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Tavistock, Devon, UK Town Guide

May 17th, 2009

tavistock-devon-uk-city-guide.jpgDespite the beautiful surroundings, the interesting history, and the relaxed atmosphere, very few foreign tourists visit Devon or Cornwall in the southwest of England in comparison to London or other more well-known attractions. Tavistock lies in west Devon, close to the border with Cornwall and is best known for its most famous former resident, Sir Francis Drake.

This small market town has a few attractions, but is best used as a hub for visiting nearby villages and points of interest in the Dartmoor national park. Tavistock is based on the River Tavy and has been traced back to AD 961 when the Tavistock Abbey was founded. The Abbey ruins still lie in the centre of the town.

The town’s Pannier Market is based centrally and brings visitors from surrounding areas. Tavistock’s market town status dates back to 1105 when King Henry granted a royal charter to the monks, allowing them to run a weekly Pannier Market.

Getting into the town is not simple. From abroad the easiest route is by plane to Bristol International Airport, train to Plymouth, then bus to Tavistock or renting a car from the airport. Bus is the only regular public transport in the town. A car would be an advantage as a number of nearby attractions are not easily accessible by public transport.

Lydford Gorge is near to Tavistock and is a 2.4km long gorge owned and maintained by the National Trust. Included in this is a 30 metre high waterfall known as the White Lady and a series of whirlpools. Another popular nearby venue is Morwellham Quay, an open air Victorian theme park with a conserved village and mine train.

This is one part of a whole region of England which has picturesque views and an interesting history. Its distance from international airports and London makes it more difficult to reach for tourists, but this can add to the attraction. Tavistock is a fantastic town in a wonderful region of England and should be considered by anyone wanting to visit the lesser known parts of the UK.


Patrick MacGougan is a freelance writer for Constant Content who specializes in articles relating to European travel and tourist destinations.


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