Buckfast Abbey, Buckfast, Dartmoor National Park

Buckfast Abbey, Buckfast, Dartmoor National Park

Family attraction

At the heart of Buckfast Abbey is the big and impressive abbey church. Remarkably, it took no more than six men thirty years to construct the building. This extraordinary feat took place at the beginning of the 20th century. Given the faith and endurance that went in to building the church, it's worth visiting Buckfast Abbey for this fact alone.

To visit by car, follow the brown signs on the A38 Exeter/Plymouth road. You'll drive into a large car parking area by the entrance and see abbey buildings in front of you. There's no set way to explore Buckfast Abbey so wander around to discover its beauty and history. There are pleny of information boards with maps. We're always attracted to the abbey church. Walk the gardens and visit the many shops. The look and feel and quality of goods in the shops is very National Trust. The abbey is famous for its tonic wine and honey. Grab a bite to eat and a drink in the cafe from which there are super views of the abbey church. Remember that this is a working monastery so take note of the various signs asking you not to take photos in specific areas or enter certain buildings.

Buckfast Abbey is just one of a number of abbeys and a priory that fringed Dartmoor National Park. Also visit Buckland Abbey (National Trust) and the ruins of Tavistock Abbey. Whilst it's outside the scope of this website, Torre Abbey in The English Riviera is an amazing place.

Last, if you're into walking, we'd really recommend yomping a section of one of the old monastic routes that cut across the south plateau of Dartmoor National Park. The Abbot's Way is the most famous. The Buckfast-Tavistock monastic route is less well known but lined with a range of magnificent crosses.