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Nestled between Dartmoor and the South Devon coastline, Totnes is a captivating market town with a colourful history dating back to 907 AD. Sitting on the banks of the River Dart, this unique and charming town has an international reputation for its lively and diverse community and relaxed atmosphere. The river now provides a scenic backdrop for short walks and riverside eating, kayaking and canoeing.
Things to do in Totnes
Today you can shop, eat and relax in a high street which is not only full of unique and independent shops and eateries, but brimming with stunning architecture, fascinating history and local legends. The town is famed for its promotion of ethical and fair trade goods and as a renowned market town since the 12th century, Totnes still has lively markets on the Civil Hall Square. You’ll find the weekly market on Fridays and Saturdays, an Elizabethan market held each Tuesday morning (May-September), when traders dress in Elizabethan period costumes and the Totnes Sunday Good Food Market every third Sunday of the month in the Market Square.
As well as shopping and exploring the town’s history there are many wonderful things to see and do in and around Totnes with river trips on the Dart, scenic walks and cycle routes, interesting museums, the historic Totnes Castle, a ride on a steam railway, many art galleries and so much more.
If you love wine and cheese, then a visit to Sharpham Vineyard is the perfect day out - set on the banks of the River Dart, enjoy a tour of the winery and taste its award winning local produce. For the kids, enjoy days out at Totnes Rare Breeds Farm, Pennywell Farm, China Blue or take a canoe trip up the River Dart plus many attractions in the wider area.
The area around Totnes is stunning and there are a number of walks and cycle routes leading from the town which explore the river banks and surrounding countryside with walks to suit all abilities. To the North West of Totnes is Dartington, home to Dartington Hall Estate, with its historic house, listed gardens and barn cinema, plus the wonderful Shops at Dartington with independent outlets and annual events.
Local Food and Drink
In and around Totnes the focus is on organic food that’s locally produced and seasonal.
Totnes has an array of restaurants, cafes, pubs and wine bars which offer a wonderful range of internationally inspired cuisine catering for all budgets and tastes.
The award-winning Sunday Good Food Market is held on the third Sunday of the month providing you the chance to purchase and sample some of the very best in local South Devon produce.
Much of Totnes’s fascinating history can be seen around the town with many historic buildings lining the streets. Start at The Plains at the bottom of town where you’ll see the architecture of the original warehouses which were in use until the 1940’s and as you wander through town look out for the impressive 18th-century Gothic House, The Mansion which was once the local grammar school, the beautiful East Gate Arch and the Parish Church of St Mary which is open to visitors on a daily basis. From April - October visit the atmospheric Guildhall which has been the home of the town council for over 450 years and don’t forget to visit Totnes Castle for a sweeping view of the town. Totnes Fashion and Textiles Museum is housed at Bogan House, the most intact of Totnes’s Tudor merchant’s houses, and Totnes Elizabethan Museum is one of the finest Tudor town houses in the country - both open April - October.
A trip to Totnes is not complete without a visit to the Brutus Stone, which can be found in Fore Street, set into the pavement. This stone is meant to mark the spot where Trojan Prince, Brutus, disembarked from his ship. As he stepped ashore on to the stone he said “Here I stand, and here I rest. The town shall be called Totnes”.
Parking & Transport
- Car Parks - Mix of long and short stay car parks in town and on Steamer Quay, all managed by South Hams Council.
- Coach Parking - The main drop off and pick points for visiting coaches are at the two bus stops on Coronation Road. There is also a drop off at The Lamb, near The Narrows, just off the A381, which allows passengers to walk downhill through the town. The coach parking bays are at Steamer Quay Car Park, along Steamer Quay Road.
- Parking for disabled visitors - disabled parking spaces in the car parks.
Towns & Villages
- ATM - There are 2 ATMs in town on Fore Street at Santander and Lloyds. There is also a free to use cash machine at The Happy Apple supermarket on High Street (tucked in behind Firefly) near to the top of town.
- Church - The Parish Church of St Mary is at the heart of the town on High Street open daily from 8.45 am to 5.00 pm
- Farmers market - Totnes Good Food Market is held every third Sunday of the month with produce from local suppliers.
- Information Centre - the local information centre is open from 10 am - 4 pm April - October at the Civic Square.
- Museum - Totnes Museum is open from April - October and Totnes Fashion & Textiles Museum is open from 21st May to 27th September 2019 and April - October in 2020. Both are currently free entry with donations.
- Public telephone - there is a traditional red public telephone on High Street.
- Public toilets - three public toilet blocks with one on Coronation Road, one on Steamer Quay and one on the Civic Hall Square.
- Recycling points - There is a Recycling Centre on Babbage Road Industrial Estate and various recycling banks including on Heaths Nursery Car Park and Morrisons.
- Supermarket - the main supermarket is Morrisons which is just off Coronation Road and there is a small supermarket on High Street in town (The Happy Apple).
- Taxi rank - there is a taxi rank at Totnes Train Station and lots of local taxi firms.
- Toilets for disabled visitors - three public toilet blocks with one on Coronation Road, one on Steamer Quay and one on the Civic Hall Square.
- Train station - Totnes Train Station is a 5 minute walk from the town centre and well connected with a direct service from London, Birmingham, Edinburgh and more.
- Village shop - The Happy Apple on High Street and Bridgetown Stores