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Okehampton and Around

meldon ViaductFind out more about things to do around Okehampton and further afield on Dartmoor. You can walk straight onto Dartmoor to Yes Tor, the highest point in Southern England.

Visit picture postcard villages with thatched cottages, ancient standing stones, rugged coastlines with surf beaches. Being at the heart of the West Country makes the hostel an ideal base to explore the countryside, Dartmoor National Park and the stunning coasts.

Things to do in and around Okehampton

Okehampton Museum is housed in a 19th Century Mill in the centre of town. This lively museum tells the story of how people have lived,worked and played on and around Dartmoor through the centuries. With interactive exhibits and models visits can be organised for groups during the evening.

Okehampton Castle A medieval castle first mentioned in the Doomsday Book. Just on edge of Town set in the Deer Park, this site is administered by English Heritage and has a fine variety of ghostly stories.

Dartmoor Railway Just across the Platform,Dartmoor Railway runs between Sampford Courtney and Meldon Viaduct. At the Viaduct there is a small display about the Railway with pictures of the quarry in the past. A small buffet carriage will reopen in May 2010 providing teas and coffees overlooking the viaduct near Meldon Quarry.

Dartmoor National Park On the northern moors you find wild and beautiful country, open moorland with massive granite outcrops, tumbling rivers in dramatic valleys and picturesque ancient woodlands. The high moor is the most challenging in terms of terrain and navigation skills, especially when the mists come down. In contrast the outer areas of the moor have tors and ancient monuments including stone circles, stone rows and bronze age hut circles. Two suggested walks from the Hostel:

Belstone Walk: This walk takes you past the healing stone, where it is said, that you should lie on the stone and think of the part of your body which needs repair. Another stone nearby is calling the Rheumatism stone.

Meldon Viaduct to Blackator Copse walk takes you from the bluebell woods out to a remote ancient oak woodland, one of few surviving woodland areas in central Dartmoor. This site is a nature reserve and an SSSI containing many rare plants including mosses and lichens. We recommend visiting these sites in May when the flowers are at their best.

To the west of Okehampton

Finch Foundry at Sticklepath is about 10 minutes drive from Okehampton. This is an old foundry using water power mainly making agricultural tools. On certain days the process of making a shovel can be watched as the foundry is still operational and was working commercially until the 1960s. In the gardens is a small tea shop.

Castle Drogo (National Trust)

This 1920s castle is administered by the National Trust. It is 20 minutes drive from Okehampton. There are many different family days at Castle Drogo. The castle tour is extensive and takes about an hour. Our memories were the wonderful plumbing systems with some very interesting showers. Throughout the summer there is a regular programme of events, including 1920s fancy dress, vintage car days, gardens events and much more.

There are good walks from the Castle down through the woods along the River Teign, with possibly stopping places in tearooms at Fingle Bridge.

Contact the local National Trust office for information on events at Castle Drogo (tel 01647 433306).

Lydford Gorge (National Trust)

This famous gorge is 1½ miles long and can be viewed from a circular walk, which starts high above the river and passes through attractive oak woods before dropping down to the dramatic 30m-high White Lady waterfall. The path then proceeds along an enchanting riverside walk through the steeply-sided ravine, scooped out by the River Lyd as it plunges into a series of whirlpools, including the thrilling Devil's Cauldron.

The valley is administered by the National Trust. It is about 20 minutes drive from Okehampton or alternatively you can cycle along the Sustrans Trail. There are guided walks on some days, looking at the wildlife in the valley. Contact the local National Trust office for information on events at Lydford Gorge.

For information on events and guided walk tel 01822 820320. Booking is essential for some events and tearooms are present.

Rosemoor The Royal Horticultural Society's gardens at Rosemoor (10 miles) are interesting as the garden was mainly established in the early 1990s. The range of gardens there are suitable for visits at all times of the year. The gardens cater for group education visits, when booked in advance, and an education officer can run workshops for children.

Eden Project The Eden project site is about 1 hours drive along the A30 from Okehampton. It is an easy day visit and can be combined with an activity holiday. Tickets can be prebooked, and for large groups this is essential. Groups also have special education tours which relate to the National Curriculum.