19 Best Things to Do in Newton Abbot

Things to do in Newton Abbot

Newton Abbot Things to Do

Discover the top things to do in Newton Abbot, a charming market town in the heart of England.

Newton Abbot is a charming town nestled in the heart of Devon, England. With its rich history, picturesque landscapes, and vibrant community, there are plenty of exciting activities to enjoy during your visit. 

Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or a food enthusiast, Newton Abbot offers something for everyone. In this article, we will explore the best things to do in Newton Abbot, ensuring you have a memorable experience.

Where is Newton Abbot Located?

Newton Abbot is located in the county of Devon, England. It is situated in the southwestern part of the country, approximately 17 miles southwest of Exeter. 

The town is nestled in a picturesque region, surrounded by the stunning landscapes of Dartmoor National Park and the English Riviera coastline.

What is Newton Abbot Known For?

Newton Abbot is known for several things. It is renowned for its rich railway heritage, with the Newton Abbot Town and GWR Museum showcasing its historical significance. 

The town is also famous for its picturesque natural landscapes, vibrant cultural scene, and diverse culinary experiences. Additionally, the market town hosts a variety of festivals and events throughout the year, adding to its reputation as a lively and captivating destination in Devon, England.

Best Things to Do in Newton Abbot

1. Decoy Country Park

Nestled amidst picturesque woodlands and serene lakes, Decoy Country Park provides a peaceful retreat for nature enthusiasts. Take leisurely walks along the trails, spot an array of bird species, or relax and enjoy a picnic by the water’s edge. 

2. Stover Country Park

Stover Country Park is a picturesque nature reserve near Newton Abbot. This tranquil park offers a peaceful escape with its serene lakes, lush woodlands, and diverse wildlife. 

Explore the scenic walking trails, spot birds at the bird hide, or simply enjoy a relaxing picnic surrounded by nature’s beauty. 

3. Newton Abbot Town and GWR Museum

The Newton Abbot Town and GWR Museum is a must-visit attraction in the town. It showcases the town’s rich railway heritage, featuring fascinating exhibits, artefacts, and interactive displays. 

Learn about the history of the Great Western Railway and its impact on Newton Abbot. 

4. Dartmoor National Park

Immerse yourself in the breathtaking landscapes by visiting Dartmoor National Park, located just a short distance from Newton Abbot. Take a leisurely hike, go wildlife spotting, or simply enjoy a picnic surrounded by nature’s beauty.


5. Becky Falls Woodland Park

Becky Falls Woodland Park is a fantastic day trip from Newton Abbot. Located in the heart of Dartmoor National Park, it offers breathtaking natural beauty, stunning waterfalls, and captivating woodland trails. 

Explore the park’s wildlife, and enjoy a delicious picnic after a long walk around the park. 

Related: 6 Best Waterfalls in Devon to Visit

6. Visit Local Areas

Just a short journey away, you’ll discover the charming coastal resorts of Teignmouth, Dawlish, and Dawlish Warren, along with Torquay, Brixham, and Paignton, collectively known as the English Riviera. 

These delightful destinations can be easily accessed by bus or train, making them ideal choices for a car-free day trip to enjoy a seaside getaway.

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7. Bradley Manor

Step back in time and explore the captivating Bradley Manor, a medieval manor house brimming with history. This National Trust property showcases exquisite architecture, stunning gardens, and an intriguing collection of artefacts.

Take a guided tour to learn about the house’s former occupants and gain insight into their lives. 

8. Compton Castle

Compton Castle is a remarkable medieval fortress situated near Newton Abbot. This National Trust property showcases centuries of history through its well-preserved architecture and fascinating interiors. 

Explore the fortified walls, spiral staircases, and beautiful gardens. Discover the castle’s rich heritage and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

9. Trago Mills Family Shopping & Leisure Park

Trago Mills Family Shopping & Leisure Park in Newton Abbot is a must-visit destination. It offers a unique shopping experience with a wide range of products, from clothing to homeware. 

The park also features fun-filled activities for the whole family, including a miniature railway, children’s play areas, the Thedon animal park, and a variety of dining options.

10. Newton Abbot Racecourse

If you’re a fan of horse racing, a visit to Newton Abbot Racecourse is a must. Experience the thrill of the races and cheer on your favourite horses as they gallop towards the finish line. 

The racecourse also hosts various events throughout the year, including family fun days and music concerts, ensuring an entertaining day out for all.

11. Shopping and Markets

For those who enjoy shopping, Newton Abbot offers a variety of markets and stores to explore. 

