Pictures of Okehampton
in the county of Devon
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There has been a settlement at Okehampton since the Bronze-Age, later it became a prosperous Saxon town with the Saxon Lords being overthrown at the time of the Conquest. It was at this time that a castle was built at Okehampton by Baldwin de Brion, a Norman Sheriff and holder of vast lands in Devon. These passed by marriage to the powerful Courtney family, who rebuilt the castle on a grand scale as a fortified country retreat. In 1538, Henry VIII seized the castle, but strangely it was not used by him for very long and was eventually laid to waste. The building is now a spectacular ruin in a lovely tranquil site. The grounds offer pleasant riverside picnic spots, enchanting woodland walks, and maybe a sighting of Lady Howard's ghost!
These days, situated as it is close to the high reaches of Dartmoor, Okehampton is known as the "gateway" to the moors. It offers easy access to some of the highest peaks and most remote areas in southern England. Here visitors have various opportunities for a relaxing time, these include the famous Tarka Trail, Abbeyford Woods - a beautiful woodland with an abundance of wildlife, the Devon coast to coast route on the National Cycle Network.
Lydford Gorge is a place no country lover should miss. Walkers enjoy a wonderful scenic circular walk through a famous river gorge. The walk starts high above the river, venturing through magnificent woods before dropping down to the magnificent White Lady Waterfall. Further along you follow the course of the River Lyd through a deep ravine to a place where the river offers a series of enchanting whirlpools, including the fascinating Devil's Cauldron.
One of the features of Okehampton is its pleasant country inns of which one is believed to have existed in the 12th century. The town hall dates from around 1656, there are a number of solid stone buildings, and a small museum recalls the history and life of the region.
Simmons Park offers plenty of leisure facilities including an indoor swimming pool, gym,tennis courts, a bowling green and a football pitch.
For visitors wishing to stay, Okehampton makes an ideal base for exploring Dartmoor, there is plenty of hotel accommodation, good restaurants, atmospheric inns, holiday cottages and a youth hostel.
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