Totnes is a beautiful old market town within the area of outstanding natural beauty of South Devon. With a long and affluent recorded history dating back to 907 AD, the town of Totnes has long been an important cultural hub, and is known to this day for having a strong creative influence and a large alternative and new age community.
Situated at the head of the estuary of the River Dart, the village of Dartington is a stone's throw away, and is one of the most picturesque of the South Hams area. One of the main attractions in Dartington, other than the stunning rural scenery, is the Cider Press Centre. This is where the renowned Dartington Crystal is created and sold. There are also a myriad of other shops, events and fairs, all within the grounds. There is a real festival atmosphere here, with entertainers and shows also happening throughout and plenty of places to sit and soak it all up. A visit to the historic Dartington Hall should also be on the cards, where you can meander through the fine garden and buildings at your own pace and experience the heritage of the place for yourself.
To really see the area at it's best, we recommend the Totnes to Dartmouth Cruise on the Ferry. A leisurely 75 minute trip along the river, taking in the lush scenery from the valley with the breeze in your hair. Experiencing Dartmouth for the sights and some real Devonshire fish and chips on the harbour. These can even be scheduled on a summer evening, to see the striking sunset dipping down through valley from the river itself.
According to legend, The Brutus Stone is where Brutus of Troy, the mythical founder of Britain, is said to have first stepped on to the the British Isles from his ship, declaring:
"Here I stand and here I rest. And this town shall be called Totnes."
Located in Fore Street, in the centre of the town, the stone is much higher than even the highest tides and should probably be taken with a fairly large pinch of salt! But we think it is definitely worth a visit! The Fore Street itself is dominated by the Eastgate (pictured below) crossing the street about halfway up the hill. Totnes is said to have the highest concentration of listed buildings in Devon making it an experience in the character of the town just to explore. It also has a traditional Devon Fudge shop called Roly's Pantry to stop in for a snack to get you up that hill!
Whilst in Totnes, a trip to the castle is almost mandatory! One of the best preserved examples of a Norman Motte and Bailey castle in England, the castle dates back to the 14th Century occupying a commanding position atop a hill and overlooking the town and three surrounding valleys, historically giving rise to a great defensive position, these days the views are just spectacular.
If you are more of a foodie, Totnes is also the home of Sharpham's Vineyard and Cheese Farm, who offer tours of their facilities and tasting events which allow you to sample their award winning wines and cheeses, see the vineyards and experience the traditional processes and local knowledge put to use to bring us the best tasting Devonshire produce!
We hope this post has inspired you to visit the fabulous town of Totnes. There really is something for everyone here, and we have only touched on a few of the tourist attractions. More information can be found at Visit Totnes to help you plan your trip even further.
What will you visit in Totnes? Let us know by leaving us a comment below, or catch up with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.