Totnes

all you need to know

The historic, bohemian market town of Totnes provides a great base for exploring the beautiful countryside along the River Dart in any season.

About Totnes

Totnes is a small historic market town located on the River Dart in South Devon. A well-known centre for artists, painters, musicians and its twice-weekly market offering antiques, musical instruments, second-hand books, handmade clothing, and local produce. The town exudes a bohemian feel and boasts a wonderful selection of unique and independent shops, restaurants and delis offering a wealth of different produce to try.

The town is overlooked by Totnes Castle which was built in Norman times and is now run by English Heritage, the castle enjoys far-reaching views of the town as well as the surrounding Devonshire countryside.
 
With fantastic transport links, Totnes is on the main train line from Exeter to Plymouth and is easily accessible from London or the Midlands. The town is also home to the South Devon Railway, one of Devon’s best-loved tourist attractions, with a steam railway which runs through stunning countryside along the River Dart to the nearby town of Buckfastleigh.

Another 'alternative' way to get around is by the River Cruise which runs from Totnes to Dartmouth, taking in the pretty waterside village of Dittisham, and Agatha Christie's scenic estate at Greenway on its route. Dartmouth itself is a historic port town, and offers a great selection of shops, galleries, cafés and restaurants as well as excellent sailing in the sheltered harbour.

For a day trip with a difference, the nearby Sharpham Vineyard is a lovely place for a leisurely stroll and to enjoy locally produced wine and cheese. Alternatively, it's just over 10 minutes' drive to South Brent, a gateway to the bleak rugged wilderness of Dartmoor.

If you're visiting in December, Totnes is well known for its magical Christmas markets which extend throughout the town and serve as the perfect tonic for anyone struggling to get in the festive spirit. Most shops open late and the high-street becomes lined with food and craft stalls, making it a great chance to enjoy some street food and purchase a few special presents.

A holiday cottage in Totnes provides a lovely base for exploring the beautiful countryside along the River Dart in any season.

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Sharpham Vineyard and Cheese Dairy

Sharpham Vineyard and Cheese Dairy
(Less than a mile)

On a thousand-year-old farm of five hundred acres, Sharpham vineyard is one of England's foremost quality wine and cheese producers, and in the summer months they invite you to visit, explore, experience and learn about the production processes in this beautiful corner of South Devon near Totnes. Designed and built in 1770, the house itself overlooks fields and wooded slopes above the River Dart, making it the perfect setting to experience the best of South Devon produce. Both wines and cheeses boast award winning statuses so you can imagine the pleasure that comes from a tour, a Vineyard Ramble, a Trek and Taste visit or a complete Sharpham Experience lasting a decadent four hours exploring the estate.

Click Here for further information

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Totnes Rare Breeds Farm

Totnes Rare Breeds Farm
(2 miles)

An award-winning, family owned attraction run by a team of volunteers, who aim to preserve endangered species of farm animals and the diversity of British wildlife, Totnes Rare Breeds Farm offers a personal service just outside Totnes. Surrounded by characteristically beautiful Devon countryside you can feed red squirrels, touch a hedgehog and watch the cheeky chipmunks before nipping to the Garden Café for coffees, teas, cakes or a light lunch – it’s a little slice of magic in South Devon. You can combine your ticket to also include the South Devon Steam Railway, as well as the Buckfast Butterfly and Otter Farm for added value, and they are open throughout the summer from 10am until 5pm (last entry at 4.30pm) but are closed for the winter from the end of October.

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Dartington Hall

Dartington Hall
(2 miles)

Dartington is a very special attraction in South Devon, just outside Totnes. Welcoming more than 800,000 visitors from across the world every year, they offer events, courses, festivals and gardens to explore, as well as arts, crafts and artisan shops. It is many things to many people, but underpinning its appeal is its goal to stimulate new thinking and create a sustainable, enriching world. Visit to learn new skills, or simply to explore and do a spot of shopping, either way you will find a heart warming and welcoming experience with real value at its heart… and a very good lunch as well.

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Dynamic Adventures CIC

Dynamic Adventures CIC
(2 miles)

Making the best possible use of the great outdoors, Dynamic Adventures turns the South West into a veritable playground for adults with activities including caving, archery, ziplines, high ropes, rock climbing, abseiling, kayaking, orienteering and raft building under he guidance of a highly qualified team. Based in the River Dart Valley in 1500 acres of beautiful grounds belonging to the Dartington Hall Estate near Totnes, they are a company who encourage adventure at all levels and give 65% of the profits back to the community to increase accessibility. As such they offer their services to a range of ages, abilities and experiences, all the while aiming to support the community, the environment and you and your visit to South Devon!

