In recent years, Ashburton has given itself a most effective facelift, and has become one of the most desirable towns to visit in the whole of South Devon. Formally one of the Stannary towns, from where the tin mining industry on Dartmoor was governed, these days it has a wonderful selection of independent shops, cafes, delicatessens and eateries, as well as a trail of antique shops offering a broad selection of opportunities to buy something old, interesting and collectible.
One of the most appealing features of this architecturally attractive town is the fact that the centre is quite compact, so it’s easy to get around on foot and to visit as much of the town as the visitor wishes to. The town has a thriving arts centre with a broad range of performance, activities and workshops going on, and the town museum focuses not just on the town’s history, but that of Dartmoor National Park too. On the edge of town is the Ashburton Cookery School, one of England’s top cookery schools offering a host of inspirational courses, and the town itself has an eclectic range of appealing cafes, tearooms and restaurants at which to dine.
A couple of interesting facts about the town are firstly, that Harry Baskerville lived here in the latter part of his life. He was the coachman that drove Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to Dartmoor when the author was planning his most famous story. Secondly, Sir Walter Raleigh was arrested here in 1603 whilst at the Old Exeter Inn, before being taken to the Tower of London to be imprisoned.