Prehistoric Dartmoor Walks, walking the Stone Rows and Stone Circles of Dartmoor
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Dartmoor Resource: Guide to Dartmoor Public Transport

Guide to Dartmoor Public Transport

First Buses dartmoor Explorer

New Dartmoor Explorer Bus and Okehampton Train

The Spring 2022 onwards bus timetables have been published and this page has been updated with the relevant details. The dartmoor Explorer and Okehampton train services are available over the easter bank holiday weekend.

There were two very welcome developments in 2021 which could transform public transport to Dartmoor. The first is the new daily Dartmoor Explorer bus service from First Buses which started on 16th May 2021. The second is the very welcome announcement that the daily train service between Okehampton and Exeter will resume for the first time in fifty years on 20th November 2021. Also on this page are listings of the various bus and train services useful for transport around Dartmoor.

Daily Okehampton Train Service

In late 2020 it was announced by government that funding would be made available for a daily train service between Okehampton and Exeter. Campaigners have been pushing for a daily service for very many years and this is a very welcome development. As with the Dartmoor Explorer a daily Okehampton train will transform the public transport available to locals and to walkers. For further details see the Dartmoor Line.

Hourly service scheduled to start 15 May 2022

The train service that started as a two hourly service is to become an hourly service with the summer timetable starting on May 15 2022.

The summer timetable is available for download here: Dartmoor Line Timetable valid from 15 May to 10 Dec 2022 - PDF (Mondays to Saturdays & Sundays).

New Dartline 118 Service to link with trains

Devon County Council have announced a new bus service funded by DCC that will link with the trains making onward travel to Tavistock via Lydford and Mary Tavy possible. The Dartline 118 service will be hourly with a bus that stops at the train station every two hours to meet the train and in the hour in between will stop in central Okehampton. For walkers this opens up walks to and from Sourton, the Fox & Hounds, Lydford and Mary Tavy. From Tavistock it will also be possible to use the Oakleys 98 bus for onward travel to Merrivale, Princetown, Two Bridges, Postbridge and Yelverton. The last bus back to Okehampton from Tavistock is early evening. Alternatively, the last Oakleys 98 bus leaves Princetown for Yelverton at 18.08 from where the Stagecoach 1 goes to Plymouth for a train home.

For more details see: New bus service being launched to connect with Okehampton rail services

The timetable is available here: Dartline 118 Okehampton to Tavistock Via Mary Tavy, Lydford timetable - PDF

The Okehampton train service timetable from 15 May 2022 until 10 December 2022 is as follows:

Dartmoor Line Timetable Summer 2022

Dartmoor Explorer Bus

The Dartmoor Explorer service resumed in the Spring of 2022. The service has seen some changes and instead of buses starting from both Exeter and Plymouth there are now buses in both directions starting from Exeter and Tavistock. The bus from Exeter now departs from the Exeter bus station instead of Exeter St Davids train station. There are now 4 buses in both directions and whilst there is no longer a service from Plymouth there are regular buses such as the Stagecoach Service 1 from Plymouth to Tavistock so it is still easy to use the service from Plymouth. The other notable change is that one of the four buses goes to/from Gunnislake train station enabling a link with train services from Plymouth.

This is the first time that the central moor has been accessible by bus since the Transmoor bus service last ran in 2015. Once again central Dartmoor is accessible by public transport for those travelling without a car. The service is probably intended to be a sight seeing service and does not in itself leave long for walkers to explore the moor and return on the same service although a short 4 hour walk is possible. However, it is a game changer for those prepared to camp or stay overnight or for those prepared to walk across the moor to get home using another bus or possibly the train from Ivybridge.

The main stops will be:

Exeter - Dunsford - Moretonhampstead - Warren House Inn - Postbridge - Princetown - Merrivale - Tavistock - (Gunnislake - one of the 4 buses)

Currently it would appear buses leave in both directions from Exeter (10 AM, 11 AM) and Tavistock (9.50 AM, 10.50 AM) and on arrival at their destination they set off after aproximately one hour as a return service from Exeter (1 PM and 2 PM) and Tavistock (2.50 PM and 3.50 PM). From Plymouth an option is to get the train to Gunnislake to get the first eastward bus from there and returning on the same bus, the third bus from Exeter, back to Tavistock and on to Gunnislake.