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Canoe Adventures

Canoe Adventures
(3 miles)

Giving you the opportunity to take canoeing to the next level with guided tours in long canoes along the beautiful River Dart, Canoe Adventures offer a variety of options and opportunities to really make the experience your own with canoe share for families, riverside picnics, ice cream, wildlife, history and fire craft to be enjoyed. You can join a tour or opt for private hire with visits to the popular Sharpham Vineyard for family celebrations, hen parties, stag dos, school trips and corporate outings. Prices start at £24 per seat for an adult or from £192 for a private five-hour outing in a 10-seater canoe. Keep an eye on the website for scheduled trips including the Dart by Moonlight which is a complete cracker!

http://www.canoeadventures.co.uk/

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Wild Fig Café & Deli
(Less than a mile)

A great venue for a spot of lunch while exploring the town’s quirky shops and historical buildings - catering for vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters alike with a great range of sandwiches, salads and soups. 

Wild Fig Café and Deli  53 Fore Street, Totnes, TQ9 5NJ (T: 01803 864829) 

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Rumour
(Less than a mile)

A centrally placed restaurant with lots of atmosphere and friendly staff serving high quality, locally sourced food.  Open Monday to Sunday (evenings only on Sunday) for simple yet delicious breakfasts and a good selection of modern lunches and dinners. 

Rumour Restaurant & Bar 30 High Street, Totnes TQ9 5RY (T: 01803 864682) 

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Little Asia
(Less than a mile)

Popular East-Asian restaurant and takeaway with an extensive menu

Little Asia 46 High Street, Totnes TQ9 5SQ (T: 01803 868866) 

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The Royal Seven Stars
(Less than a mile)

A charming former coaching inn in the heart of Totnes with two bars to choose from -  one traditional with open fires and one more contemporary,with both offering an extensive menu accompanied by wines from around the world.  There is also a large alfresco terrace for the warmer months. 

The Royal Seven Stars Hotel , The Plains, Totnes, TQ9 5DD (T: 01803 862125) 

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The Barrel House
(Less than a mile)

A hugely popular evening venue with a varied monthly programme of live music, and by day a light and airy bar and restaurant.  Downstairs you will find the Totnes Brewing Co. brewing their own beer, and serving a wide selection of Craft beer and ales.

The Barrel House, 59a High Street, Totnes TQ9 5PB (T: 01803 863000) 

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(1)

Seen so much amazing music here over the years. Always a good atmosphere.

December 2016



Blackpool Sands

Blackpool Sands
(10 miles)

Between Dartmouth and Slapton, Blackpool Sands is a beautiful shingle bay on the South West Coast Path, surrounded by evergreens and pine trees. It really is a treasure of a beach to visit while you’re in the area. Award-winning, the privately owned, blue flag beach boasts a sense of being in the Mediterranean on a good day in the summer, although a good jumper never goes amiss in this part of the world! You will no doubt not be surprised to hear that it is in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, however it also boasts ample facilities and things to do. There are showers, toilets and disabled facilities, as well as paddle board, kayak and wetsuit hire available for those wishing to earn their visit to The Venus Beach Café, where light bites and refreshments are served. The Venus Shop also sells all the bits and pieces you might want for fun and games on the beach if you have forgotten them or are in need of extra buckets and spades. The water at Blackpool Sands is known for being clean and clear and tested by the Environment Agency, and lifeguards are on hand in the summer (July to September) so there’s every reason to pop in for a dip. However, dogs are not allowed on the beach in the high season (12th March to 30th October) so keep the walking for the cooler months. There is parking available at the beach with seasonal charges, and you can find out more information on those from the Blackpool Sands information line on 01803 771800. This beach is easy to get to and quite literally fun and games for the whole family, as well as a beautiful place to visit at any time of the year to take in the view!

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(6)

Stunning beach, and you can get takeaway cream tea from the cafe to have on the beach!!

May 2017


Our family 's favourite beach

June 2017


The cost of the parking steep

June 2017


Perfect venue for a sunny day! Secluded beach which is clean and tidy, with a cafe, snack bar and shop, beach equipment hire too

July 2017


Beautiful location but shame it a shingle beach and not sandy. Also very disappointed with the £8 fee to park the car .

August 2017


Beautiful clean beach with excellent facilities.Clean toilets lovely cafe and shop.Lifeguard on the beach.No dogs allowed.Plenty of parking.We enjoyed rock pooling at the far end of the beach.The owner does a great job.You can also visit Blackpool Sands garden but we did not have time.Also a juggler was there on the day we went great fun for everyone.

