Hello and welcome back to all our lovely readers. We hope you are all well, we are now in December, doesn’t time fly? Have you started your Christmas shopping? Perhaps you are the type who is very organised and has it all sorted and just the wrapping left. If you are not quite all finished though be sure to check out our Virtual Christmas Market where we showcase local products from Devon which you can order online or over the phone. There are lots of products that are actually crafted by our own members so be sure to give it a read by clicking here. This week we are exploring Okehampton and everything it has to offer, he bustling town with lots to do and see.
Things to Do
Walking and Cycling
Okehampton can be described as the gateway into Dartmoor which makes it a popular destination for walkers who are keen to get out and explore the beautiful scenery that is Dartmoor. There are lots of walks which can start within the town and for all abilities from a smaller stroll to a long expedition.
One particularly favourite walk is the Granite Way, an 11 mile stretch between Okehampton and Lydford that borders the northern edge of Dartmoor showcasing spectacular views. The trail is traffic-free and surfaced throughout which makes for easy walking or what many people opt for is to cycle. There is a cycle hire shop where you can hire bikes for the whole family. Along the way, you will cross the Meldon Viaduct which is built in 1784 and spans 165 meters over the remains of mineral mines.
If you love getting out in nature, then you must explore Meldon Reservoir. It is surrounded by steep banks and is approximately 900 ft above sea level it offering breathtaking views. It is a wonderful spot for birdwatchers, a picnic spot or to enjoy the off-road tracks for a walk.
For those with a love of history then you must explore the remains of the largest castle in Devon. Okehampton Castle is situated above the river Okement. Originally it was built as a stone keep before being converted into the large residence it became in the 14th century by Hugh Courtney the Earl of Devon.
If you want to discover more about the history of Dartmoor and what the people of Dartmoor did over the ages then head to the Museum of Dartmoor Life. It showcases collections of Dartmoor through the ages, Dartmoor Industries and Agriculture in Dartmoor.
Another place for history lovers to explore is the Finch Foundry, a place that delves into the industrial history of Dartmoor. At the peak of its industrious time it produced 400 edge tools a day.
If you enjoy trains then you must head to Dartmoor Railway where they have an old fashion steam train which you can jump aboard and enjoy a very scenic rail route. They also have a great cafe where you can have lunch after.
Shopping and Crafts
For those of you who fancy a bit of shopping then Okehampton will not disappoint. High street brands include Peacocks and Boots while other shops include more artisan brands such as a clothing shop called Plum, a fantastic old fashion book shop called Dogberry and Finch Books, flower shops, antique shops and gift style shops.
For those looking for a true artisan experience then you are in luck as there is The Dartmoor Artisan Trail. The train connects true artists craftsmen across Dartmoor where you can pop in to see them at work, book a demonstration or purchase their products. Skilled artist and craftsmen include The Green Wood Furniture Maker, The Ethical Shoemaker, The Landscape Painter and more.
Places to Eat
With all that exploring and experience you are bound to have worked up an appetite so it would be good to know of the places you can eat in Okehampton. As mentioned before, it you are near the Dartmoor Railway they do have a great cafe for sandwiches, cakes and coffee but there are some other great restaurants and cafes too.
The White Hart in the centre of the town is part of the Wetherspoons chain and serves a selection of meals at good prices.
Another great restaurant is the 2 Rivers Restaurant which serves a great range of dishes from pasta dishes to a traditional British roast to Chinese dishes and more. The restaurant also offers take out options if you would rather enjoy your meal from the comfort of your accommodation.
Another lovely place to tuck into a delicious breakfast and afternoon tea or dinner is the Waterside Cafe. It is a bright and airy cafe that has excellent customer service and offers a brilliant range of food.
Finally, for those looking for a good coffee then head to the Toast Coffee House where you can get a great cup of coffee and a bite to eat at the same time.
We hope you have enjoyed today’s blog and have found some exciting new activities you might want to do. If perhaps we have convinced you to come and explore the wonderful town of Okehampton then be sure to take a look at our accommodation local to the area.