Experience serenity and an inspirational day out at Buckfast Abbey. Nestled in a valley on the edge of Dartmoor, the Abbey is home to a working community of Benedictine monks and is one of the top tourist attractions in the Westcountry.
This jewel in Devon’s crown boasts a fascinating history: Founded by King Canute in 1018, Buckfast Abbey was at the heart of the community until Catholic monasteries were dissolved by King Henry VIII.
The site gradually fell into ruins, but several hundred years later, it was brought back to life by a group of exiled French monks. Between 1906 and 1937, they lovingly re-built the Abbey Church on the medieval foundations and re-established the monastery.
Ideally located mid-way between Plymouth and Exeter, the Abbey Church and gardens are visited by thousands of people every year. Entry is free and there is ample free parking.
Visitors can enjoy the extensive grounds – including The Sensory, Physic and award-winning Millennium Gardens. A highlight during the summer months is The Lavender Garden, boasting 50 varieties of this soothing and colourful plant.
The Abbey Church is a centre of musical excellence and hosts choirs and performers from the local area and wider afield. With its dramatic Lantern Ceiling, various art treasures and stunning Blessed Sacrament Chapel depicting a modern interpretation of Christ in stained glass, the church is a haven of peace.
Complementing the religious life of Buckfast Abbey, is the Monastic Way Exhibition. This inter-active attraction gives a fascinating insight into the lives of the monks at Buckfast along with a history of religious communities throughout Europe.
The Abbey shops have an extensive range of unusual gifts, cards, books, food and drink. Many items are made by monks and nuns across the continent. Also on sale is Buckfast Abbey fudge, hand-made in the monastery kitchens.
No visit would be complete without a stop at The Grange Restaurant. Delicious cream teas, home-made lunches, cakes and pastries are available, with the emphasis on locally produced ingredients. The Grange has a glass-covered outside seating area, affording great views of the gardens and the surrounding countryside.
Facilities for Visually Impaired
Guide Dogs permitted
Toilets for Disabled Visitors