The current timetable results in four buses a day in both directions. From Exeter you could, for example, arrive at the Warren House Inn at 11.09 AM and catch a return bus from the same location at 2.29 PM. So a short walk and a pint in the pub is possible. Of course, it is also a beautiful bus journey and the bus will be a double-decker. Currently there is not enough time for a serious long walk but it will be possible to combine using this bus with other bus services to walk the northern or southern moor. A long walk could be combined with a bus home from Okehampton, Ivybridge (or train), Chagford, Yelverton or Tavistock. There are also buses that run much later between Tavistock and Plymouth and between Moretonhampstead and Exeter.

The new bus transforms the situation for backpackers wanting to wild camp. For the first time for years, you can get a bus out to the central moor and camp overnight and return on the bus the next day. Currently the bus is timetabled to run at the same time every day of the week, including weekends and bank holidays. Wild camping can be a fabulous way to explore Dartmoor but the central ethos behind wild camping is to leave no trace. Those in the wild camping community are very insistent that people need to understand that wild camping is not the same as free camping. Wild camping is permitted only in certain areas of Dartmoor and you should check the Dartmoor National Park website before you start. There are very strict rules against fires including barbecues on the moor - if you want a campfire then please go to an official campsite that allows it. Likewise wild camping is not permitted for large tents or large groups. There are useful links on the Dartmoor National Park website for Campsites and Caravan Parks and a map of the areas where wild camping is permitted.

The full timetable for the Dartmoor Explorer bus is as follows, this is daily including weekends and bank holidays.

First Buses dartmoor Explorer

The Dartmoor Explorer bus is part of a range of new so-called adventures by bus tour services from First Buses including routes in Cornwall and one in Exmoor. The tickets cost a flat rate £10 for the first ticket and £5 for subsequent tickets so it becomes considerably cheaper to travel as part of a group. English National Concessionary Travel Passes are accepted on these buses so if you qualify you can travel for free.

For more details see: First Buses - Dartmoor Explorer.

Haytor Hoppa summer service only

These are summer services and details are kept here over the winter of 2021-22 so people can get an idea for planning for next year.

Update April 2022: The Saturday timetable will resume on Saturday 28 May 2022 and will operate until Saturday 29 October 2022. The Monday to Friday timetable will resume on Monday 25 July 2022 and will operate until Friday 2 September 2022. More details will be published here when we have them.

A version of the Haytor Hoppa service is now being run by Stagecoach as a slightly different service from previous years. The route no longer includes Manaton and Becka Falls but there are more buses now between Bovey Tracey and Widecombe. The following timetable is from last year (2021) and includes only the segment of the journey between Newton Abbot and Widecombe via Bovey Tracey. It is Saturdays in the early summer becoming Monday-Friday as well on 25th July. For those starting from Exeter the separate full 39 timetable is required which can also be found on pages 39-40 of the Teignbridge Bus Times E-Booklets.

Stagecoach 39 & 271 Haytor Hoppa

Guide to Dartmoor Public Transport

The premise of this website was to give a guide to visiting interesting prehistoric sites using public transport. This was back when the Transmoor Bus made the central moor accessible for those without cars in the summer months until it stopped in 2016. The new Dartmoor Explorer bus opens up the possibility of visiting the central moor without a car once again although it still remains impossible to do a long walk and get a bus home. The new Okehampton daily train service transforms access to northern Dartmoor. In addition it is possible to get to Postbridge and Princetown via Yelverton and or Tavistock with connecting services from Plymouth to Yelverton.

There are many good B&Bs and campsites around the moor and wild camping is permitted for back packers. Chances are if you want to explore the central moor and you are not based in Plymouth or Tavistock you will now need to stay overnight. The two pubs in Princetown have bunk house facilities and the Plume of Feathers has camping facilities at the rear of the pub although it close in the summer of 2021 and it currently up for sale. The Dartmoor National Park website has a useful guide of Campsites and Caravan Parks. If you are not a backpacker and you are not familiar with the concept of leave no trace then you will be wanting the comfort and facilities of a campsite.

There are other services that are available all year round, including a much reduced bus service. The best options out of season, or on week days, are probably the train to Ivybridge and the X38 bus which goes through South Brent and Ivybridge. From Plymouth there are daily services to Tavistock such as Stagecoach 1 and the Dartline 118 service connects Tavistock to Okehampton.

