Buckfastleigh, Buckfast and Ashburton, South Devon

Buckfastleigh, Buckfast and Ashburton, South Devon
  • Gateway towns to the eastern section of Dartmoor and the high moor beyond
  • Lots of family visitor attractions
  • Amazing woodland, valley, gorge and moorland walks
  • One of the best spots for wild swimming in South Devon
  • Local area known for some of the best views in the county
  • Main photo: the amazing Buckfast Abbey mural in the abbey's Grange Restaurant. Painted by Mother Joanna Jamieson at the age of 79, the mural shows monks rebuilding the abbey church on its original foundation between 1907 and 1939


Why holiday or weekend break in Buckfastleigh, Buckfast and Ashburton?

To help you choose Buckfastleigh, Buckfast and Ashburton, we've listed some of the local attractions below.


Buckfast Abbey

Buckfast Abbey is a working abbey on the border of Dartmoor National Park. At the heart of Buckfast Abbey is the abbey church. Remarkably, it took no more than six men thirty years to construct the building. The abbey is famous for its tonic wine and honey and there are a number of shops on site from which you can buy local produce. Explore the abbey gardens and grab something to eat and drink in the abbey's Grange Restaurant. There's a cool seating area with top views of the gardens and abbey church.


South Devon Railway

South Devon Railway. Popular South Devon family visitor attraction running between Buckfastleigh and Totnes. Note that Dartmoor Otters and Buckfast Butterflies is located at Buckfastleigh station and Totnes Rare Breeds Farm is situated at the Totnes end of the railway. Visit all three attractions in a day.


Dartmoor Otters and Buckfast Butterflies

Dartmoor Otters and Buckfast Butterflies.  Great attraction split into two sections. The first is a large glasshouse dedicated to butterflies. The second is an outdoor area with enclosures and water tanks for the otters.


River Dart Country Park

River Dart Country Park. One of South Devon's and Dartmoor's best days out for kids. The country park is named after the River Dart that flows through its grounds.


Pennywell Farm

Pennywell Farm. Another top day out for families with young kids. Meet Pennywell's world famous miniature pigs.


Dartmoor walks

The River Dart rises in two places on Dartmoor's north moor. These two rivers flow to Dartmeet where they combine to cut through the sublime Dart Gorge. The walking here is amazing. We'd recommend walking to Bench Tor from the car parking areas by Venford Reservoir for immense views over the Dart Gorge and beyond.

In the local area, also walk in Hembury Woods (National Trust). The River Dart flows through the lower section of the woods on its way to River Dart Country Park. 

If Dartmoor walks are of interest, see our sister site 'Holiday in Dartmoor' for more ideas.


Dartmoor wild swimming

Spitchwick is the most popular place to wild swim in Dartmoor National Park. Gets seriously busy on sunny days and parking can be a problem so be aware.

Again, if Dartmoor wild swimming is of interest, see our sister site 'Holiday in Dartmoor' for more ideas.


Dartmoor beauty spots

The Ten Commandments Stones. A quirky Dartmoor attraction offering some of the finest views in South Devon, The Ten Commandments Stones are situated on Buckland Beacon on the edge of one of the most popular areas of moorland on Dartmoor.

Haytor Rocks and Widecombe-in-the-Moor are other Dartmoor beauty spots in that area.


Buckfastleigh, Buckfast and Ashburton food and drink

In addition to the Grange Restaurant and local produce sold in Buckfast Abbey, there are lots of superb pubs, cafes and restaurants in the Buckfastleigh, Buckfast and Ashburton area. Start in Ashburton.

The Tavistock Inn is great on Dartmoor.


Tortnes Rare Breeds Farm

Totnes Rare Breeds Farm. Excellent family visitor attraction on the outskirts of Totnes.

As mentioned above, combine with a trip to Dartmoor Otters and Buckfast Butterflies via the South Devon Railway.



Dartington sits on the edge of Totnes. If you like walking, we'd recommend the walk to Dartington from Totnes.

The Shops At Dartington is a superb place selling high quality local food, drink and goods.



If you're on holiday in Dartmoor or South Devon then a day trip to Totnes is a must. The views from Totnes Castle (English Heritage) are amazing.