Our guide to holidays in Newton Abbot
Perfectly positioned to explore South Devon’s best-loved days out, the historic market town of Newton Abbot makes a popular base for walkers, families and those of you who are just dreaming of some time out close to the countryside.
With a reputation as a great day out thanks to its racecourse, and traditional markets throughout the month to tempt those of you keen to sample the foodie side of Devon, there’s a sense of community spirit throughout Newton Abbot that means you get to experience a little of real Devon life during your holiday.
If you fancy pulling on your hiking boots and discovering the wide open beauty of Dartmoor National Park, you’ll find it less than 20 minutes away by car. Famous for its dramatic, unspoilt landscape, Dartmoor makes just the setting for that long walk and a sneaky stop off for a pub lunch during your Newton Abbot holiday.
Or, for those long sunny days on the beach enjoying the South Devon climate, you’ll find Torbay less than 15 minutes away by car, and that means some of the finest beaches in the South West almost on your doorstep. With its palm-lined seafront and family attractions, Torquay’s the perfect day out during a family escape.
Things to do in Newton Abbot
Let’s start with its most popular attraction – Newton Abbot Racecourse. Don’t worry if you don’t know the first thing about horse racing, this is one of the best days out in the region. Prince Charles himself rode his last ever horse race on a horse belonging to the Queen Mother at this very course, and with 150 years of history to its name it’s a great day out and a part of Devon’s culture.
As a traditional market town, it’s only right that you experience at least one of the local markets during your Newton Abbot holiday. You’ll find a Pannier market in the historic Butter Market building every week, and the annual autumn fayre takes place in Courtenay Street every September. Or, how about the Farmers’ and Produce market which takes place every Tuesday and Friday from 9am until 3pm?
Now for something the kids are going to love…well actually, everyone loves this one – the Prickly Ball Farm’s home to a hedgehog rescue hospital. Found in the village of East Ogwell, just on the outskirts of the town, this attraction welcomes visitors to pop in and say hi to some of the furry residents – and who can resist a rescued hedgehog? There’s a farm shop on site too, so you’ll have the perfect opportunity to sample some of the region’s produce.
Now for one of the quirkier things to do in Newton Abbot…the House of Marbles. Found in Bovey Tracey just outside of the town, this attraction’s all about the good old fashioned marble. Set in a historic pottery, this working glass and games factory shows you everything you need to know about the marble, and the shop’s great fun too.
Places to visit in Newton Abbot
There’s a well-kept secret on the outskirts of Newton Abbot, in the form of Stover Country Park. Set around a huge and very peaceful lake, the park makes a beautiful spot for a quiet walk. You’ll find trails and sculptures as you make your way around, and if you find yourself in the mood to escape the hustle and bustle and just breathe during your holiday then this is the place to come. Seale Hayne hosts regular art events and exhibitions throughout the year too, so check what’s on during your stay nearby.
Speaking of secrets, we’ll let you in on another one…Seale Hayne. Around a 15 minute drive from Newton Abbot (close to Ashburton), this stately home was once an agricultural cottage and then a military hospital, and its views across the countryside are spectacular. It’s also home to Hannah’s bistro, one of the best places to get a Sunday roast in the region. Trust us, these guys serve up fantastic food in an elegant wood-panelled room, and the whole site is accessible.