High Willhays is the highest point on Dartmoor, Devon, at 621 m (2,038 ft) above sea level, and the highest point in Great Britain south of the Brecon Beacons. High Willhays and nearby Yes Tor are the only hills in England south of the Peak District to rise above 2,000 feet, apart from Black Mountain which is on the Welsh border.
This remote spot in the northern part of Dartmoor is situated within the Danger Zone - an area used periodically by the British Army for exercises. Red flags are raised around the perimeter when firing is due to be taking place.
Directions: South West England > Devon > Dartmoor (North)
- National/State Park
- Hiking and Walking
- Mountain Climbing
The original viaduct was built for single track but in 1878 the line was doubled by building a second similar viaduct on the down side. The two viaducts were linked by extending the deck construction and bracing between the tops of the trestles, however the lower ends of the trestles were only interlaced. However the exposed position during adverse weather and the forces exerted on the structure by trains traversing the bend resulted in speed and weight restrictions being imposed.. In 1938 braces were added between the lower ends of the trestles then in 1944 to allow heavy wartime traffic across the viaduct the outer trestle legs were weighted with additional concrete. The viaduct was further strengthened between 1959 and 1960 by the inner trestle legs also being weighted and the up road trestle bracing being replaced with stronger section members.
The line was singled between Meldon Quarry and Meldon Junction signal boxes (junction for North Cornwall line to Halwill thence Bude/ Padstow /Barnstaple) on the 24th April 1966 and thereafter trains used the recently strengthened original up trestle. When services west of Okehampton were withdrawn on the 6th May 1968 the track on the bridge was for very many years (at least as late as the middle 1980s) used as a locomotive headshunt for the adjacent Meldon Quarry. The down side of the viaduct had a concrete road laid upon it in 1970 and this was used for construction traffic whilst the nearby Meldon Reservoir was built. The track was lifted in 1990 when the structured was judged to be too weak to support the weight of a train.
Directions: South West England > Devon > Dartmoor (North) close to Okehampton
- Adventure Travel
- Hiking and Walking
- National/State Park
The Museum of Dartmoor life gives a great insight into the rural heritage of the region. The exhibits span a number of floors containing some really interesting displays of the region's bygone years. It really is worth a visit if you're in the area.
Check the website for opening times.
Address: West Street, Okehampton, EX20 1HQ
- Museum Visits
- Historical Travel
St James was built as a chantry chapel to All Saints, the parish church which dates back to Saxon times. St James was licensed by the Pope in 1178. It is built of Medieval granite and was restored in 1862 by Ashworth.
Notable features are Tudor and 18th century woodwork with a reader's desk and pulpit, the latter dated 1662. There are also two wooden plaques beside the altar with the ten commandments written upon them.
Address: Fore Street, Okehampton
- Religious Travel
The ruins of Okehampton Castle are well worth a visit. Its one of the largest castle ruins in the South West and dates from the 11th century (mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086.)
Great place for a picnic on a nice sunny day.
An audio tour (with hearing loop) is included in the admission price so you can wander at your own pace. There is parking, toilets, baby changing facilities, a shop, kiosk for drinks/snacks.
Directions: From the town centre or George Street, walk out along Castle Road until you come to the castle!
Phone: 01837 52844
Simmons Park is one of the places I love most in Okehampton. It was given to the town by Sydney Simmons in 1906, a local boy who had done well for himself in America & London. He bought the land along the river and paid for the works on condition he had final approval. There was a grand opening in 1907 attended by the Lord Mayor of London and other dignitaries. The park is just beautiful, ornamental gardens with fountains, three almshouses within the grounds for local elderly people, playing area for children and peaceful walk through the trees along the river. The Battle of the Bands final is held here in August on a huge stage where the bands play under the stars.
Address: park gates entrance in George St
Dartmoor is the largest and wildest area of open country in Southern England, it has thousands of archaeological sites including menhirs, stone circles and burial chambers. The National Park covers over 360 square miles, and there are 450 miles of public rights of way, so plenty of walks/hikes to satisfy! You will discover deep wooded gorges, open moorland with Dartmoor ponies roaming, high granite tors, tumbling rivers and beautiful views.
Note; if you're going off hiking across the moor, tell someone your route and expected arrival time. Go prepared, the weather can change rapidly up here. Check with locals regarding army manoevres, parts of the moor are used by the training camp and are strictly off-limits.
Directions: Dartmoor Visitor is a free newspaper with plenty of information; for a free copy ring 01822 890414.
If you're in Oke on 'children in need' night with three mates then why not do the '5 legged race' to help raise funds?? All you have to do is sign up by the college gates/park entrance, around 7pm. You and 3 friends tie your legs to each other and run along a designated route calling in at all the pubs in town one by one to down a drink before continuing onto the next! Prizes for first teams to finish! Pubs in order are: Fountain, Kings Arms, White Hart, Plume of Feathers, Exeter Inn, Pretoria Vaults, London Inn & lastly the Plymouth Inn!! Piece of cake... oh, forgot to mention that everyone is in fancy dress. So far we've been highwaymen and Barbie dolls. One way to meet the locals....
Address: Meet at college gates to register your team
Directions: Ask in any pub!!Add to your Trip Planner
Sweet Success is the name of the bakery located on the main street where you want to buy your pasty...they are GORGEOUS! (go for a large one) Traditional ones i like best but they also do cheese or curry ones too. Youngest daughter loves the curry ones.
Endacotts bakery is where to get yr donuts! Located in Red Lion shopping arcade, they have caramel, custard, blueberry and more...my fave is caramel, but they are sooo sweet you need a cuppa tea to go with em...
The Farmers Market is held every third Saturday of the month in the main street and has a great selection of locally produced goods for sale...
Apple juices and cider, seasonal organic vegetables and fruit, cakes and savoury bakes, preserves (jams, jellies, marmalades, chutneys and pickles), cheeses (cow, goat and buffalo), free range eggs, fresh fish (weather permitting), honey and associated products, meat (lamb, beef, organic pork including bacon and ham), game (farmed venison and venison products, guinea fowl and pheasants in season), ostrich and ostrich products, poultry (chicken, turkey and duck), gourmet pates, woollen crafts, plants....... the pate was GORGEOUS!!
Well worth a visit if you're around at this time!
Directions: Okehampton Farmers' Market is held in St James Chapel Square, in the centre of Okehampton, from 9 am - 1 pm every third Saturday of the month.Add to your Trip Planner