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11 Fun Things to do in Totnes

things to do in totnes

Finding the most interestng things to do in Totnes

From exploring its quaint streets lined with independent shops to indulging in the region’s culinary delights, there are loads of things to do in Totnes. Whether you seek a serene escape or an adventure-filled getaway, this picturesque destination offers something for everyone. Embrace the town’s unique charachter, mingle with friendly locals, and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere that has captivated travelers for centuries.

This list is designed to give you some ideas and it is not in any particular order of importance.

Explore Totnes Castle and Grounds

totnes castle

Perched atop a hill, the imposing Totnes Castle is a remarkable remnant of Norman history, offering a glimpse into the town’s storied past. Dating back to the 11th century, the castle’s ruins stand as a testament to its strategic importance during medieval times. Visitors can wander through the crumbling stone walls, imagining the bustling life that once filled these grounds.

Climb to the top of the keep for panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, with the River Dart snaking its way through the lush green valleys. The castle grounds are a tranquil oasis, perfect for a picnic or simply soaking in the atmosphere of this ancient landmark.

Meander Through the Totnes Guildhall and Butterwalk

totnes guildhall

The historic Totnes Guildhall and Butterwalk are architectural gems that transport visitors back in time. The Guildhall, a striking 17th-century building, once served as the town’s administrative center and now houses a museum showcasing Totnes’ rich heritage. Explore the meticulously preserved rooms and marvel at the intricate woodcarvings and period furnishings. Adjacent to the Guildhall lies the iconic Butterwalk, a charming covered walkway lined with independent shops, galleries, and cafés. Stroll along its cobblestone paths, browsing the eclectic wares and savoring the town’s vibrant arts and crafts scene.

Embark on the Totnes Town Trail

totnes town trail

Immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Totnes’ history by embarking on the Totnes Town Trail. This self-guided walking tour unveils the town’s captivating stories, architectural treasures, and hidden gems. Meander through narrow alleyways and winding streets, where every corner holds a delightful surprise. Along the way, informative plaques and markers provide fascinating insights into the town’s past, from its Saxon origins to its role as a bustling market center during medieval times.

Pause at the iconic East Gate, one of the few remaining gateways that once guarded the town’s entrances, and marvel at the intricate carvings adorning the ancient buildings that line the trail. This leisurely stroll offers a unique opportunity to unravel Totnes’ compelling narrative, one step at a time. It is certainly one of the best things to do in Totnes, especially if the weather is good!

Visit the Totnes Eco Hub and Explore Sustainable Living

totnes eco hub

Totnes is at the forefront of sustainable living, and the Totnes Eco Hub is a testament to this commitment. This innovative centre serves as a hub for educational programs, workshops, and events focused on environmental awareness and eco-friendly practices. Visitors can immerse themselves in interactive exhibits that shed light on topics such as renewable energy, permaculture, and waste reduction. Attend thought-provoking talks by local experts, or participate in hands-on workshops that teach practical skills like composting, upcycling, and organic gardening.

The Eco Hub also hosts a vibrant community garden, where visitors can lend a hand and learn about sustainable food production. Whether you’re an eco-enthusiast or simply curious about green living, the Totnes Eco Hub offers an inspiring and educational experience.

Indulge in the Local Food Scene at the Totnes Good Food Market

totnes good food market

Totnes is a culinary haven for foodies and locavores alike, and the Totnes Good Food Market is a true celebration of the region’s bounty. Every third Sunday of the month, the historic market square transforms into a bustling epicurean paradise, with stalls brimming with locally sourced produce, artisanal baked goods, and mouthwatering delicacies. Wander through the vibrant displays, sampling the freshest fruits and vegetables straight from local farms, savoring the rich flavors of handcrafted cheeses, and indulging in the irresistible aromas of freshly baked breads and pastries.

Engage with passionate vendors who share their stories and expertise, offering insights into the region’s culinary traditions and sustainable farming practices. Whether you’re seeking farm-fresh ingredients for a picnic or simply want to savor the flavours of Devon, the Totnes Good Food Market promises an unforgettable culinary adventure.

totnes past and present

The book “Totnes Past & Present: Britain in Old Photographs” by David Vodden offers a captivating visual journey through the history of Totnes. Through a collection of old photographs, readers are transported back in time to explore the personal histories, experiences, and transformations of Totnes and its inhabitants over the years.

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Discover the Unique Shops and Galleries Along Fore Street

totnes fore street

Fore Street, the bustling heart of Totnes, is a treasure trove of unique shops and galleries that showcase the town’s vibrant independent spirit. Stroll along this quaint thoroughfare, where every storefront beckons with its distinctive charm. Discover eclectic boutiques offering an array of handcrafted items, from locally designed clothing and accessories to artisanal home decor pieces.

