Why we love living in Okehampton?

Known as the ‘Gateway to Dartmoor’, sitting as it does on the northern edge of Dartmoor, Okehampton is well known for its community feel with plenty to attract visitors and residents alike. We have strong ties with the local community, indeed the tradespeople we work alongside are themselves local, and our relationship with them goes back many years. 

There are many reasons we love living and working here and calling Okehampton ‘home’, here a just a few...  

it’s steeped in history 

The remains of Okehampton castle – once Devon’s largest fortification – lie in a stunning setting above the River Okemont. Originally built in the mott and bailey style soon after the Norman Conquest, it underwent a lavish conversion in the 14th century. Now in the hand of English Heritage, there are beautiful picnic areas in which to relax and beautiful woodland walks. 

Meanwhile, down the road in the charming village of Sicklepath, you’ll find the Finch Foundry which stands as the last remaining water-powered forge in England. Owned by The National Trust, the foundry gives visitors a fascinating insight into 19th-century living. Learn about the rise and fall of the Finch family fortunes which, in their heyday saw the foundry make 400 tools a day. 

it’s a breath of fresh air 

The wilds of Dartmoor are on your doorstep, bringing with it a host of opportunities to enjoy the local flora and fauna and the wilder side of the moor – it’s perfect for walking, running or cycling. 

Families with teenagers may want to encourage them to join the 400 teams that take on the annual Ten Tor challenge. 

Spanning two days, the teams cover a distance ranging from 35-55 miles plus there’s the Jubilee Challenge for youngsters with disabilities.  

it’s a great place to shop 

The Red Lion Yard in Okehampton offers shoppers a tempting selection of retail outlets which has a really good choice of shops and cafés. Whilst across the road, the Victorian shopping arcade is home to around 20 shops. 

You’ll find plenty of charming independent shops around the town – certainly enough to leave you ready for a coffee and a pastry in one of the many cafés.

it’s better connected 

November 2021 marked the return of the Dartmoor Line between Exeter and Okehampton for the first time since 1972. Two-hourly, seven-days-a-week services will be operated between Okehampton and Exeter, including stopping at Crediton, taking approximately 40 minutes. 

there’s so much on your doorstep 

Whist there’s much to love about living in Okehampton, the idea of a more rural idyll may be something that appeals. And here, on the edge of Dartmoor, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Take Lydford for instance. 

With a history that dates back to the dark ages, this picturesque village boasts not one but two castles. Lydford Castle, built as a medieval courtroom and prison, became notorious for harsh punishment, with an inmate describing it as, “the most annoious, contagious and detestable place within this realm”. Its remains overlook the village pub, called perhaps unsurprisingly, the Castle Inn. 

From here it’s just a short walk to view the earlier Norman ringwork fortification. Nearby, Lydford Gorge – which is now in the hands of the National Trust – is the deepest river gorge in the South West, with a 30m high waterfall. 

There’s plenty here for the whole family to enjoy with walks among the ancient woodlands ranging from a gentle stroll to the more challenging full gorge trail. 

However, Lydford is just one of many Dartmoor villages, so let us share with you, a few more of our favourites... Click here for our Dartmoor showcase!

Okehampton Station


Lydford Castle


Lydford Gorge