Welcome to Okehampton
The bustling town of Okehampton is proud to be known as the walking centre of Dartmoor, and is the gateway to the northwestern reaches of Dartmoor National Park. The town is nestled in a sheltered valley at the confluence of the East and West Okement Rivers and is surrounded by the high and wild scenery of Dartmoor to the south, and a bucolic landscape of rolling hills and farmland to the north.
Okehampton dates back to Saxon times and came to prominence just after the Norman conquest when the motte and bailey Okehampton Castle was built. Though the castle itself fell to ruin after its owners fell foul of Henry VIII, the town flourished as part of the medieval wool trade. The town became a busy staging post on the London to Cornwall road in the 1700s and 1800s, when numerous coaching houses and inns were established along the main street. The Victorian era brought mills and modernisation to the town – with the addition of modern amenities, the connection of the railway, and the construction of the shopping arcade.
What’s on the High Street
Okehampton is a compact but comprehensive commerce centre for residents of the town and surrounding rural communities. It has three supermarkets in the town centre (Waitrose, Coop and Lidl) plus a garden centre and country store located on the outskirts of town.
The town has a wide variety of independent shops and restaurants, including many fantastic boutiques within the Victorian Arcade and excellent independent book, toy and children’s clothing shops. There is also a lovely local library which occupies a historic school room just off the main street and has a super friendly and helpful staff.
Two primary schools serve the town, both holding an Ofsted ‘Good’ rating – Okehampton Primary School located in the town centre & St. James CofE Primary and Nursery School located on the eastern side of town.
Secondary schooling is available at the Okehampton College which serves ages 11-19.
Universities are located in Exeter to the east and in the maritime city of Plymouth to the south, and a number of further education colleges are available across Devon and Cornwall.
Road: Okehampton is well connected to the rest of the UK by the A30 trunk road which bypasses the town, allowing access west to Cornwall and east to Exeter and the M5.
Rail: The town is proud to have successfully campaigned for the reinstatement of the ‘The Dartmoor Line’, with hourly service to Exeter from where you can connect on to London via the Penzance to Paddington Line.
Bus: Services connect to nearby local towns including Hatherleigh, Tavistock, Holsworthy, Bude, Launceston and Exeter, via the smaller surrounding villages.
Things to do in Okehampton
Outdoor pursuits abound in and around Okehampton, from hiking some of Dartmoor’s highest reaches, accessible minutes from the town, or taking part in the Army-organized Ten Tors event for young people. Gentler walks are plentiful in the beautiful countryside to the north of town, and Lydford Gorge National Trust site is just a short drive to the south.
Keen cyclists can explore the 11-mile Granite Way, a mostly traffic-free route which crosses the Meldon viaduct offering stunning views.
The town is well provisioned for Sport and recreation with local football and rugby teams, a table tennis club, as well as the Parklands Leisure Centre which offers a 25 m swimming pool, full service gym and sports hall. Health and wellness and a variety of art classes are offered at the local community centre.
Attractions in the area include the Museum of Dartmoor Life in the centre of town, the dramatic ruins of Okehampton Castle, the Victorian Arcade, packed with unique independent shops, the beautiful Simmons Park along the Okemont River and the independent New Carlton Cinema.
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Our Okehampton branch
Our general office opening times are as follows: