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

The new "transmoor" 171/172 Country Bus and the Okehampton Train

These listings are for summer 2024

Public transport is set to improve in 2024 with a new "transmoor" 171/172 Country Bus service starting on 15th April 2024. For the first time in nearly a decade it is possible to get a bus to the central moor for a reasonable walk from Newton Abbot or Exeter. Details of this and other routes are outlined below.

The new bus joins the Okehampton train which resumed in November 2021 as a welcome improvement of the otherwise poor public transport links on Dartmoor. The train service is regular and reliable and allows easy access to and from Okehampton and from there down the west side of Dartmoor using the 118 bus.

In more good news the Haytor Hoppa service is to resume on May 25th instead of the usual late July. The Dartmoor Explorer bus is no longer running but these new services, detailed below, are better for those travelling from the eastern side of Dartmoor.

The premise of this website originally was to give a guide to visiting interesting prehistoric sites using public transport. The short-lived Dartmoor Explorer only allowed a very short stop on the central moor with not enough time to walk to the antiquities. This is again possible from the eastern side of Dartmoor for the frst time since 2014!

News in 2024: £2 bus single bus fares continue until end of 2024 and a new Okehampton Parkway station announced

This year has seen the announcement of government funding to cap single fares on buses, see: £2 bus fare cap. This scheme has been extended until December 31 2024. This applies to most Devon buses. For more Devon details see: Travel Devon: Bus Fares £2 or less

The other significant news was the announcment of a new Okehampton Parkway train station. See: Green light for Okehampton Parkway station. The new station will be on the Dartmoor Line on the east edge of Okehampton, close to the A30 junction. This Transport Hub will be in addition to Okehampton’s existing station on the west side of the town, which will remain open.

Public transport services all year round

There are some services that are available all year round. The best options out of season, or on week days, are probably the train services to Ivybridge and Okehampton, the 38 bus which goes from Exeter through South Brent to Ivybridge (this was formerly the X38 Exeter to Plymouth). From Plymouth there are daily services to Tavistock such as Stagecoach 1 and the Dartline 118 service connects Tavistock to Okehampton. The 173 bus allows a good walk from Chagford with an evening return bus to Exeter.

There is also a daily bus service from Exeter to Moretonhampstead (Country Bus 359), Exeter to Bovey Tracey and Ivybridge (Stagecoach 38) and Newton Abbot/Bovey Tracey to Moretonhampstead, Whiddon Down and Okehampton (Stagecoach/Country Bus 178). The Stagecoach 6A bus leaves early from Exeter and you can get off at Ramsley, Sticklepath or Tongue End Cross (for 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.

For those using services by multiple operators (e.g. Stagecoach, Dartline, Country Bus and Plymouth City Bus), it may be better value to purchase the multi-operator Devon Day Ticket, which is currently £9.60 for adults, £6.40 for children, or £19.20 for families of up to 2 adults and 3 children (prices as of Oct 2023).

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 (re-opened in 2023). 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.

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.


Options for cycling on and around Dartmoor have improved considerably because of the re-opening of the Okehampton train line. The Granite Way can be used from Okehampton as a day out returning via the Okehampton train. It can in turn be combined by cycling on beyond Lydford through Peter Tavy and on to Tavistock to connect with the Drake Way which heads through Yelverton and then downhill to Plymouth. Another popular route adds the Tarka Trail to form the Devon Coast to Coast from Ilfracombe to Plymouth. A shorter version starting from Barnstaple train station. There is some very useful information on cycling routes on the DNP website, see Dartmoor National Park - Cycling.

Bicycles on the local trains require no booking and space is first come, first serve. That includes the Exeter to Okehampton, the Plymouth to Gunnislake and the Exeter to Barnstaple train services. The high speed trains that go through Exeter to Plymouth require advance booking but there is also a local train, the local train that stops at Ivybridge on the way to Plymouth that does not require booking. In reality, it is rare that you cannot get a bike on any of these trains. On the high speed train you can gurantee a space if you book and probably get a space if you don't book and you are on your own. Obviously, if it is a sunny peak season bank holiday weekend in August and multiple family or big groups attempt to use the available bike space simultanoeusly then there could be problems. The trains on all these routes are at least hourly - so worst case scenario on a busy day is you wait for the next train. The Gwr phone app allows booking of bicycle reservations as well as tickets.

See also: Cycling Book Review: Lost Lanes West

The information below was last checked for accuracy on 11/04/2024. Check with TravelineSW before travelling!

This public transport page attempts to document current bus and train services to Dartmoor. The services over the year have seen a high degree of chop and change which makes maintaining this page very difficult. Typically many of the services are seasonal and will change in mid-September to a winter service. Details of the Dartmoor Explorer bus service have been removed as the service seems to be not running until further notice. The advice on any buses or trains is to check before travelling on Traveline SW or National Rail Enquiries. Please feel free to contact the author with any updates or corrections to entries here.

Contact email:

The new "transmoor" 171/172 Country Bus

The new 171/172 bus service starts on 15th April 2024 and from a Newton Abbot and Exeter perspective is considerably better than the short-lived Dartmoor Explorer service. This is a Monday to Saturday service.

This new bus will allow walks of 5 hours from Warren House Inn, Postbridge and Princetown for travellers coming from the east. This means that for the first time since the days of the 82 Transmoor Bus central Dartmoor is accessible without a car in order to do a substantial walk. We can visit the Grey Wethers stone circles, once again. Also, the Fernworthy stone circle, Grimspound, the Hurston Ridge stone rows and the Soussons Common cairn circle and so much more fabulous bronze age archaeology. The area around Fernworthy reservoir, Soussons Down, Hamel Down, Bellever and Lakehead Hill near Postbridge - all available to walk again. Also available are the Dartmoor National Park visitor centres at Postbridge and Princetown - both very much worth a visit.

This is great news also for drivers. You don't need the cost and hassle of taking the car out and paying for parking - let the bus driver do the work! These journeys will cost a maximum of £2 for one way tickets for each bus.

Country Bus 171 timetable

The bus starts in Newton Abbot at 9:06 as the 171 bus. Travellers from Plymouth could get a return train ticket to Newton Abbot. Travellers from Exeter can connect to and from the service by getting the 359 bus and changing at Moretonhampstead.

The 171 travels along the B3212 passing the Warren House Inn and going on to Two Bridges, Postbridge, Princetown and then passing Merrivale on the way to Tavistock. At Tavistock the service becomes the 172 bus back to Newton Abbot via Dartmeet, Poundsgate and Ashburton along the B3357. At Dartmeet walkers will have up to 2 hours 40 minutes to explore. It returns the same route back to Tavistock where it becomes the 171 back to Newton Abbot via the B3212. The photos here show the timetable for 171/172, the routes of 171/172. Photos of Hurston Ridge stone row, Grey Wethers stone circles, Fernworthy stone circle, Soussons cairn circle and Grimspound. Images of the routes of the 171/172 can be found at the bottom of this page.

Country Bus 172 timetable

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 this service for very many years and this is a very welcome development.The daily Okehampton train will transform the public transport available to locals and to walkers. For further details see the Dartmoor Line.

The train service is now cheap and reliable with hourly trains every day. A single ticket Exeter to Okehampton is £4.20 (£2.75), a return £8.40 (£5.50). The prices in brackets being those with a one third reduction with a Devon & Cornwall railcard which costs £12 for a year (prices as of Oct 2023). An option is to use a Devon and Cornwall Day Ranger ticket cost £15 (1/3 off with Devon & Cornwall railcard so presumably £10), this then combined with bus journeys or cycling to get other train services.

The winter 2023 timetable is available for download here: D2 The Dartmoor line Tarka line 10 December 2023 to 1 June 2024 - PDF (Mondays to Saturdays & Sundays) or see GWR timetables.

A great job has been done to make Okehampton Station a nice place to wait for trains, with the cafe, Dartmoor National Park information centre, book shop and museum.

It is a two carriage train with space designed for 4 bicycles although it is quite spacious and fits more in the designated space. The popular Granite Way trail from Okehampton to Lydford is a great day out for a short easy cycle ride. For a longer ride there is the option to combine the Granite Way with the Drake Way from Tavistock to Plymouth for a train home from Plymouth or for those prepared for a tougher ride the NCN route 27 northwards through Hatherleigh and on to the Tarka Trail to Barnstaple for a train home.

Dartline 118 Service link to trains

Devon County Council have funded a service that links with the trains at Okehampton Station, enabling onward travel to Tavistock via Lydford and Mary Tavy. 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 it 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 Plymouth Citybus 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 98 bus leaves Princetown for Yelverton at 18.08 from where the Stagecoach 1 goes to Plymouth for a train home.

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

New bus connections at Okehampton station to and from Bude and Launceston

Starting on 30th October 2022, there will now be direct bus connections at Okehampton station to and from Bude, Holsworthy and Launceston, timed with trains. The Launceston service is financially supported by Cornwall Council and Devon County Council. See below for timetables for 6, 6A, 118 and 306 which all now link with the train service.

For more details see coverage on Dartmoor Line: New bus connections at Okehampton station to and from Bude and Launceston

The Okehampton train service timetable from May to December 2022 last year is as follows (the winter 2023 timetable is almost identical with some of the trains running one or two minutes later, so this remains a convenient listing - the offical timetable is available here D2 The Dartmoor line Tarka line 10 December 2023 to 1 June 2024 - PDF)

Dartmoor Line Timetable Summer 2022

Haytor Hoppa Summer Saturday service only

The Haytor Hoppa service is a Saturday only service from May 25th 2024 until 14th Sep 2024. The service is a circular route that starts from Newton Abbot and heads through Bovey Tracey on to Manaton then back through Bovey Tracey to return to Newton Abbot.The £2 single ticket scheme applies to this service.

The timetable is 271 Timetable (service to resume Saturday 25 May 2024). See also Dartmoor National Park Authority: Haytor Hoppa. travellers from Exeter can get the 38 bus to Bovey Tracey.

The Haytor Hoppa bus could be used to walk from Widecombe to the Warren House Inn or Dartmeet for the new "transmoor" Country Bus 171/172 home.


Country Bus 39 & 271 Haytor Hoppa

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 website has a very useful interface for looking up bus timetables and bus stops.

The very useful Devon County Council area bus timetables for the winter of 2022 were released on 30th October 2022 and are available in some bus stations and tourist information offices and also online via: Devon Area Bus Timetable Booklets

The Visit Dartmoor website has a very useful guide to transport, see: Visit Dartmoor: Travel information - Getting to the park

See also: Dartmoor National Park Authority: Travel Information.

Haytor Hoppa: Newton Abbot to Widecombe via Bovey Tracey (Stagecoach 38 & Country Bus 271) - Summer Saturdays only

Country Bus 271 Timetable (service Saturday 25th May 2024 to 14th Sept 2024). See also Dartmoor National Park Authority: Haytor Hoppa.

Exeter to Okehampton (Stagecoach 5A and 6A)

It is possible with the 6A service to leave Exeter and get off at Sticklepath or the minor stop Ramsley for direct access on to the northern moor. Through tickets are available onto the Stagecoach 6 service, for Holsworthy and Bude, however in some cases passengers must change buses at Okehampton.

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

Stagecoach Exeter - Sticklepath - Okehampton 6A (Mondays to Sundays including bank holidays), use TravelineSW to see all the minor stops.

Bude/Launceston to Okehampton (Stagecoach Bus 6, Go Cornwall Bus 306)

These services serve Okehampton Station, from where there are countless walks available, for example onto Belstone Common via the East Okement Valley or onto Okehampton Common for Yes Tor and High Willhays. Alternatively, these connect with trains to Exeter and buses to Tavistock (see Dartline 118 below).

Stagecoach Bude – Holsworthy – Okehampton 6 (Mondays to Sundays including bank holidays), timetable starts with 6A, scroll down for 6, use TravelineSW to see all the minor stops.

Go Cornwall Bus Launceston – Bridestowe Turn – Okehampton 306 (Mondays to Saturdays).

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, Tedburn St Mary & Chagford (Stagecoach 173)

It is possible with the 173 service to get off at Chagford and have a long walk on to Dartmoor via Gidleigh with a return bus in the evening.

Stagecoach 173 Timetable (Mondays to Saturdays except public holidays).

Newton Abbot/Bovey Tracey – Moretonhampstead/Whiddon Down/Okehampton (Stagecoach/Country Bus 178)

Country Bus 178 Timetable (Mondays to Saturdays). Map of 178 route. Additional peak-time journeys operated by Stagecoach have been added, providing two additional return trips between Bovey Tracey and Whiddon Down, with one extending to/from Newton Abbot.

Exeter to Bovey Tracey and Ivybridge (Stagecoach 38) and also Bovey Tracey to Newton Abbot (Stagecoach 39).

Exeter, Chudleigh, Bovey Tracey, Ashburton, Buckfastleigh, South Brent, Ivybridge (Mondays to Sundays including Bank Holidays). Stagecoach 38 Timetable. Some of the 38 buses go to Newton Abbot instead becoming the 39 at Bovey Tracey. Stagecoach Buses Service 39 (Mondays to Saturdays & Sundays).

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

Stagecoach GOLD Timetable. (From 3rd September 2023).

Plymouth to Tavistock (Stagecoach 1)

Plymouth to Tavistock (Stagecoach 1) (Mondays to Sundays including Bank Holidays. The basic weekday service is 3 buses per hour between Plymouth City Centre and Tavistock via the George Park & Ride, Yelverton and Horrabridge.

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

Tavistock to Okehampton (Dartline 118) (Mondays to Sundays including Bank Holidays).

Tavistock to Yelverton Via Princetown, Postbridge (Plymouth Citybus 98 - formerly Oakleys/Target Travel)

This bus service can be combined with the Plymouth to Tavistock Stagecoach 1 (daily) to allow travel to Princetown and Postbridge from Plymouth.

Plymouth Citybus 98 Timetable (Mondays to Saturday).

Yelverton to Milton Combe and Buckland Monachorum Circular 55. Yelverton to Walkhampton and Meavy Circular 56. Some journeys extend to Tavistock.

This service allows access to Walkhampton. Plymouth Citybus 55 (Monday to Saturday) and Plymouth Citybus 56 (Monday to Saturday except Public Holidays)

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

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

Newton Abbot - Totnes (Via Ashburton, Buckfastleigh). Country Bus 88

This service allows access to the moor from Buckfast, Buckfastleigh and Ashburton. Could be combined with walk to or from Ivybridge train station or to come off/on the moor and travel to Newton Abbot or Totnes train stations. Country Bus 88 (Monday to Saturday except Public Holidays)

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

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 10 December 2023 to 1 June 2024). 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: D2 The Dartmoor line Tarka line 10 December 2023 to 1 June 2024 - 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 10 December 2023 to 1 June 2024).

See also GWR Train Times

Routes of the 171/172 buses

Country Bus 171 route

Country Bus 171 route

Page last updated 11/04/2024