Painting by Victoria Clare


The gateway to southern Dartmoor

A lively town known as the “gateway to southern Dartmoor, Ashburton has a vibrant town centre full of fine eateries, antique shops and independent retailers that makes it a great place to spend a day. 

Ashburton dates back to Medieval times but these days it has a foodie vibe, with artisan bakers, delis, great places to eat and its annual food festival every September. If you wander around you’ll see plenty of historic buildings like St Lawrence Chapel and St Andrew’s Church. Due to its location on the southern moor, it’s a great base for walkers, canoeists, pony trekkers and those wanting to explore more of the national park.

During the Middle Ages, Ashburton was an important centre for the tin trade and was one of four official “stannary towns” (along with Chagford, Plympton and Tavistock) to have special powers relating to town production. Several ceremonial events from this time still exist, including an annual ale tasting and bread weighing ceremony at the end of July.