Local Interests and Walks

 

The western parts of our country are richer in legend than any other part. Perhaps this is because of the Celtic love of poetry and symbolism inherent in the blood of the people of the West; perhaps because of inspiration drawn from the wild hills and bleak moors of the lands in which they live; perhaps because life is, and always was, quieter there, and people have more time to remember the tales of other days than in busier, more prosaic, districts

Buckfastleigh and Ashburton are situated approximately halfway between Exeter & Plymouth with Torbay 12 miles to the east, we are on the border of Teignbridge and South Hams. We have a range of attractions such as Butterflies, Otters, River Dart, Dartmoor, Steam Trains, Buckfast Abbey and Good Food. We also have the bones in our Holy Trinity Churchyard of the Cabell family reputed to be from Arthur Conan Doyle's "Hound of the Baskervilles" one of the stories of Sherlock Holmes. South Dartmoor is full of mystery and suspicion

The walking on Dartmoor is excellent with different tastes and experiences catered for. For the less demanding walker there are car parks from which brief, pleasant excursions can be made. For the more hardened explorer many miles over hard ground can be tramped in challenging conditions. On a sunny summer's day, the going can be easy with superb views to be had. In winter, the moor is often unforgiving and harsh and just a little bit dangerous. Map and compass skills are important as weather conditions can quickly change and thick mists may envelop the isolated walker. Getting back safely can then become a very real challenge.
Drive the short distances involved to attempt the many charted walks that are set out in books such as Walk Dartmoor by Kate & Alan Hobbs or web sites such as: Dartmoor walks & Tour by Tor.


Buckfast Abbey
A short walk takes you to Buckfast Abbey, a living Benedictine Monastery, on the banks of the River Dart, with a magnificent Abbey Church, tranquil gardens and three unusual shops with produce from Buckfast and other European Abbeys. They are famous for honey and also for Buckfast Tonic Wine. Open daily, free admission.

Castle Drogo
Drewsteignton, Near Exeter.
Built between 1910 and 1930, this was commissioned by tea baron Julius Drewe and is reputedly one of the most remarkable works of Sir Edwin Lutyens. It combines the grandeur of a medieval castle with 20th century comforts. Standing at more than 900 feet overlooking the wooded gorge of the river Teign, it has stunning views over Dartmoor and delightful walks. Adjacent to the chapel is a display relating to the planning and building of this, the last Castle to be built in England. There are preliminary designs and interesting correspondence between owner and architect.
Tel : (01647) 433306


Dartmouth
The ancient town and deepwater port of Dartmouth is set in a picture book location, on the picturesque River Dart, with steep wooded hillsides on either side.
Dartmouth's main Embankment runs along the length of the town, this provides visitors with a pleasant and relaxing promenade to stroll down - admiring the sights of the busy estuary or to select from the many boat trips that depart from the waters edge. A regular winner of the Britain in Bloom competition it boasts many unusual and exotic blooms in its gardens.
Two impressive Castles have maintained a guard at the mouth of the River Dart for centuries, Dartmouth Castle and Kingswear Castle on the opposite bank of the river.

Powderham Castle
Kenton, Exeter
This is the historic family home of the Earl of Devon, and is signposted off the A379 at Kenton. The Castle and grounds are open every day except Saturday from April until end of October but ring to check as times can vary and occasionally they have private events on.
Tel : (01626) 890243


The Eden Project
St Austell, Cornwall
The Eden Project is now one of the top ten visitor attractions in the country. It has the largest greenhouses or "geodesic structures" in the world and is set in a 35-acre crater overlooking St Austell Bay. It is a gigantic global garden housing a fascinating array of plants from all over the world. Three of the world’s climatic zones have been chosen – the Humid Tropics Biome contains plants from the rainforest and Oceania whilst the warm Temperate Biome contains plants from the Mediterranean, South Africa and California.
Tel : (01726) 222900


Exeter
Exeter is a lovely old city, certainly worth a visit. It has been a Cathedral town since 1050, and the present Cathedral, built in the 14th century, is one of the greatest Medieval cathedrals in England. It is the only cathedral in England to have twin Norman towers and has the longest unbroken vaulted roof of any in the country. The buildings around this area are beautiful - extremely old.
Exeter is good for shopping with a large range of shops.


Plymouth
The waterfront city that shaped the lives of Drake, the Pilgrim Fathers, Darwin, Cook and many more who set sail from her harbour. You can visit spectacular Plymouth Hoe, where Drake played his famous game of bowls. It is a naval city and you can take boat trips to view the Naval Dockyards complete with frigates and submarines.
There is the Barbican – Plymouth’s medieval heart of the city, with narrow streets that hold an array of individual and unique shops as well as many galleries. The city centre is modern and pedestrianised with a large range of shops.
Approximately 24 miles away straight down the A38 towards Cornwall.


Torquay
Approximately 12 miles
This busy seaside resort is centre point of "The English Riviera " and can provide most of the activities sought in a lively holiday, such as waterskiing, parascending, windsurfing, diving, sailing, fishing trips and excursions. There are many shops, pubs, restaurants, theatres and cinemas

Beaches
Blackpool Sands. Signposted from Dartmouth. Approx 30-35 minutes.
Bantham – Kingsbridge area. Approx 30-35 minutes.
Bigbury – Kingsbridge area. Approx 30 minutes.
Slapton Sands. Approx 30-35 minutes.
Shaldon – (called The Ness) Approx 25 minutes. and many others