Travel Guide To Totnes | The Chuffed Store Travel Guide To Totnes | The Chuffed Store
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We love traveling the British Isles by train and the journey into this next destination is a real beauty. We are on route to South Devon, an area of outstanding natural beauty. After Exeter the train track swoops right along the coast, past rippling waves and sailing boats – your holiday really feels like it has begun.

Today in our travel guide we are taking you to Totnes, Devon – a market town on the head of the River Dart Estuary. It is a unique and special town loaded with independent businesses, beautiful architecture and eccentric characters.

The town borders with Dartington Estate, which has long invited, attracted, encouraged and supported those who show talent and creativity. This has been true since Dorothy and Leonard Elmhirst began their remarkable experiment at Dartington in 1925. They invited musicians and economists, writers and potters, educationalists and architects, dancers and psychologists, artists and agriculturalists, poets and painters, sculptors and social theorists to Dartington – all searching for new forms of community living. The roll-call of outstanding people involved in the Dartington experiment includes Jacqueline du Pré, Benjamin Britten, Bernard Leach, Walter Gropius, George Bernard Shaw and Aldous Huxley.

It was here that the Arts Council was conceived and the first arts school with practising and performing artists was established. Dartington College of Arts has now merged with Falmouth University and relocated to Cornwall. The trust is still thriving.

It is to no surprise that Totnes today remains an original and exciting place. Situated on the joining of spiritual Ley lines. Totnes has it’s own currency, the Totnes pound, to support local economy. An initiative that is part of the Transition Towns concept, of which Totnes was a pioneer. Notice boards are pinned with flyers for Kundalini yoga, meditation retreats and holistic practitioners and once a year the Elizabethan society hosts an orange rolling competition down the high street.

We have collaborated with Totnes resident and Chuffed Store maker Lucie Cast to bring you the inside scoop; the best places to eat, sleep, drink and explore.

Lucie Cast has two super exciting venues and projects in the centre of town; Studio Nine and The Old Bakehouse. Studio Nine is a changeable space on the high street, hosting different pop ups. Local makers, designers and artists can rent prime retail space by the week, great for them and even better for the community. A mega ever changing store, showcasing local talent, keeping the high street fresh and exciting – imagine having a different shop in your local town each week? 

Then there is The Old Bakehouse. Lucie took this on to save such a beautiful space from developers. She wants to do great projects in a great building. One of its remarkable features is the original 1907 bread oven, as well as giant flagstone floors and perfectly crackled glazed brick walls. Being an old bakehouse it lends itself beautifully to food producers, who can rent a day weekly. Currently it houses Montreal Bagels on a Thursday morning, The Almond Thief Bakery on a Tuesday and Friday, and The French Cook in Devon on Saturdays. In the evenings local chefs host super clubs and the super talented painter Emily Powell takes the studio upstairs. It is also available for workshops, events and makes a mega shoot location.

Market day – Friday and Saturday with a special food market the third Sunday of every month. 

The market is the best place for magpies (in fact Totnes is the best place for magpies). Second hand, vintage clothes, organic vegetables from local farms, and all sorts of delicious things to eat. We highly recommend you hit up Kumars Dosa Bar

The whole town is filled with charity shops for rummaging. There is a great menswear vintage shop called Butterworths Vintage and do not miss Revival, an Aladdins cave for vintage lovers that has been going for over 30 years. Lucie’s favourite store is Inspired Buys – a fantastic eclectic mix of second hand and work by interesting makers.

 

Drift record shop – an award winning record shop. They also host an annual festival in Totnes called Sea change taking place all over the town. This year it’s on 27th- 28th- 29th May and is set to be a banger.

The Happy Apple is a perfect greengrocer. A great place to find local goodies for a picnic. 

Pick up a bottle from Wine & Green, a modern independent wine merchant just round the corner and you are ready to go!

Tamarind Tree – authentic Indian street food. Cooked on the industrial estate. You can BYOB and sit out in the car park in the summer.

Taguchi Ya – a delicious Japanese canteen with a weekly set menu, keep your eyes peeled for their special ramen nights every 2-3 months.

Delphini’s Gelato –  fresh homemade gelato made daily on-site using organic Devon milk and cream, seasonal fresh fruits, Belgian chocolate, Sicilian pistachios, Piedmont hazelnuts, Amarena cherries. Flavours change daily.

Totnes Cinema – an independent quirky cinema set in a unique and surprising space, more like a Berlin cabaret than a cinema, with subdued lighting, comfy sofas, bistro table and chairs and luxurious cinema seats on the balcony. There is a cocktail bar and keep your eyes peeled for other events, there is regularly live music on the grand piano before the movies begin.

New Lion Brewery – local brewery and music venue. “We all walk here along the river in the summer and stumble home in the dark, slightly pissed and slightly sunburnt.” Family friendly as it’s next to the park.

Walk around the beautiful Deer park on the Dartington Estate.

Canoe Adventures – take a trip down The River Dart and stop off at one many waterfront pubs on the way.

Where to stay

The Bull inn for a glamorous organic gastro pub mini break

The Bathing house in Sharpham for a romantic weekend by the river

Darting River Dart Cabin 

Camp Dartington – campsite on The Dartington Estate. It has its own cinema and you can take a morning dip in the river. Great for families.

@studioninetotnes . @totnesbakehouse . @montrealstylebagelstotnes . @thealmondthief . www.kumarsdosabar.com . www.butterworthsvintage.com . @revival_totnes . @driftrecordshop . www.wineandgreen.com . @tamarindtree.totnes . @taguchiyacanteen . @delphinis_gelato . www.totnescinema.co.uk . @newlionbrewerydartington . www.dartington.org . www.canoeadventures.co.uk .  www.bullinntotnes.co.uk .  www.sharphamtrust.org .