Some say Totnes is the most eccentric town in the whole of Britain. It’s also been crowned the capital of New-Age chic, and you’re sure to find plenty of surprises and delights as you wander the streets, markets, and independent boutiques.
The buzz of the historic market town blends seamlessly with the rural bliss that surrounds it, combining to offer the best of both worlds. Nestled in the heart of South Devon, along the banks of the River Dart, it’s hard to imagine a more perfect escape from your daily routine. Here are some of the best things to see and do during your visit.
Berry Pomeroy Castle
This 15th-century fortress-turned-mansion is found tucked away in a deep wooded valley, a romantic ruin that wouldn’t feel out of place in a magical fairy tale. The fascinating history of this curious landmark begins when the Pomeroys constructed their very own family castle. Many years later, the Seymours bought the remains with the intention of creating a spectacular home to rival the likes of Longleat and Audley End. It was never completed.
Today, this English Heritage property and its picturesque rural surrounds are a popular day out for families and walkers. Those with a taste for the paranormal will get a kick here too, with the ruins often being the focus of chilling ghost stories.
Woodlands Family Theme Park
Devon’s largest theme park promises a fun-filled day out for the whole family. This vibrant attraction has something for all ages. The indoor play area, which is possibly the biggest of its kind in the South West, is sure to keep little ones occupied for hours on end. Then there’s the excitement of the water rides, a zoo farm, and much more. Come rain or shine, Woodlands Family Theme Park is a sure bet for an action-packed experience.
Pennywell Farm is a multi-award-winning attraction and the largest of its kind in the South West. A treasure trove of enjoyable activities awaits, with hundreds of friendly animals to meet and four free rides for kids to let off steam on.
The adorable Pennywell miniature piglets steal the show. You’ll have the chance to groom and pamper them before they take part in a race, which takes place each afternoon. These special piglets have been seen on TV around the world.
Escape to this tranquil refuge that’s found tucked into a wooded valley beside the River Dart. Buckfast Abbey is a fascinating working monastery that welcomes visitors from around the world each year. The serenity of the grounds spans from the church to its surrounding gardens, which burst with colour during the summer months.
Dating back to 1018, there’s a wealth of history to discover here. You’ll also find a bookshop, restaurant, and stocks of the much-loved Buckfast Wine - which is well worth a try!
The 1,200-acre Dartington Hall estate is another award-winning destination right on the town’s doorstep. While the hours away by strolling through the Grade II* listed gardens and swathes of restful woodland. The hall itself is a Grade I listed heritage property that boasts 50 distinctive bedrooms dotted around a medieval 14th-century courtyard.
Heritage and comfort blend beautifully here. What’s more, there are some truly delectable eateries on site too. Get your foodie fix in either The White Hart restaurant or The Green Table and Roundhouse Cafes, where delicious, seasonal dishes await to rejuvenate you after your outdoor escapades.
Totnes Pannier Market
Totnes Pannier Market operates every Friday and Saturday on the Market Square. There has been a market in Totnes for hundreds of years. Today, it’s a flourishing busy market selling food, clothes, plants, bric-a-brac, antiques, furniture, jewellery, and tools. You’ll be surprised by what you find here.