The Dartmoor Line and Okehampton Station, Okehampton, Dartmoor National Park

The Dartmoor Line and Okehampton Station, Okehampton, Dartmoor National Park

[Main photo: West Mill Tor and Yes Tor from East Hill above Okehampton Station]


Visitor hub for the north west section of Dartmoor National Park

With the reopening of the Dartmoor Line (the initial train timetable states that 'there will be trains every two hours each way, seven days a week, between Okehampton, Crediton and Exeter St Davids, including services for daily commuters'), Okehampton Station has become a visitor hub for the north west section of Dartmoor National Park.

There's a huge range of activities you can enjoy in the local area. For example, Okehampton Station is at the beginning/end of the Granite Way and is situated below Dartmoor's highest ground High Willhays and Yes Tor. Paths climb to Dartmoor's famous north moor and many of its most dramatic tors. Boards provide information about local trails such as the Tarka Trail, West Devon Way, Two Castles Trail and Devonshire Heartland Way. Adventure Okehampton and YHA accommodation are on site.

You can hire bikes, experience train trips or just relax and enjoy a slice of cake and cup of tea. You can also drop down to the centre of Okehampton to visit Museum of Dartmoor Life or Okehampton Castle (English Heritage). It's a great place from which to explore and learn about this section of Dartmoor.


Location of Okehampton Station

Okehampton sits below Dartmoor's north moor. Okehampton Station is situated on high ground above the town centre. It's an easy walk from the station down into town. It's a bit of an uphill slog on the way back but nothing too taxing.

Given Okehampton Station's location above the town centre, it provides easier access to Dartmoor's north moor and its high ground. Again, it's a bit of an uphill slog to get to the north moor from the station but it's relatively gentle in the scheme of things. We provide directions and further information below.

We've positioned Okehampton Station on Google maps so zoom in on the 'Satellite' setting to see its location.

To visit from the Okehampton direction, head for the crossroads in the centre of town, take George Street and then Station Road to Okehampton Station.


Things to do from Okehampton Station

To help you make the most of the Dartmoor Line and the Okehampton Station area, we've listed lots of things to do below.


The Museum of Dartmoor Life and Okehampton Station

Visit the superb Museum of Dartmoor Life which provides a great introduction to the prehistory and history of the national park.

From Okehampton Station, follow Station Road down to George Street. The Museum of Dartmoor Life is located next to The White Hart Hotel by the crossroads in the centre of town.


Okehampton Castle and Okehampton Station

Wander across town to explore Okehampton Castle (English Heritage).

Note that Lydford Castle (English Heritage) and Lydford Gorge (National Trust) are at the far end the Granite Way.


Accessing Dartmoor's north moor from Okehampton Station

Okehampton Station offers easy access to Dartmoor's north moor. We'd recommend buying Ordnance Survey mapping (digital or the detailed Explorer version) before exploring the high ground.

There are various routes you can take from the station.

The most obvious is the footbridge that crosses the A30 and connects to various paths at the bottom of East Hill. This footbridge is marked FB on Ordnance Survey mapping.

You can also wander along the Granite Way until you come to the moorland road that rises to Okehampton Camp.

Other routes include following the East Okement River into the tail of West Cleave.


The army ring road from Okehampton Station

Okehampton Camp is located above Okehampton Station on the edge of the north moor. An army ring road pushes out to the north plateau and provides easy access to Dartmoor's high moor.

At Okehampton Camp, beyond an army hut, the road splits. To your right, the road runs south west and then climbs between Rowtor and West Mill Tor. It used to be a rough road but it was tarmacked a few years ago. It stops below West Mill Tor at a small car parking area. From there, rough roads that are not open to public vehicles run in various directions. One rough road curls up to Yes Tor and High Willhays. Another pushes all the way up to Dinger Tor. From this rough road, others run east and connect with another rough road that climbs to the southernmost extent of the ring road at Okement Hill and Hangingstone Hill.

Alternatively, at Okehampton Camp, instead of heading right, you can continue over the bridge and follow the army road as far as OP22 by East Okement Farm. Rough army roads extend to Okement Hill and Hangingstone Hill.

There's a network of roads so it's best to refer to the Ordnance Survey mapping for detail.


Tors from Okehampton Station

You can access Dartmoor's and southern England's highest ground at High Willhays and Yes Tor from Okehampton Station. Head for Okehampton Camp and then follow the army road that climbs between Rowtor and West Mill Tor. This tarmacked road meets a rough road that then curls up to Yes Tor and High Willhays. It's a good, safe route to take when it snows.

West Mill Tor is a stunning collection of rocky outcrops.

On the road extending over Moor Brook, you can easily access Rowtor.

Belstone Tor (Belstone Tors and Tors End), Oke Tor and East Mill Tor are further away.

Steeperton Tor, Wild Tor, Hangingstone Hill and Okement Hill are on the limit of the ring road.

Note that Cranmere Pool is accessible from Hangingstone Hill and Okement Hill.


Walking from Okehampton Station

We'd recommend walking up to High Willhays and Yes Tor.

It's fun to follow the army ring road west of East Mill Tor to Okement Hill and then to wander back via Steeperton Gorge and Oke Tor.

Much lower down, the Okehampton Camp to West Cleave Circular Walk is a favourite especially in spring when the bluebells are out. It crosses East Hill and takes in the heavily wooded West Cleave.

East Hill is just above Okehampton Station and offers amazing views of the high moor and some of its most famous tors. The views down to Okehampton and across Mid Devon to Exmoor National Park are also superb.


Mountain biking from Okehampton Station

Okehampton Station is at the beginning/end of the Granite Way. Cycle (or walk) the Granite Way to get to the superb Meldon Viaduct and Meldon Reservoir. Continue to the end to visit Lydford Castle (English Heritage) and Lydford Gorge (National Trust). There's a nice pub in the heart of Lydford village or a National Trust cafe at the gorge.

Lots of people mountain bike the army ring road all the way up to Okement Hill on the edge of the north plateau.


Nature and wildlife near Okehampton Station

Okehampton Camp is known for its starling clouds. See our Starling Roost Okehampton Camp listing for more information.

The spring bluebell showing on East Hill is one of the best in the national park. Try the East Hill Bluebell Circular Walk.

Also look out for the unbelievably cute miniature ponies on East Hill.

We'd also recommend the bluebells in Meldon Woods. See our Meldon Woods Bluebell Circular Walk listing for a version of this walk.

Dartmoor's famous ponies roam the north moor.


Wild swimming near Okehampton Station

Plenty of rivers and brooks run from the high ground down to the fringes of the National Park. These provide plenty of opportunities to wild swim. Near Okehampton Camp, try Cullever Steps Pool for a dip.

There are pools in the East Okement River in West Cleave.

Don't swim at Meldon Pool.


Visiting Meldon Viaduct and Meldon Reservoir from Okehampton Station

As mentioned above, you can follow the Granite Way to get to the superb Meldon Viaduct and Meldon Reservoir.

The views to Yes Tor from Meldon Viaduct are superb.

Meldon Reservoir is a local beauty spot.


Museums and walking from Okehampton Station

In addition to Museum of Dartmoor Life in Okehampton, you can visit Finch Foundry (National Trust) in the pretty village Sticklepath. This walk is called the Two Museums Walk.