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The local area guide to living in Umberleigh

Umberleigh is a quiet village in the parish of Chittlehampton, within North Devon. Formerly a large manor, Umberleigh is now a small village full of hidden gems.

The manor of Umberleigh, which was even noted in the Domesday Book, was located on the west side of the River Taw. However, due to changes in the landscape the village now sits on the east side of the River.

The quaint village may be quiet but it’s bursting with unusual and unique anecdotes, which make it the place it is today. The first of these relates to the village Post Office - which services the largest postal catchment area in England - despite having just 11 postmen. Another memorable story is that Umberleigh’s train station, on the Tarka line, which was named after Henry Williamson's bestselling book.

Other attractions in the area include the fishing lakes, Cobbaton Combat Collection, and the local tearooms. There are also a number of fantastic village amenities include pubs and inns, a post office, and a school.

Information about the local residents

The latest data on the local residents in Umberleigh comes from the 2011 census. At this time, a population of 2,266 people was recorded. A little under 30% of these were aged 65 and over (males) and 60 and over (females), and approximately 26% of the population were aged between 25-49.

When it came to employment, census data revealed that nearly 20% of the population were retired, just under 65% employed, and approximately 5% were in full-time education. Those employed worked in a wide variety of occupations, but at the time of census, the largest proportion (26.1%) worked in skilled trade occupations.

The property landscape here favours detached and semi detached homes, with approximately 85% of properties of this type.

Nearby schools

There are three primary schools within the Umberleigh area - Umberleigh Primary Academy, Chittlehampton Church of England Primary School, and High Bickington Church of England Primary School.

Umberleigh Primary Academy, the village school, performed well in its recent Ofsted assessment in 2011, where its ‘Overall Effectiveness’ was rated as ‘good’.

When it comes to secondary education, there are plenty of options in Barnstaple. Some of these include The Lampard Community School, for children with special educational needs, The Park Community School, which provides education up to the age of 16, and West Buckland School, an independent school teaching up to the age of 18. All of these schools are approximately six miles away and a short drive or bus ride from Umberleigh.

Getting around

Despite being a relatively unnoticed village, Umberleigh isn’t hidden away. It’s easy to get to on the A roads and is only six miles from bustling Barnstaple. The market towns of South Molton and Torrington are also nearby – ensuring everything you need is easily accessible.

The bus and rail services in Umberleigh are good too, offering transportation in and around the village and out to the nearby towns and cities. Its railway station lies on the Tarka Line and offers a number of direct connections – including to Exeter and Barnstaple. First Great Western provides all the train services from Umberleigh Station.

Local shops

While there are a few amenities in the village itself, there’s not much in terms of shops. The nearest supermarkets are in Barnstaple, and within seven miles you’ll find a Sainsbury's supermarket, Tesco superstore, and an Iceland foods.

Barnstaple offers more that your day-to-day groceries too. There are also plenty of great shops in the town centre and in the Green Lanes Shopping Centre.

For those willing to travel further afield, Exeter is another great spot for shopping. With tons of high street brands and fantastic independent stores it’s a great option that can be reached with an hour.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.