EUC Rail trip to Okehampton, Thursday 26 May 2022
Join us for a trip on the new railway service from Exeter to Okehampton, and explore the centre of Okehampton, including the Museum of Dartmoor Life.
10.32/10.37 Train to Okehampton – leaves Exeter Central at 10.32 am and Exeter St Davids at 10.37 am. The fare is £8 return, or £5.25 with a Senior Railcard.
11.30 118 Bus to town centre – The train arrives in Okehampton at 11.17 am. We will take the 11.30 bus down to the town centre, stopping at the Museum (bring your bus pass !)
11.45 Museum of Dartmoor Life – We will have a conducted tour (Group rate £4.50 pp).
1.00 Lunch at White Hart hotel (Wetherspoons) next door to the museum.
2.00 (Optional) Walking tour of places of interest with Richard Westlake. Alternatively, you could visit the shops or see the lovely Simmons Park.
3.10 118 bus to the railway station, or take the steep walk up there, possibly going via Simmons Park. At the station there will be time to have a cup of tea and a cake (small charge) served by the Friends of the Dartmoor Railway, and explore the Arthur Westlake Railway Museum.
4.25 Train to Exeter, arriving at St Davids at 5.03 and Central at 5.07.
The Dartmoor Line reopened on 21 November 2021 after being closed for nearly 50 years. It is the first line to be reinstated under the Department for Transport’s ‘Restoring your Railway’ initiative. https://dartmoorline.com/
The buildings that make up the Museum of Dartmoor Life consist of a three-storey warehouse and mill dating from the 19th century that were originally used for domestic and industrial purposes. The mill houses the museum itself, while the other buildings in the courtyard are used as a Victorian Tea Room and the Tourist Information Centre.
The museum has three floors of permanent exhibits. The ground floor features historic Dartmoor trades, including old-style farming and related works, such as thatchers, cider-makers, and quarrying. The exhibits on the middle floor include historic Dartmoor industries, the local military, prison and transport. On the top floor you will find collections related to the Bronze, Roman and Saxon Age. The John Young Gallery has a special temporary exhibition celebrating 150 years since the first train came to Okehampton. Please note that there is disabled access via a lift to all floors. http://www.dartmoorlife.org.uk/
The White Hart Hotel (close by to the museum) is the oldest of the coaching inns in Okehampton, and dates from the 1600s. https://www.jdwetherspoon.com/hotels/england/devon/the-white-hart
The lovely Simmons Park is located between the town centre and the station. https://www.okehampton.gov.uk/menu_page.php?id=8
The Arthur Westlake Railway Museum on Platform 2 is named after Richard’s father, who was one of the last steam drivers on Southern. Leaving the footplate in the 1960s, he became superintendent of Okehampton Station, and helped to keep the Okehampton line open when the station was threatened with closure. https://www.dartmoor-railway-association.org/museum