Browse through cosy bookshops brimming with rare finds and literary gems, or lose yourself in the captivating world of art galleries showcasing works by local and international artists. Indie fashion, vintage treasures, and artisanal delicacies – Fore Street has it all. Pause for a refreshing break at one of the charming cafés, where you can savor locally roasted coffee or indulge in decadent treats while soaking in the lively atmosphere.

Experience the Timeless Tradition of the Totnes Elizabethan Markets

totnes elizabethan market

Step back in time and experience the enchanting Totnes Elizabethan Markets, a beloved tradition that has been celebrated for centuries. Held every Tuesday in the summer in the heart of Totnes, these vibrant markets transport visitors to the era of Queen Elizabeth I, with costumed performers, musicians, and entertainers creating an immersive Renaissance experience. Wander through the bustling market stalls, where skilled artisans showcase their wares, from handcrafted jewelry and leatherwork to intricate woodcarvings and pottery.

Delight in the sights and sounds of street performers, jugglers, and minstrels, adding to the festive atmosphere. Sample traditional fare like roasted meats, hearty stews, and freshly baked pies, or quench your thirst with a frothy ale or mulled wine. The Totnes Elizabethan Markets offer a unique opportunity to step into history, celebrating the town’s rich cultural heritage in a captivating and unforgettable way.

Unwind in the Tranquil Beauty of the Totnes Riverside Gardens

totnes gardens

Nestled along the banks of the River Dart, the Totnes Riverside Gardens offer a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the town. These meticulously maintained gardens are a true oasis of tranquility, inviting visitors to unwind and reconnect with nature. Stroll along the winding pathways, taking in the vibrant hues of seasonal blooms that adorn the immaculate flower beds.

Find a quiet spot to relax on the lush lawns, basking in the gentle warmth of the sun, or seek shade under the canopy of towering trees. The soothing sounds of the river’s flow and the melodies of birdsong create a peaceful ambiance, allowing you to truly unwind. For those seeking a more active escape, the gardens provide ample opportunities for leisurely walks, picnicking, or simply soaking in the natural beauty that surrounds you.

Explore the Fascinating World of Rare Breeds at Totnes Rare Breeds Farm

sheep at the totnes rare breed farm

Nestled in the rolling countryside just outside Totnes, the Totnes Rare Breeds Farm offers a unique and educational experience for visitors of all ages. This working farm is dedicated to preserving and promoting rare and endangered species of farm animals, providing a glimpse into the rich agricultural heritage of the region. As you wander through the lush pastures and pens, you’ll encounter a diverse array of livestock, from majestic Shire horses and curly-coated Mangalitza pigs to the distinctive Bagot goats and the regal Dexter cattle.

Knowledgeable staff members are on hand to share fascinating insights into the remarkable characteristics and histories of these rare breeds. Interact with the friendly animals, learn about their conservation efforts, and gain a deeper appreciation for the importance of maintaining biodiversity in agriculture.

Embark on a Paddleboarding Adventure along the River Dart

paddleboarding totnes

For those seeking an invigorating outdoor adventure, paddleboarding along the picturesque River Dart is an absolute must-do in Totnes. Rent a paddleboard from one of the local outfitters and embark on a serene journey through the heart of the town, gliding along the gentle currents and taking in the breathtaking scenery. As you navigate the winding waterways, you’ll be treated to stunning vistas of historic bridges, quaint cottages, and lush greenery.

Keep an eye out for the diverse wildlife that calls the river home, from graceful swans and playful ducks to the occasional heron or kingfisher. For the more adventurous, venture further upstream and challenge yourself with the rapids and eddies of the upper reaches. Paddleboarding on the River Dart offers a unique perspective on the beauty of Totnes, providing an unforgettable outdoor experience.

Discover the Art of Glassblowing at the Totnes Glassblowing Studio


Step into the captivating world of glassblowing at the Totnes Glassblowing Studio, where skilled artisans transform molten glass into stunning works of art. This unique studio offers visitors the opportunity to witness the age-old craft firsthand, as the glassblowers deftly manipulate the glowing hot material with precision and artistry. Watch in awe as delicate shapes and intricate designs take form before your eyes, the vibrant colors and intricate patterns coming to life with each breath of the glassblower.

Participate in hands-on workshops and learn the basics of this mesmerizing craft, or simply browse the studio’s gallery, where you’ll find an array of exquisite glassware, sculptures, and decorative pieces crafted by local artists. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply seeking a one-of-a-kind experience, the Totnes Glassblowing Studio promises to leave you in awe of the beauty and skill behind this ancient art form.

If you are in this area, check out some other great days out in the South Hams too.

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