There is also a daily bus service from Exeter to Moretonhampstead, Exeter to Newton Abbot (via Bovey Tracey) and Exeter to Okehampton. The Okehampton buses leave early from Exeter and you can get off at Sticklepath, Ramsley or Belstone for a more direct route on to the moor. The Exeter-Okehampton bus can be combined with the Dartline 118 to get access to the west of the moor (e.g. Dartmoor Inn) on a weekday from Exeter.

The Tavistock Community Transport Association provide a weekday service around Tavistock and a once a month bus to Exeter, Falmouth (via Bodmin & Truro), Barnstaple and Torquay (via Ivybridge) on the first, second, third and fourth Saturdays of the month respectively. They advise booking in advance, see Tavistock Country Bus and Tavistock Country Bus Saturday Service. There are services on weekdays see Tavistock Country Bus Weekday Timetable.

Dartmoor transport - please help to keep this guide accurate!

Transport to Dartmoor is seasonal and subject to change. Often seasonal timetables are not published until late into the previous season. The best effort is made to ensure the details below are accurate but with services provided by at least 5 bus companies maintaining this page is proving very difficult. It is not helped by the fact that the smaller bus companies keep moving their PDF timetables around so links can rapidly go out of date. Any feedback with suggested corrections or additions to improve this listing is most welcome!

Contact email: info@dartmoorwalks.org.uk

The information below was last checked for accuracy on 11/05/22. Check with TravelineSW before travelling!

Useful Public Transport Links

Bus times can be checked on Traveline SW and train times on National Rail Enquiries.

Devon County Council provide an excellent guide to public transport, see Travel Devon. It includes Devon transport: Interactive bus map. With this interactive guide you can zoom in to see the area you are interested in and then click on the route number which then gives you the option to get the relevant timetable.

The very useful Devon County Council area bus timetables for the summer of 2021 were released on 21st June 2021 and are available in some bus stations and tourist information offices and also online via: Devon Area Bus Timetable Booklets

See also: Dartmoor National Park Authority: Travel Information.

Dartmoor Explorer

This service goes across Dartmoor between Exeter and Plymouth in both directions. Stops include; Exeter, Dunsford, Moretonhampstead, Warren House Inn, Postbridge, Two Bridges, Princetown, Tavistock, Yelverton, Plymouth.

First Buses Dartmoor Explorer (Daily including weekends and bank holidays) - see above.

Haytor Hoppa: Newton Abbot to Widecombe circular via Bovey Tracey (Country Bus 39 & 271)

Country Bus 271 Timetable (the 2021 timetable will probably be replaced on this link with the 2022 timetable when it is published) (Saturday 28th May to Saturday 29th Oct 2022 and also Mon-Fri 25th July to Friday 1st Sept 2022). See also Dartmoor National Park Authority: Haytor Hoppa.

Exeter to Okehampton (Stagecoach 5 and 6/6A)

It is possible with the 6A service to leave Exeter early on a week day and get off at Sticklepath, South Zeal or the minor stop Ramsley for direct access on to the northern moor.

Stagecoach Exeter - Hatherleigh - Okehampton 5A (Mondays to Saturdays), use TravelineSW to see all the minor stops.

Stagecoach Bude - Exeter (via Okehampton) 6/6A/173/178 (Mondays to Sundays including bank holidays), use TravelineSW to see all the minor stops.

Exeter to Moretonhampstead via Dunsford (Country Bus 359)

Country Bus 359 Timetable (Mondays to Saturdays). Map of 359 route.

Bridford – Exeter via Christow & Dunchideock (Stagecoach 360)

Stagecoach 360 Timetable (Mondays to Saturdays). Map of 360 route.

Exeter to Moretonhampstead via Drewsteington & Chagford (Dartline 173)

Dartline Coaches 173 Timetable (Mondays to Saturdays except public holidays).

Exeter to Newton Abbot via Bovey Tracey (Stagecoach 39)

Stagecoach Buses Service 39 (Mondays to Saturdays & Sundays).

Newton Abbot - Okehampton Via Moretonhampstead, Chagford (Country Bus 178)

Country Bus 178 Timetable (Mondays to Saturdays). Map of 178 route.

