Local Attractions -previous


Buckfast Abbey

Buckfast Abbey is dedicated Saint Mary and was founded in 1018. The Abbey was run by the Cistercian order from 1147 until it was destroyed under the Dissolution of the Monasteries. In 1882 monks began living there again and today it is an established Benedictine Community.

Buckfast Abbey is situated on the edge of Dartmoor within the village of Buckfast. The Abbey, attractive grounds, restaurant, gift and books shops are one of the most visited attractions in Devon.



Buckfast Butterflies and Dartmoor Otter Sanctuary

The Butterfly Farm and Otter Sanctuary is situated just outside the southern border of Dartmoor National Park between Exeter and Plymouth and is easily reached from the A38 Devon Expressway at the Dart Bridge junction to Buckfastleigh.

This attraction offers an enjoyable and educational experience with butterflies living in tropical surroundings and otters swimming underwater in specially built glass enclosures. The centre also has facilities to treat sick and injured otters, a shop and there is the opportunity to combine your visit with a trip on the South Devon Steam Railway which is next to the Sanctuary.



Buckfastleigh Caves

Established in 1962 by the William Pengelly Cave Studies Trust, the Pengelly Centre occupies a hillside in Buckfastleigh that contains 100,000 year-old bones from animals such as hippos, rhinos and extinct elephants.

You will learn how the caves were formed and the history that dates back 350 million years.

The site offers a museum, guided walks and a variety of events.



Dart Rock Climbing Centre

Dart Rock Climbing Centre provides indoor and outdoor rock climbing activities in a safe, encouraging and fun atmosphere within a state of the art facility for all ages and experience.

Situated at Dart Mills, Buckfastleigh this attraction is easily accessible from the A38 and offers a dedicated teaching area, classroom and refreshments facility.



Pennywell Farm and Wildlife Centre

Pennywell Farm is an award winning farm activity park which is home to a wide variety of animals including unique breeds and offers a range of activities for the family including shows, displays, rides and opportunities to meet the animals.

The site offers extensive parking, a café and is situated one mile from Buckfastleigh.



South Devon Railway Trust

This popular attraction offers a seven mile trip on a former Great Western Railway branch line which runs along the beautiful Dart Valley between Buckfastleigh and Totnes and can be combined with a visit to Buckfast Butterflies and Dartmoor Otter Sanctuary together with Totnes Rare Breeds Farm.

Steam trains with heritage rolling stock run throughout much of the year with special events. The attraction includes a museum, play area, riverside walks, refreshment rooms and a gift shop. A heritage bus service also runs between the Station, Buckfast Abbey, Ashburton and the town centre of Buckfastleigh on selected days – see 2018 timetable below.  This “Railway Replacement Bus” operated in the early 1950s on market days when Ashburton station was congested with railway cattle trucks.


2018 Bus Timetable


The Valiant Soldier

The Valiant Soldier was a village inn for more than two centuries until it closed in the 1960s. It is a time-capsule where everything including pub artefacts and furniture were simply left and the building was shut up for over 30 years.

Now the former pub has been turned into a visitor attraction retaining the atmosphere of a working-man’s pub during the 1940s and 50s together with an information centre and shop.

The Valiant Soldier is situated in the centre of Buckfastleigh.