Buckfastleigh, Dartmoor National Park

Buckfastleigh, Dartmoor National Park
  • Super location by the River Dart near beautiful woodland and on the fringe of Dartmoor's south moor
  • Visit top Dartmoor and South Devon visitor attractions including Buckfast Abbey, the South Devon Railway, Dartmoor Otters and Buckfast Butterflies, Pennywell Farm and the River Dart Country Park
  • Enjoy a variety of different walks. Explore Hembury Woods (National Trust), the Dart Gorge and Dartmoor's south moor. The long distance walking route the Abbot's Way starts/ends at Buckfast Abbey. The Two Moors Way passes nearby
  • Picnic and wild swim by the River Dart. Spitchwick is a super popular spot on the River Dart. More adventurous swimmers head upriver into the Dart Gorge at places like Sharrah Pool
  • Day trip to Exeter, Plymouth, South Devon and The English Riviera
  • Main photo: Buckfast Abbey just north of Buckfastleigh


Where is Buckfastleigh in Dartmoor National Park?

Buckfastleigh is situated on the south eastern border of Dartmoor National Park between Dartmoor's south moor and the South Devon coast.

Plymouth is, roughly, 30 minutes drive to the south west and Exeter 30 minutes to the north east. Totnes is 15 minutes away to the south east.


Directions to Buckfastleigh

Most people access Buckfastleigh by the A38 that runs between Exeter and Plymouth.

The A384 connects Buckfastleigh and Totnes if you want to come from that direction.

We've positioned Buckfastleigh on Google maps. Zoom in on the 'Satellite' setting to see its location.


Parking in Buckfastleigh

There are lots of car parks in Buckfastleigh. Try parking by the open air pool in the centre of town. There's also plenty of parking by the cluster of visitor attractions at South Devon Railway.


Why holiday or weekend break around Buckfastleigh?

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


Buckfastleigh Open Air Swimming Pool

Dartmoor is known for its wild swimming and open air swimming pools. Buckfastleigh Open Air Swimming Pool is in the centre of Buckfastleigh next to the main car park.


Buckfast Abbey

Explore Buckfast Abbey.

Remarkably, it took no more than six men thirty years to construct the abbey church. This extraordinary feat took place at the beginning of the 20th century and there's a great mural depicting the build in the Grange Restaurant.

Walk the gardens and visit one of the abbey's shops. The abbey is famous for its tonic wine and honey. 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.


South Devon Railway at Buckfastleigh

There's a cluster of Dartmoor and South Devon visitor attractions on the outskirts of Buckfastleigh. Take the South Devon Railway to Totnes.


Dartmoor Otters and Buckfast Butterflies at Buckfastleigh

Visit Dartmoor Otters and Buckfast Butterflies. This is situated by South Devon Railway in Buckfastleigh.


Totnes Rare Breeds Farm at the eastern end of the South Devon Railway from Buckfastleigh

Visit Totnes Rare Breeds Farm. This is situated by South Devon Railway in Totnes.


River Dart Country Park near Buckfastleigh

Spend a day at the River Dart Country Park.


Pennywell Farm

Pennywell Farm is a great family day out.


The National Trust's Hembury Woods near Buckfastleigh

Walk to Hembury Hillfort in the National Trust's Hembury Woods (National Trust). The Hembury Woods Circular Walk is superb.

Other National Trust properties we'd recommend visiting include Saltram House, Buckland Abbey (National Trust) and Castle Drogo (National Trust).

Greenway is on the River Dart. Coleton Fishacre is superb on the South Devon coast near Dartmouth.


Spitchwick near Buckfastleigh

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

For the more adventurous, wild swim at Sharrah Pool deep in the Dart Gorge.


The Dart Gorge

The Dart Gorge is one of the most beautiful places on Dartmoor.

Many famous Devon rivers rise on Dartmoor's remote north plateau. The West Dart River begins by Cut Hill and Fur Tor. The East Dart River starts by Whitehorse Hill and Hangingstone Hill. The two tributaries join at Dartmeet before flowing into the Dart Gorge. At the eastern end of the gorge, the river runs under New Bridge and bends around Deeper Marsh and Spitchwick on its way to Buckfast and Buckfastleigh on the border of the National Park.


Bench Tor near Buckfastleigh

Walk from one of the car parks at Venford Reservoir to Bench Tor which juts out into the heart of the Dart Gorge.

Great spot for a picnic high above the River Dart. The colours are sublime at the end of autumn.


The Abbot's Way near Buckfastleigh

Yomp a section of the Abbot's Way to experience the south moor and its tors.

You might also want to walk to Ryder's Hill which is the highest point on south Dartmoor.


Dartmoor's prehistory

Discover Dartmoor's prehistory. Experience Corringdon Ball Long Barrow and Corringdon Ball Stone Rows in the local area.

Travel to Postbridge National Park Visitor Centre and Princetown National Park Visitor Centre to learn more.


Outdoor activities near Buckfastleigh

Enjoy all the outdoor activities on offer in Dartmoor and South Devon.

Go climbing. If it's raining, head for River Dart Adventures at River Dart Country Park or the Dart Rock Climbing Centre.

Try Dartmoor Horse Riding

Canoe the River Dart in season. See our Dartmoor Canoeing listing.

On the coast, surf at Bigbury-on-Sea Beach and Bantham Beach. Refer to our sister site Love South Devon for more detail.


Plymouth and Exeter from Buckfastleigh

Take day trips to Plymouth and Exeter. Follow the A38 south west to Plymouth and north east to Exeter.


Discover South Devon from Buckfastleigh

Buckfastleigh is a great location from which to explore South Devon.

The English Riviera is packed with family attractions. In parts, it's also stunning.

South Devon is known for its sublime beaches. For towns, try Dartmouth and Salcombe. Inland, visit Totnes.

See one of our sister sites, Love South Devon, for more information.


Local towns and villages near Buckfastleigh

Ashburton is just up the road and South Brent to the south west.

On the moors try the villages of Holne, Buckland-in-the-Moor and Dartmeet.