Exeter to Plymouth via Buckfastleigh, South Brent & Ivybridge (Stagecoach X38)

Exeter, Drumbridges, Ashburton, Buckfastleigh, South Brent, Ivybridge, Plymouth (Mondays to Saturdays, also Sundays). Stagecoach X38 Timetable.

Torquay to Plymouth Via Totnes - South Brent - Ivybridge (Stagecoach GOLD)

Stagecoach GOLD Timetable. (From 3rd January 2022).

Plymouth to Tavistock (Stagecoach 1)

Plymouth to Tavistock (Stagecoach 1) (week days and weekend, Timetable valid from 10/04/2022 until further notice).

Tavistock to Okehampton Via Mary Tavy, Lydford (Dartline 118)

Tavistock to Okehampton (Dartline 118) (Mon-Fri and Saturdays).

Tavistock to Yelverton Via Princetown, Postbridge (Oakleys, formerly Target Travel 98)

Holsworthy / Oakleys Bus 98 Timetable (Mondays to Saturday).

Plymouth to Princetown via change at Yelverton (Plymouth Stagecoach 1 & Oakleys, formerly Target Travel 98)

Use the Plymouth to Tavistock Stagecoach 1 (daily, see above) and change at Yelverton (roundabout) for the Oakleys, formerly Target Travel 98 Tavistock to Yelverton via Princetown service Bus 98 Timetable (Monday to Saturday).

Tavistock to Yelverton (via Walkhampton) to Milton Combe Circular 55. Tavistock to Yelverton (via Walkhampton & Meavy) 56. Oakleys Coaches 55 & 56

This service allows access to Walkhampton. Oakleys Coaches 55 & 56 (Monday to Saturday).

Plymouth to Lee Moor to George Junction (via Shaugh Bridge & Wotter). Oakleys Coaches 59

This service allows access to Wooter, Shaugh Prior & Shaugh Bridge. Could be combined with walk to or from Ivybridge train station. Oakleys Coaches 59 (Monday to Saturday).

Tavistock Country Bus alternate Saturday Service

Timetables for the following services are availabe on the Tavistock Country Bus website. This is a community and volunteer run bus service and their website says services are gently returning from April 2021.

123 tavistock - horrabridge - princetown - postbridge - moretonhampstead - exeter
First Saturday in the month - March to December

119 Tavistock - gunnislake - callington - liskeard - bodmin - truro - falmouth
Second Saturday in the month - March to December

118 tavistock - HATHERLEIGH - ROSEMOOR - TORRINGTON - BIDEFORD - BARNSTAPLE
Third Saturday in the month - April to September

111 tavistock - yelverton - lee moor - cornwood - ivybridge - totnes - paignton - torquay
Fourth Saturday in the month - April to September

112 TAVISTOCK - princetown - ashburton - newton abbot - dawlish
Fifth Saturday in the month - April to September

Devon Trains: Taunton and Exeter to Paignton and Plymouth (GWR timetable)

Regular trains daily all year from Exeter to Torbay and Plymouth includes Ivybridge PDF: D timetable showing trains from London, Bristol and Taunton to Exeter, Torbay and Plymouth (valid from 15 May to 10 Dec 2022). See also GWR Train Times

Train Exeter to Okehampton

The summer timetable starts on 15 May 2022 with trains every hour in both directions from early morning until late evening. The timetable is available for download here: Dartmoor Line Timetable valid from 15 May to 10 Dec 2022 - PDF (Mondays to Saturdays & Sundays). For further details see the Dartmoor Line.

Train Plymouth to Gunnislake (The Tamar Valley Line)

Winter service Plymouth to Gunnislake PDF: D5 Plymouth to Gunnislake (valid from 15 May to 10 Dec 2022 - PDF ). See also GWR Train Times

Dartmoor Railway (Okehampton to Meldon Quarry)

The Dartmoor Railway is currently in administration and services have been indefinitely suspended. The Dartmoor Railway is the name given to the 15.5 mile long line that runs across the northern edge of Dartmoor between Meldon Quarry in the West and Coleford Junction near Yeoford, in the East. The route operates between Meldon Quarry and Sampford Courtenay via Okehampton. During the summer there was a regular weekend service from Okehampton to Meldon Quarry.

Page last updated 11/05/22