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Great Torrington is a friendly and welcoming town, with good local amenities, independent shops, cafes and regular local markets. Built on the site of an ancient settlement atop an inland cliff with the River Torridge below, the town enjoys spectacular views across rolling hills and unspoilt green countryside. Great Torrington is connected to many local villages and towns via a network of walking and cycling trails, including the Tarka Trail which runs through North Devon following the route taken by the fictional Tarka the Otter in the book of the same name. Set in the very heart of Tarka Country, the wonderful landscape around Great Torrington has remained practically unchanged since Henry Williamson wrote his classic novel “Tarka the Otter” in the 1920’s.
For many years, Great Torrington was valued for its strategic importance. Known locally as the Cavalier town, Great Torrington played a hugely significant role in the English Civil War (Battle of Torrington, 1646) which marked the end of Royalist resistance in the West Country. Today Great Torrington is recognised as an important heritage centre for the history of the 17th century. Torrington’s rich history can be further explored at the town’s Museum.
Great Torrington is surrounded on three sides by 365 acres of common land given to the people of Great Torrington in the 12th Century and since 1889 administered by a Committee of Conservators. The area is freely accessible to all, and visitors can walk the 20 miles of footpaths, ranging from the 9-hole golf course in the north; ancient wood and wild flower meadow in the west; and dropping down to the beautiful River Torridge to the south of the town. There is access from the Tarka Trail for walkers.
Great Torrington enjoys a wide range of attractions nearby too. Explore the enchanting gardens of the RHS Rosemoor and experience the magical blend of formal and informal gardens, or take a factory tour around Dartington Crystal to experience the traditional craft of glass making followed by a visit to the UK’s largest glass shop.
Fancy taking in a show? Great Torrington boasts The Plough Arts Centre which is a welcoming and dynamic venue for arts events showcasing a mix of local and national talent to suit the whole family, including theatre performances, concerts, comedians, art exhibitions and workshops.
Great Torrington hosts a number of events throughout the year including a parade every February to commemorate the Battle of Torrington in 1646 and the annual Mayfair and Carnival celebrations during the first week of May. Every five years the Torrington Cavaliers voluntary group stage an impressive themed bonfire and firework display on the Commons. The next bonfire in August 2020 will commemorate the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower to America with the centrepiece being a replica of the Mayflower ship.
Fascinating history, arts, crafts and culture, a beautiful setting and friendly locals all make a visit to Great Torrington worthwhile.
Parking & Transport
- Car Parks - Sydney House (South Street) Long Stay Car Park EX38 8AA: approx.280 spaces Barley Grove Long Stay Car Park: 70 spaces
- Coach Parking - Sydney House (South Street) Long Stay Car Park
- Free car park - Parking free in Sydney House (South Street) Car Park after 12 midday Saturday and all day Sunday Limited on-street parking in High Street, South Street and Fore Street.
- Parking for disabled visitors - Disabled parking available in Sydney House (South Street) and Barley Grove Car Parks
Towns & Villages
- ATM - No charge ATMs available in Co-op on South Street, Duffy’s Home Hardware on High Street, ATM at corner of Sydney House (South Street) car park and South Street and in BP/M&S Petrol Station on New Road
- Church - Church of England: St Michael and All Angels Church, Church Walk, Great Torrington, Devon EX38 8BN: https://www.stmichaelstorrington.org.uk/ Catholic Church: Holy Family Catholic Church, Gas Lane, Torrington, Devon, EX38 7BE: http://www.bidefordcatholicchurches.org.uk/html/torringtoninfo.html Baptist Church: Torrington Baptist Church, New Street Great Torrington, Devon, EX38 8BS: http://www.torringtonbaptist.org/ Methodist Church: Windy Cross, Mill Street, Torrington, EX38 8AL: https://torringtonmethodistchurch.weebly.com/ Grosvenor Church: Great Torrington Bluecoat Primary School, Borough Road, EX38 7NU: http://torrington.grosvenorchurch.org.uk/
- Farmers market - Torrington Pannier Market: https://www.facebook.com/pages/biz/topic_concert_venue-EX38-8HE/Torrington-Pannier-Market-Events-Page-183018365640547/
- Information Centre - http://www.great-torrington.com/ Torrington TIC, Castle Hill, TORRINGTON EX38 8AA
- Museum - http://www.torringtonmuseum.org.uk/ Great Torrington Heritage Museum 14 South Street, Great Torrington, Devon,EX38 8AA
- Public telephone - Corner of Sydney House (South Street) Car Park and South Street
- Public toilets - Sydney House (South Street) Car Park: South Street, Torrington, EX38 8AA The Commons: Old Bowling Green, Station Hill, Great Torrington, EX38 8DL Pannier Market, Torrington, EX38 8HD
- Recycling points - Sydney House (South Street) Car Park, Torrington, EX38 8AA
- Supermarket - Lidl: New St, Great Torrington, EX38 8BX Co-op: 22 South St, Great Torrington, EX38 8AA Spar: 13 High St, Great Torrington, EX38 8HN McColls: New Road, Gt Torrington EX38 8EJ M&S Food at Great Torrington BP Service Station, New Road, Torrington EX38 8EJ
- Toilets for disabled visitors - Full facilities (including Radar) at South Street and The Commons public toilets and partial facilities at the Pannier Market.
- Train station - Nearest train stations are: Chapelton and Umberleigh
Map & Directions
Exit the M5 Southbound Exit at Junction 27, and join the A361 link road signposted Barnstaple/Bideford. At Barnstaple join A39 signposted Bideford (Atlantic Highway), keep heading towards Bideford on the A39 until you reach a roundabout signposted to Great Torrington (B3232). Take this road and follow it into Great Torrington.
Public Transport Directions
Trains to Exeter St Davids run direct from Plymouth, Taunton, Bristol, London and other cities. The 5B bus leaves from in front of the station (stop A), every two hours Monday to Saturday (no buses Sunday). It’s a scenic 90 minute journey to Great Torrington.
Alternatively, you can take the train to Umberleigh or Barnstaple on the Tarka Line. Umberleigh is a request stop, from where you will need a pre-booked taxi. Barnstaple has a taxi rank and the 5B bus to Great Torrington.