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OkehamptonNestling in the foothills of the northen slopes of Dartmoor, West Devon, the East and West Okement Rivers, rushing thro on their way to the sea Popular with walkers and cyclists for its closeness to both the high peaks of the northern edge of Dartmoor, such as High Willhays and Yes Tor, and for largely off road cycling trails such as the Granite Way. Much to see, and to explore too.
Admire the fine glass roof of the Victorian shopping Arcade, off Fore Street, and retaining much of its charm. Or built at the end of the 20th century, the Red Lion Yard another shoppers delight. Take a walk along the river through Simmons Park, enjoy the swimming pool and other sports facilities. Dominating the east end of the main street is St James' Chapel . Though dating from Tudor times, with some original timber remaining, it was heavily restored in 1862. (All Saints, the parish church, is on the edge of the town.) Why not pick up a Town Trail leaflet from the Museum of Dartmoor Life? Okehampton has lots of places to eat, from take aways, to restaurants, tea shops and cafe's. Pubs and inns, the White Hart Hotel, a 17th century coaching inn renown for its warm welcome and fine dining, or the Fountain Hotel and the Plume of Feathers also old coaching inns.
Explore the Granite Way. Part of the Devon Coast to Coast. A nice mainly off road Cycling in Devon ride along a disused railway line, around the northern slopes of Dartmoor. Take great care when crossing trafficked roads. In 1874 a six span viaduct was constructed to carry a railway line some 150 feet above the West Okement Valley near Meldon on the outskirts of Okehampton. Nowadays you can walk or cycle across the viaduct supported on high steel trestles, up to 120 feet high, with impressive views in all directions. Nostalgia buffs will adore a trip on the Dartmoor Railway, on the line of the Southern Railway, climbing 600 feet from the rolling hills of mid Devon near Coleford to skirt the edge of the moor ending near Meldon, high above the town. In December they run "Santa Specials"- see him in his grotto aboard the special train.
Walks Above the town, in late spring, though lasting only for a couple of weeks is the spectacle of acres of moorland swathed in bluebells. East Okement River & Belstone Tor
Okehampton Castle Dartmoor. West Devon Imposing ruins dominating the West Okement river valley on the western edge of Dartmoor, a mile from the town centre. Ancient seat of the Earls of Devon. Abandoned in the late 1600's when its then owner was executed by Henry VIII. Explore the motte, gatehouse, and great hall. Take the audio tour. Delightful walks along the river and through woodland. Maybe a blaze of bluebells in late spring, as are the north facing slopes of the Moor.
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Castle Inn Lydford, next to the castle keep. The pub full of original character, with its wooden ceilings open fires, high backed settles in the snug area, and a lounge to die for, as well as the most mouth watering food make this a very special place indeed. Featured in Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles built in 1550.
Finch Foundry Museum, Sticklepath.National Trust. Fascinating 19th-century water-powered forge in working order. From 1814 to 1960 produced edge tools, from hay and manure forks to to shovels-cornish, clay and wing turf them, for agriculture and mining in the South West.
A traditional Devon Christmas. Shopfronts all with a real tree above, multi-coloured festoons lights across the streets. Enjoy late night shopping at the town's Edwardian Evening.
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