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Top places to live in Devon Ashburton

Perfect for anyone who needs all perks of living in a town but wants to be able to make a fast getaway. Ashburton is just off the Devon Expressway, with two cities just half an hour away, but with brilliant shops, community and a buzzing community right there. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.

Pic credit: Mike Crowe


Say hello to a mini-me Hampstead on the gateway to the moors. The community in this ancient stannary town tends to be artistic and laid-back, with a mix of creatives, as well as surfers who’ve made it their base for the coast at Wembury. Gardens are on the small side in the town, so look to the villages in the surrounding countryside if you want to live the landed Devon dream.


It’s bustling. Loads of excellent indie choice, including a deli, artisan bakery, a new veggie restaurant Rafikis, and uber-cool cafe and lifestyle store Rust and the Wolf. The Old Library has a faithful following for its popular brunches and locally-sourced menu. And don’t miss out on the Muddy-reviewed Riverford Field Kitchen at nearby Buckfastleigh for local-grown sharing menu – and a gorgeous bucolic setting.


For thoughtfully curated gifts, lovely bags, jewellery and wrapping paper, Muddy loves Tess Designs. For floaty linen pieces, bags and homeware, we love the indie store My Fabulous Things. And there are so many excellent antiques stores there is also a newly created Antiques Trail around the town so you don’t miss anything.


The River Dart Country Park is a great watery and zip-wire day out for kids, as is Buckfastleigh’s Otters & Butterflies – an unusual combo but it works! Muddy loves the shops and gardens at Dartington Hall (once a country estate but now HQ of a trust that focuses on the arts and sustainability) where they have shed-loads of interesting courses and workshops, as well as the brilliant Ways with Words literary festival and a Barn Cinema for a culture hit.


£300k but more like £650k if you’re after a period townhouse close to the town centre. Good local estate agents include Howard Douglas and Sawdye Harris (their facebook is full of interesting local news and goss).

If you need help finding your dream pad, call Ed and Grace Jephson, Muddy-approved property finders extraordinaire at Stacks, covering the whole of the South Hams and Dartmoor.



Ashburton Primary School is rated ‘Good’ and the co-ed day and boarding Stover School is eight miles away, from which many younger children go onto the girls and boys grammar at Torquay. There is a bus route organised by parents from Newton Abbot to Exeter School, while Devon’s oldest private school Blundells (43 miles away at Tiverton) runs a bus service from Heathfield near Newton Abbot.


The Last Leg comedian, Josh Widdicombe, moved from London to Dartmoor when he was three years old and attended Ashburton’s South Dartmoor Community College.


You’re right on the A38 Devon Expressway, and just over half an hour by car to either Exeter or Plymouth, and 16 miles to the M5 southbound. Or its 2hrs 41 minutes to London by train via your nearest station at Newton Abbot, eight miles away.

View the full Top 200 Places to Live

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