Vibrant, lively and with a touch of mystery surrounding it, you’ll discover that Buckfastleigh is one of the most diverse towns in South Devon. The town is dominated by the Benedictine Buckfast Abbey and is a mix of ancient and modern attractions surrounded by miles of prime Devon countryside, wild moorlands and hidden valleys to explore.
Buckfastleigh came into its own in the 11th Century, when King Canute (the one that tried to order the sea to retreat – unsuccessfully) established the Benedictine Abbey in 1018. During the Industrial Revolution it transformed from a sleepy market town filled with pilgrims to a hive of activity driven by woollen, paper and corn mills. You can still see the original medieval layout of the old town today.
Things to do
Most visitors to Buckfastleigh head for the Abbey and its famous Tonic Wine, but for the little ones there’s a chance to get up close with the animals at Pennywell Farm and Wildlife Centre. For those who love the romance of bygone ages, the South Devon Steam Railway puffs its way through the countryside, giving you a completely different view of this corner of Devon.