For those looking for an easy getaway from Exeter to explore more of the Devon countryside, Okehampton is the perfect place. Right on the edge of Dartmoor, Okehampton is a classic old Devonshire market town. It is only half an hour away by car, or around 40 minutes on the train, making it the perfect place for a study-break day out.
No matter what your interests, Okehampton has plenty to offer. For those who love hiking, it is right on the edge of the beautiful Dartmoor National Park, providing the gateway for some walks with unforgettable views. There are many options to choose from including the Two Castles Trail, Tarka Trail, Granite Way and the West Devon Way. If you’re heading off the beaten path, it is recommended to grab a map before you go! Also, the area of Dartmoor that borders Okehampton is home to a shooting range used for military training so do check the schedule to see whether or not you can walk throughout the area before you travel.
A trip to Okehampton can suit any weather. On my most recent visit, Dartmoor greeted us with fog and drizzle, yet even on a gloomy, miserable day its looming hills appeared broodingly beautiful.
For those who prefer sitting down in a cosy café, Okehampton has plenty of tea rooms which provide the perfect excuse to enjoy a cream tea. Or, if you’re craving a historical day out, Okehampton is home to the ruins of a medieval castle which will be reopening to visitors in the Spring. There is also the Museum of Dartmoor Life which presents the history of Dartmoor from the prehistoric era to the 20th century, with student tickets costing only £3.
Okehampton also offers plenty of independent shops which are great for a bit of window-shopping. One of my favourites to have a mooch around is Moon and Moor, an art gallery and gift shop. However, other shops to note are Dogberry and Finch Books and the Harvest Workers’ Co-op, a farm shop stocked with locally grown organic produce. There are plenty of charity shops too, full of great items waiting to be found and rehomed.
Devon is full of beautiful towns and beaches however, most are only accessible by car, making Okehampton a wonderful exception. The Dartmoor Line, which opened this November, makes it easy to get the train. Trains run direct from Exeter St Davids to Okehampton around every two hours, with the journey taking roughly 40 minutes. A Day Return ticket costs only £8, or less with a railcard. Some of the trains call at Exeter Central too, and there are plans to run the service hourly in 2022.
Okehampton really does have something for everyone, and with such an easy way to get there, why not make Okehampton your next day trip out in Devon?
– Esther Humphries
Featured Image Source: Dartmoor // Esther Humphries