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Situated in the heart of rural Devon, on the shoulder of Dartmoor’s heights Okehampton offers a wealth of wildly differing landscapes. Rising dramatically behind Okehampton lie the highest peaks of Dartmoor with Yes Tor at over 600m. These hills topped with striking, weathered granite tors, surrounded by clitter seem almost shaped by human hand, but are in fact the stumped remains of mountains millions of years past.

The landscape’s ancient trackways provide a haven for the adventurous in spirit, who in passing the countless preshistoric settlements, stone circles, rows and industrial litter of medieval tin workers will discover it is not quite the wilderness it first appears. The distinct upland habitat of peat bogs running down valley sides to fresh streams rippling through granite boulders provides an experience unequalled in the South of England, not to mention the outstanding views of the countryside below.

One of the prettiest villages to be surveyed from these heights is Lydford which boasts the National Trust property Lydford Gorge. Here you’ll find several spectacular sights including the thunderous Devil’s Cauldron ravine and the impressive White Lady waterfall.

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Picturesque villages abound many with thatched cottages like Sampford Courtenay, which is approached via narrow country lanes decked with hedgerow flowers. The village of Belstone hosts a village green that is often known to be explored by both local sheep and Dartmoor ponies. All of the villages surrounding Okehampton exude typical Devon charm and many local characters can be met in village pubs throughout the area.

Villages are interspersed with rolling farmland much of which has been farmed by the same families for generations. The handsome market town of Hatherleigh hosts a farmers market every Tuesday at which farmers throughout North and West Devon buy and sell their produce and catch up with the latest news.

In addition to rolling hills the area enjoys great expanses of fresh water with Roadford Lake providing more than 730 acres for watersports, fishing and birdwatching. The lake also has a network of paths and bridleways, including a special path for wheelchair users. Similarly there is Meldon Resevoir just minutes away from Okehampton, which offers opportunities for walking alongside a stretch of still water which provides fantastic reflections of the surrounding Moorland.

Lovers of more formal landscapes are also well catered for with the National Trust house and garden at Castle Drogo, Drewsteignton. Mythic Gardens at Chagford not only has some wonderful plants but also a fantastic sculpture garden too, whilst Bowden Hostas at Sticklepath features a National Hostas collection.

Yet visitors need not leave Okehampton town centre at all to enjoy greenery and tranquillity. Simmons Park at the heart of the town offers mature parkland complete with its centrepiece the East Ockment river which is one of two moorland rivers that keep Okehampton town in their midst.


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