Totnes, an ancient borough sitting on a steep promontory next to the river Dart, devotes itself in almost equal measures to arts and crafts, to history and architecture, and to eccentric lifestyles.
The main shopping area is Fore Street, which runs from The Plains up past 16th and 17th Century merchants' houses to the East Gate Arch, and the High Street, which continues up the hill. Here you'll find a fine assortment of alternative health and organic food shops, local arts and crafts, and shops selling old and new books. There are markets on Fridays and Saturdays, and an Elizabethan market each Tuesday morning (May-September), when traders get their Elizabethan kit on. The Town Guide, available from the Tourist Information Centre, is essential for enjoying the town trail and don't miss Totnes Museum if you want a more detailed history. If you haven't exercised enough on your town walks, visit the Totnes Pavilion Leisure Centre.
There's so much here, summarising what to see in Totnes is difficult, but besides the main museum, you should try to include Totnes Castle, at the top of the town; Bogan House Costume Museum - in the Butterwalk; China Blue Ceramics - hands on pottery; The Leechwells near the Kingsbridge Inn (Totnes' oldest pub); The Guildhall and the Ramparts and for children - the Totnes Rare Breeds Farm.
From Totnes you can take the South Devon Steam Railway to Buckfastleigh or cruise down the glorious River Dart to Dartmouth by River Link passenger ferry. To enjoy the Dart at closer quarters try Canoe Adventures at Tuckenhay.
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