August 2017



Slapton Sands

Slapton Sands
(12 miles)

A long stretch of beach with spectacular views of the sea stretching into the distance, Slapton Sands is in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and for good reason. Adjacent to Slapton Ley, a freshwater lake that’s home to an abundance of wildlife and one of the many reasons people come to visit the area, the beach has a history of welcoming families in the summer for long days in the sunshine, building sandcastles, surfing, windsurfing and kayaking. It’s amazing to believe that this peaceful corner of South Devon has its place in military history as in 1943 the beach was taken over by allied forces to use as a rehearsal area for the D-Day landings. However, live ammunition and poor visibility ended in the deaths of more than 700 servicemen, so today there is a stone monument in place for Operation Tiger, as it was called, as well as a Sherman Tank at nearby Torcross. On a more current note, there is a beachside café at Slapton Sands for teas, coffees and other light bites, and there are also toilets nearby. The beach has disabled access, and also allows dogs throughout the year, so it really is fun for everyone and very easy to get to. There is parking nearby and in the summer months from May to September there is lifeguard cover. Last, but not least, a small collection of pubs reside in Torcross for those who are feeling peckish after a long day in the fresh air, or if you have been for a nice walk along the sand!

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(2)

Great place for a walk along the beach and had some great events for children at Easter. Great fish and chips in the pub at the end on Torcross

April 2017


Clapton Sands is beautiful. The rocks are the most beautiful colours, wild flowers abound on the beach, the views in either direction are stunning and it is rarely over crowded.One of the most wonderful areas in the U.K.

May 2017



Beesands

Beesands
(13 miles)

Close to Kingsbridge and a favourite amongst residents and holiday makers in the South West, Beesands is a wonderful mile-long shingle beach surrounded by fields and a freshwater lake. You get a real flavour of the West Country here with fresh crab sandwiches for sale nearby and lots of Devon holiday cottages within walking distance to make it really convenient. The beach has won awards from the Marine Conservation Society as well as having The Blue Flag marker to attest to its excellence and high standards, so families and swimmers can be reassured. The beach is popular for surfing and body boarding amongst other water sports including fishing, so tackle is on sale close by. You can pick up light bites at nearby cafes as and when you’re ready, making it easy to spend the whole day running around on the sand and enjoying your seaside holiday to the max. Beesands is very much a beach for everyone thanks to its convenient location, easy and free road parking along most of the beach, level access, and the toilets, cafes and pubs close by. Dogs are also welcome on the beach throughout the year so the whole family can enjoy it!

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(2)

Britannia Fish - Great fish - always fresh and lovely family run business. A must for anyone who likes eating good fish!

May 2017


Ideal for quiet and peaceful holiday with two good restaurants both of which are dog friendly.

April 2017



Ayrmer Cove

Ayrmer Cove
(14 miles)

Roughly one kilometre (20 minutes depending on your pace) from the National Trust car park at Ringmore, and with a selection of footpaths to get to it, Ayrmer Cove is a quiet secluded beach on the South West Coast Path. For anyone on holiday in South Devon it’s a peaceful place to sit and contemplate the natural scenery amongst the shingle, pebbles and rock pools, admiring the cliffs. It makes for a beautiful destination to walk to from Ringmore itself, which is a small village (population 230) with views towards the cove itself as well as Bigbury Bay – it makes for a wonderful holiday cottage destination in South Devon as well as a place to visit as part of your day. Walking to the beach allows you to discover the surrounding woodland, wildlife and history of the area – taking in old smugglers’ routes and hedgerows that have been in situ since the 1800s. It is a little tricky to get to so it’s not ideal for wheelchairs, and there aren’t any toilets or facilities at the beach itself so if you want to stay for a little while don’t forget to take snacks or a picnic if the weather is right. This is all about enjoying the environment that’s such a proud part of the National Trust – it’s everything a holiday in Devon is about, and yes, dogs are permitted all year round and will very much enjoy the walk!

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(1)

Gorgeous beach for an evening swim and barbecue. So peaceful and beautiful

June 2017



Challaborough Bay

Challaborough Bay
(14 miles)

Close to Kingsbridge, Challaborough Bay is a sandy beach in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that’s perfect for enjoying all the seaside activities nature can afford. At low tide the beach is ideal for visiting families to build sandcastles and explore the rock pools, while the swells and shore breaks also attract surfers and bodyboarders. There are some beautiful walks along the coast path that surrounds it, heading towards Bigbury on Sea in particular. Making it an ideal spot to spend the day, the beach has toilets, a café and a beach shop close by, although access is via steps and small paths so accessibility isn’t wheelchair friendly. There is a car park but it’s rather small, so it’s good to know that a 15-minute walk to Bigbury will see ample parking available – seasonal charges apply so remember to bring cash with you. While four legged friends are welcome in the winter, they are not allowed on the beach between May and September, so do plan their walks with that in mind. It’s a lovely spot along the coast path to bring them to, you can even beach hop from one to the next!

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(1)

Lovely beach

April 2017


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