Totnes, South Devon

Totnes, South Devon
  • Iconic South Devon town. Essential visiting when on holiday in the Westcountry. Beautiful and thriving with a reputation for being alternative, Totnes lines the River Dart between Dartmoor and the South Devon coastline at Dartmouth
  • Magnificent views of Totnes, the South Devon countryside and Dartmoor from the town's English Heritage castle
  • Great for shopping and local food and drink. Nearby The Shops At Dartington superb
  • Take boat trips on the River Dart to Dartmouth. Journey by boat, steam train and bus on South Devon's famous 'Round Robin' 
  • Totnes and local area packed with visitor attractions from Totnes Castle (English Heritage) to Dartington, South Devon Railway to Agatha Christie's home Greenway (National Trust)
  • Main photo: view of Totnes Castle (English Heritage) from the top of the High St in an area known as the Narrows


Twinned with Narnia and Area 51 Nevada

Totnes has a reputation for being alternative. Signs welcoming you to the town once read 'Totnes twinned with Narnia' or 'Totnes twinned with Area 51 Nevada'. Topped by an English Heritage castle and located on the banks of the River Dart, this is a unique place.


Why holiday or weekend break in Totnes?

To help you choose Totnes, we've listed some of the local attractions below.


Totnes Castle

Totnes Castle (English Heritage) overlooks the town. The view from its walls are amazing. In addition to Totnes, you'll see the River Dart, rolling South Devon countryside and the eastern flank of Dartmoor.

In the area, also visit Berry Pomeroy Castle (English Heritage) and Dartmouth Castle (English Heritage).

National Trust properties include Compton Castle (National Trust), Greenway (National Trust), Coleton Fishacre (National Trust) and Overbeck's Garden and Museum (National Trust).


Totnes shopping

Quality independent shops line Fore Street and the High Street. Start by the River Dart and work your way up in the direction of English Heritage's Totnes Castle.

We'd recommend a trip to The Shops At Dartington as well. Dartington is on the edge of town. Whilst there's plenty of parking, it's fun to walk on the Totnes Dartington Access for All Path that runs between Totnes and Dartington.


Totnes food and drink

As you walk up Fore Street and the High Street, you'll notice that every other building seems to be a cafe, restaurant, pub or speciality food shop. The choice is superb. Take your pick.

For a riverside drink or meal, try Waterside Bistro and the Steam Packet Inn.

If you fancy a beer, try The Totnes Brewery Co at the top of town.

There are great cafes, restaurants and bars on the Dartington Hall Estate.


Totnes Market

Located near Totnes Castle at the top of town, Totnes Market is a great place to shop for local crafts and produce. Open Friday and Saturday throughout the year.


Totnes Museum, the Historic Guildhall, the Fashion & Textiles Museum, St Mary's Church and the Brutus Stone

For history and culture, in addition to Totnes Castle, visit Totnes Museum, the Historic Guildhall, the Fashion & Textiles Museum and St Mary's Church.

Look out for the Brutus Stone on Fore Street.


Totnes and the River Dart

One of the great Devon rivers flows from Dartmoor's high moor to the coast at Dartmouth.

Enjoy local watersports, walk the Dart Valley Trail or take a boat trip.


Totnes watersports

For watersports, try Canoe Adventures. 'Adventures usually start and finish at the excellent Malsters Arms, Tuckenhay (TQ9 7EQ), lying halfway between Totnes and Dartmouth.'

There's also Totnes Kayaks in Stoke Gabriel.


Totnes walking

The long distance walk from Totnes to Dartmouth is superb. Follow signs for the Dart Valley Trail.

We'd also recommend walking the Totnes Dartington Access for All Path that runs between Totnes and Dartington.


Totnes boat trips

The classic Dartmouth trip is the Round Robin provided by Paignton & Dartmouth Steam Railway. Follow the River Dart downriver on the Dartmouth Totnes River Cruise. Take the Dartmouth Kingswear Lower Ferry to Kingswear. Hop on the Dartmouth Steam Railway to Paignton Station. Ride on the bus to Totnes Steamer Quay. Clearly, you can take the trip in the other direction.


Totnes and Dartington

On the outskirts of Totnes, Dartington is one of South Devon's major cultural and leisure attractions. The gardens are superb and host sculptures by Henry Moore and Peter Randall-Page. There are plenty of cafes, restaurants and bars on Dartington Hall Estate.

Visit for The Shops At Dartington as well. This collection of specialist shops is situated on the edge of Dartington Hall Estate.

Again, whilst there's plenty of parking, it's fun to walk on the Totnes Dartington Access for All Path that runs between Totnes and Dartington.


Totnes and the South Devon Railway

South Devon Railway runs between Totnes and Buckfastleigh. A classic Devon visitor attraction.


Totnes Rare Breeds Farm

Totnes Rare Breeds Farm sits on the outskirts of Totnes. It's compact which is great for young kids. Highlights include the owls and red squirrels, the goats and tiny mice.

Totnes Rare Breeds Farm is located next to the platform of the South Devon Railway at Totnes. Combine a trip to both attractions.


Totnes and Sharpham

Sharpham runs along the River Dart at Ashprington just outside Totnes. Sharpham is one of England's foremost quality wine producers. Book yourself a wine and cheese tasting experience or take a tour around the vineyard.

Note that you can walk to The Sharpham Estate via the Dart Valley Trail. This follows the south bank of the River Dart in the direction of Ashprington.


Beaches near Totnes

Beaches east of Totnes

Paignton Beach. Big sand beach, pier and amusements. There's a pretty harbour at the south end of the beach.

Goodrington Sands (Beach). Famous red sand beach on The English Riviera.

Broadsands Beach. Super red sand beach between Goodrington and Brixham.

Beaches south of Totnes

Blackpool Sands (Beach). An arc of shingle (small pebble) beach a short distance south east of Dartmouth.

Slapton Sands (Beach). Huge stretch of shingle that runs down to Torcross.

Beaches south west of Totnes

Bantham Beach. One of the best beaches in England. Across the mouth of the River Avon and Estuary from Bigbury-on-Sea Beach.

Bigbury-on-Sea Beach. Classic South Devon family beach that connects with Burgh Island and its famous hotel at low tide.


Totnes and Woodlands Park

Woodlands Park is roughly ten miles south between Totnes and the coast. South Devon's most popular adventure park. Kids love the place.


The English Riviera

Follow the A385 east to Paignton, Brixham, Torquay and Babbacombe.



The vast bulk of Dartmoor is to the west and north west.