Things to do
A distinctly Victorian railway town, Newton Abbot is located in the heart of South Devon, giving you great access to Dartmoor National Park and the whole of the South Devon coast – an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There’s plenty going on in and around the town from the high street names and independent shops to food and drink festivals and a cinema, restaurants to a popular racecourse if you fancy a flutter, you’ll find plenty to keep everyone entertained. Newton Abbot Ourdoor Market is held on a Wednesday and Saturday, there is an indoor pannier market which is open Monday - Staurday from 9an until 4pm and the Product Market held every Tuesday and Friday in Courtenay Strret. There’s a busy program of street entertainment and town centre events taking place throughout the year. The town’s close proximity to the resorts of Torquay and Paignton as well as the dramatic wilds of Dartmoor mean that fun and adventure are never far away.
The Newton Abbot area has been inhabited since Neolithic times and was later occupied by the Romans. Referred to as the New Town of the Abbots (from the nearby Torre Abbey) the town was renamed Newton Abbot by 1300 and thanks to its market it became a thriving centre. Both wool and leather industries prospered here during the medieval period, and later the clay industry became a major employer. In 1846 The South Devon Railway reached Newton Abbot and transformed the market town into a communications centre and base for industry. Branch lines to Torquay (in 1848) and Moretonhampstead (in 1866), made Newton Abbot a prime location for further industrial development. Some of the town’s history can be seen with a visit to St Leonard's Tower, the remains of an ancient church demolished in 1836, which sits in the centre of the town.
Food and drink
With pubs and restaurants packed full of character, atmosphere and charm all serving great local Devon produce, you won’t be limited to the usual ‘pub grub’ when it comes to eating out in Newton Abbot and the surrounding areas. With a number of popular food and drink festivals held each year, as well as a produce market held on Tuesdays and Fridays, in Courtenay Street, you won’t be able to miss your chance to sample fresh local produce.
Something a little different
Great outdoor spaces
Newton Abbot is surrounded by some great parks and outdoor spaces. In the middle of town you’ll find the recently refurbished Victoria Gardens set alongside the river Lemon, and Decoy Country Park, Courtenay Park and Bakers Park can all be found within walking distance of the centre. The Town Quay and wonderful new bridge, which forms part of an extended cycle route, provide a great chance to explore the surrounding area. Within a short drive you’ll find Stover Country Park, and the Ted Hughes Poetry trail and the Haldon Forest Park complete with spectacular views and woodland exploration with a difference.
If you want something more than the usual holiday diversions, Hannah’s at Seale Hayne is a vibrant, innovative and integrated learning space that encourages community development. It’s a centre for arts, music and performance, outdoor pursuits and disability opportunities, and you’ll find plenty of interesting and exciting things to do there as well as a cafe.