Image by Martin Bodman | CC BY-SA 2.0 | via Wikimedia Commons

The image above shows an Ironmonger’s shop in the ancient stannary town of Ashburton – a rare survival in the 21st century! The building used to be the Mermaid Inn as a plaque above the doorway on the right proclaims: ‘General Fairfax, after driving the Royalists out of Ashburton, lodged here (formerly the Mermaid Inn) on January 10th 1646).

Ashburton originates from Saxon times and its reputation for its pubs, inns and coaching houses dates back hundreds of years. The name is recorded in the Domesday Book (1086) as Essebretone. It is located just off the A38 in between Plymouth and Exeter.

It has a lovely selection of tea shops, cafes, good quality restaurants and food shops as well as featuring the excellent Ashburton Cookery School. In addition, there are plenty of shops to browse around, as well as some fantastic antique shops. If you’re anything like me, you will definitely find something to buy!! In fact, it is highly unusual for me to come home without a purchase from Ashburton.

A short distance west of Ashburton is the River Dart Adventure Centre, where you can climb, slide and splash your way around acres of woodland, lake and a river. The Carnival held at Ashburton is probably one of the oldest surviving in Devon. Apparently, written records date it back to 1891.

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About the Author: Carole Langman works behind the scenes at Bowerland Cottage Holidays and Devon Dogs as the Business Manager. Her office is always a hive of activity, and with the vast amounts of work Carole has, we never really know how she gets through it all! To unwind, she loves gardening, hikes around Bowerland, travelling and writing.

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