Ashburton, Dartmoor National Park

Ashburton, Dartmoor National Park

On the eastern border of Dartmoor National Park offering great access to South Devon and the cities Exeter and Plymouth

The A38 is a major South Devon road running between Exeter and Plymouth. The road skirts the eastern border of Dartmoor National Park. Ashburton is located on the edge of the National Park between the two cities.

The town provides access to one of Dartmoor's most stunning gorges/wooded valleys, its high moor and some of its most popular attractions. Given its location by the A38, the South Devon coast and The English Riviera are also easily accessible from the Ashburton area.


Why holiday or weekend break in Ashburton?

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


Pubs and restaurants

Pubs/inns include the Royal Oak Inn and The Exeter Inn. For a restaurant, try the Moorish Restaurant. We'd also recommend Ashburton Deli and 'the fish deli'. Ashburton is a great place for local shopping. The town is particularly well known for its antique shops.


River Dart Country Park

Spend a day at River Dart Adventures within the River Dart Country Park.


Spitchwick (Deeper Marsh/Spitchwick Common)

Picnic, and wild swim, at Spitchwick (Deeper Marsh/Spitchwick Common).

More adventurous wild swimmers head to Sharrah Pool in the Dart Gorge.


Walk the Dart Gorge

A short drive west of Ashburton, this is one of Dartmoor's most stunning areas. Park at New Bridge and follow the Two Moors Way to Dr Blackall's Drive Walk. The views down into the gorge and ahead to Sharp Tor (Dartmeet/East Dartmoor) are quite something.


Head out onto the high moors

Ryder's Hill is the highest point on Dartmoor's south plateau. (Yes Tor and High Willhays are the two highest points on Dartmoor and are located in the north west of the Park above Okehampton). Take in the views from the area's many stunning tors. If time is short, Bench Tor juts out into the Dart Gorge and is exceptional.


Dartmoor's most beautiful villages

A short distance to Ashburton's north west, we'd recommend a trip to the beautiful moorland village Buckland-in-the-Moor. Many think the views from Buckland Beacon and The Ten Commandments Stones are the best in the Park. From Buckland-in-the-Moor, travel to Widecombe-in-the-Moor and explore the area around Haytor Rocks. We'd also suggest that you visit Postbridge and Princetown in the heart of Dartmoor National Park. You can learn more about the prehistory and history of Dartmoor in the Haytor, Postbridge and Princetown National Park Visitor Centres.


Family visitor attractions

This area of Dartmoor National Park and South Devon is packed with family visitor attractions. In addition to the River Dart Country Park, try the South Devon Railway, Dartmoor Otters and Buckfast Butterflies and Pennywell Farm.


National Trust properties

Visit National Trust properties in this part of Devon. Castle Drogo (National Trust), Saltram House and Buckland Abbey (National Trust) are great.


South Devon and The English Riviera

Given the town's location by the A38, explore South Devon and The English Riviera. On sunny days, Salcombe and Dartmouth are among the finest coastal destinations in the UK. The South Devon coastline is lined with stunning beaches. Try Bantham Beach, Bigbury-on-Sea Beach and the vast shingle beach at Slapton Sands.

See our sister site, Love South Devon, for ideas.


Day trip to Plymouth and Exeter

Take day trips to Plymouth and Exeter. In Plymouth, visit the National Marine Aquarium. In Exeter, experience Exeter Cathedral.


Local towns and villages

Buckfastleigh is to the south. Bovey Tracey to the north-ish.

For villages try Buckland-in-the-Moor and Widecombe-in-the-Moor. Visit Holne and Dartmeet too.