Every Wednesday and Saturday, you can browse the bustling Outdoor Market, while the Indoor Pannier Market is open from Monday to Saturday, offering a range of goods. Additionally, there’s a weekly Produce Market on Fridays in Courtenay Street. 

Beyond the markets, the town centre is filled with a diverse array of shops, from well-known high street brands to independent retailers and a department store.

12. Templer Way

If you prefer exploring by foot, Newton Abbot is situated along the Templer Way. This scenic walking route follows the historic path of granite, spanning 18 miles from the quarries at Haytor on Dartmoor to the docks in Teignmouth. 

Embark on this picturesque trail and immerse yourself in the natural beauty and historical significance of the area.

13. Town Quay

Newton Abbot Town Quay is a delightful spot to visit. Located by the River Lemon, it offers a picturesque setting for a leisurely stroll or a moment of relaxation. Enjoy the tranquil atmosphere, watch the boats pass by, and appreciate the beauty of the surrounding scenery. 

14. Courtenay Park

Courtenay Park in Newton Abbot is a beautiful green space perfect for outdoor recreation and relaxation. With its well-maintained lawns, colourful flowerbeds, and majestic trees, it offers a serene atmosphere for picnics, walks, and leisurely activities. 

The park also features a children’s play area, making it an ideal destination for families to enjoy quality time together.

Beaches Near Newton Abbot

Newton Abbot is conveniently located near several beautiful beaches along the English Riviera coastline. 

Here are some beaches within easy reach:

  • Teignmouth Beach: Just a short drive away, Teignmouth Beach offers a long sandy shore, perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and beachside walks.
  • Dawlish Warren Beach: This popular family-friendly beach boasts a sandy spit, nature reserve, and amusement park, providing a range of activities for all ages.
  • Torquay Beaches: Torquay is known for its stunning beaches, including Torre Abbey Sands, Meadfoot Beach, and Oddicombe Beach, each offering its own unique charm.
  • Paignton Beach: A bustling and vibrant beach with a wide sandy shore, Paignton Beach is a fantastic spot for beach games, picnics, and water sports.
  • Babbacombe Beach: Located in the picturesque village of Babbacombe, this small shingle beach offers breathtaking views and a peaceful atmosphere.

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Dawlish Warren Beach

Summary of Things to Do in Newton Abbot

We hope you’ve enjoyed this guide on the best things to do in Newton Abbot.

Newton Abbot is a picturesque town in Devon that offers a wide range of activities and attractions. From historical sites to natural wonders and cultural experiences, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Whether you’re visiting for the day, or planning a staycation, you won’t be short on activities or places to visit.

If you’re looking for a place to stay, take a look at the Quayside Hotel in Brixham. The beautiful hotel is located right on the harbourside over looking the sea, and a stone’s throw from the beach, shops, restaurants, and bars.

FAQs about Things to Do in Newton Abbot

Is it worth visiting Newton Abbot?

Newton Abbot is definitely worth visiting! With its rich history, stunning natural landscapes, diverse culinary scene, and vibrant cultural experiences, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this charming town.

Has Newton Abbot got a beach?

Newton Abbot doesn’t have a beach of its own, but it is conveniently located near the stunning beaches of the English Riviera. Just a short drive away, you can enjoy the sun, sand, and sea in beautiful coastal towns like Teignmouth and Torquay.

Why is Newton Abbot famous?

Newton Abbot is famous for its rich railway heritage, with the Newton Abbot Town and GWR Museum showcasing its historical significance. The town also offers stunning natural beauty, a vibrant cultural scene, and a diverse culinary experience, making it a popular destination for visitors.

Why is Newton Abbot called Newton Abbot?

Newton Abbot gets its name from the combination of two elements. “Newton” refers to its location near a “new town,” while “Abbot” indicates its historical connection to the Abbots of Torre Abbey, who were influential figures in the area’s history.

Can I explore Newton Abbot on foot?

Yes, Newton Abbot is a compact town, and many attractions are within walking distance of each other. Exploring on foot allows you to soak in the town’s charm and discover hidden gems along the way.

How can I reach Newton Abbot?

Newton Abbot is easily accessible by road and rail. It is well connected to major cities in the UK, and there are regular train services from London and other parts of the country.

What is the best time to visit Newton Abbot?

The best time to visit Newton Abbot is during the summer months when the weather is pleasant, and outdoor activities are in full swing. However, the town has its charm year-round, and each season offers unique experiences.

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