victorian era was itself a beautiful era of history and this place reminds you of that charm. Set amidst in magnificent natural settings, Tavistock is heaven on earth. A Parish church of 15th century makes great tourist spot.
Tavistock proudly claims historical affiliation of being a copper mining and tannery centre. There are some remains of a once beautiful Abbey built around 10th century by the Benedictine order of Monks. There is a beautiful picnic area at the Lop well Dam, here the River Tavy flows into the sea. This place has a quiet and soothing calmness.
Chaddlehanger and its out reach of Lower Chaddlehanger is a tiny hamlet near Tavistock which has the best of all worlds. It has views over the valley to Bodmin moor but is situated on the edge of Dartmoor being only a couple of miles from the popular market town of Tavistock. Read more about Chaddlehanger
This is a small, enchanting village on a hilltop on the north east end of The Dartmoor National park. It is basically a village carved out from a forest area and this aspect of it increases it's appeal even more. One of the major tourist attractions of this place is the Mearson Manor. This Manor was constructed around 14th Century so is an interest to history lovers. This Manor was the brain child of then Earl of Devon, Philip Couteney.
Now this place has been renovated a little though keeping it's historical ethos intact,with it's gallery and tea room. So you can sit comfortably and enjoy the place and discuss it's architecture over a cup of tea. Cross Tree is yet another interesting place and it is believed that in earlier times, it was under this tree that young couples danced. Moretonhampstead is a charming village with lots of hot spots like the Almshouse, The Sentry, the Parish Church and of course splendid Natural beauty.
This small town was one of the earlier places on Dartmoor to have tourists visiting, perhaps because it was on the east side and therefore reachable without having travel in the through Dartmoors mists. Earlier still it was one of the Stannary towns. These towns are based on tin mining and had their own laws and courts!