"Here I stand and here I rest,
The town shall be called Totnes"
Attributed to the legendary Trojan Prince, Brutus
Lying on the banks of the River Dart, Totnes presents an intriguing mixture of history and new age trends. This ancient river port town has a vibrant atmosphere which belies its age. Street entertainers, markets and a New Age culture merge happily with its steamer quay, Elizabethan architecture, Norman castle and range of listed buildings.
An ancient borough and river port, Totnes is also reputed to have been at the centre of the founding of Britain. According to medieval legend, it was here that Brutus, the Trojan Prince disembarked from his ship upon the Brutus stone in 1170 BC. You'll find this ancient granite piece of British heritage near no. 51 Fore Street. It lies just beyond East Gate, one of the two surviving gates dating to the Norman era when the Saxon village of Totnes was turned into a walled town. East Gate has undergone much alteration over the centuries and now has the Tudor age to thank for its current appearance. From East Gate, you can take in the Rampart Walk which circles the old city walls taking you to the beautiful 15th century St. Mary's church and the 11th century Guildhall. For more architectural attractions, head back to High Street where you'll find the house of pilchard merchant, Nicholas Ball at No. 16. His extensive wealth was ultimately used to found the Bodleian Library. More interesting is Leechwell Street lying on the left at the upper end of the High Street. Pass the 17th century Kingsbridge Inn and take Leechwell Lane down the hill to the healing waters of Leech Wells. These three wells were believed to have healing powers in bygone years. Such was their popularity that pilgrims travelled from afar to Totnes and special wardens were needed to oversee the distribution and maintenance of the waters.
Totnes reached its greatest prosperity in the 1500s when the River Dart was used to export cloth to France returning with barrels of French wine. Nowadays, the River Dart sees international export of a different kind with pleasure boats sailing regularly to darling Dartmouth. There are plenty more attractions to be enjoyed at Totnes such as the Norman Totnes Castle, Dartington Hall or the Totnes Costume Museum and the Elizabethan Museum. If this sounds all too dreary for the kids, they'll be well-entertained at the award winning attraction of Woodlands Leisure Park or playing with the animals at the Totnes Rare Breeds Centre. Another great family attraction is the South Devon Steam Railway once part of the Great Western Railway.
Totnes : Sightseeing and Attractions
|Woodlands Caravan & Leisure Park|
An award-winning family leisure and caravan park suitable in any kind of weather. Attractions include toboggan and adventure rides, a falconry centre and a playzone for the little ones. Heaps to do here and heaps of fun for kids and grown-ups too... more
Admission: £8.75 Adults
Address: Woodlands Leisure Park, Blackawton, Totnes, Devon
Postcode: TQ9 7DQ Street Map
Contact: PH 01803 712598
|Davidson Fine Arts Gallery|
An independent Fine Arts Gallery specialising in contemporary and 19th century artists from Cornwall and Devon. Artworks you may expect to see here are select pieces from the likes of John Chancellor, Robert Lenkiewicz, Richard Thorn and Ray Denton.
Address: Davidson Fine Arts Gallery, 22 High Street,, Totnes, Devon
Postcode: TQ9 5RY Street Map
Contact: PH 01803 865 774
Offering fine views over Totnes to the River Dart, Totnes Castle was one of the earliest Norman strongholds in England. Built on a hill and surrounded by fortifications enclosing a high wooden tower, Totnes Castle symbolised the importance of the new Norman regime... more
Admission: £2.40 Adults £1.80 Children
Address: Totnes Castle, Castle Street,, Totnes, Devon
Postcode: TQ9 5NU Street Map
Contact: PH 01803 864 406
|Berry Pomeroy Castle|
Ancient lands, an ancient castle, ancient ghosts? Hmm, possibly. Berry Pomeroy Castle lies within an ancient Deer Park upon a natural outcrop overlooking the Gatcombe Valley. Inhabited by two of the foremost families in Devon region, Berry Pomeroy Castle is now a romantic ruins believed by some to be haunted by ancient spirits... more
Admission: £3.60 Adults £1.80 Children
Address: Berry Pomeroy Castle, Totnes, Devon
Postcode: TQ9 6NJ Street Map
Contact: PH 01803 866 618
|Parish of St. Mary's Totnes|
This beautiful old church is laid upon ground which has borne witness to Christian worship for more than a 1000 years. The present building was constructed from red Devonian stone in the early Perpendicular Style with a tower at the west end... more
Address: Parish & Priory of St. Mary's, High Street, Totnes, Devon
Contact: PH 01803 866045
First build in the 11th century the Totnes Guildhall has served as a Benedictine Priory, Magistrates' Courts and the town gaol. See the former prisoner's cell and the table at which Oliver Cromwell spun a cunning plan. .. more
Admission: £1 Adults £.25 Children
Address: Rampart's Walk, Totnes, Devon
Postcode: TQ9 5QH Street Map
Contact: PH 01803 862 187
|High Cross House|
A work representative of Swiss-American architect, William Lescaze, High Cross House and its collections combine to form an international celebration of Modernism in its various forms. .. more
Admission: £3.50 Adults £2.50 Children
Address: High Cross House, Dartington Hall,, Totnes, Devon
Postcode: TQ9 6ED Street Map
Contact: PH 01803 864114
|Dartington Cider Press Centre|
A wonderful initiative which began in 1925 when Dorothy and Leonard Elmhirst converted Dartington Hall, an ancient estate, into a base for a range of environmental and educational projects. .. more
Admission: Free entry
Address: Dartington Cider Press Centre, Shinners Bridge, Totnes, Devon
Postcode: TQ9 6TQ Street Map
Contact: PH 01803 847500
|Totnes Costume Museum|
Located within the oldest Tudor building in Totnes, the Totnes Costume Museum is home to a range of dresses, costumes and accessories from the Victorian Age. In this wonderful display, you'll find works by designers such as the Spanish Fortuny Mariano and Art Nouveau dresses and accessories made by companies such as Liberty & Co.
Admission: £2. Adults £0.80 Children
Address: Totnes Costume Museum, Bogan House, Totnes, Devon
Postcode: TQ9 5NP Street Map
Contact: PH 01803 863 821
|The Elizabethan Museum|
Totnes experienced its heyday in the Elizabethan era when the town served as a thriving river port. The Totnes Elizabethan Museum is a fitting tribute to the town and its history. The exhibition itself is located within an Elizabethan building which was built for a wealthy, local merchant, Walter Kellond. As well as finding out more about Totnes and its past, you'll learn more about its residents such as Charles Babbage (1791-1871) who invented the 'analytical engine' an early version of the computer. You'll also find out more about other locals such as Sir Walter Raleigh and more general information on the history of Devon throughout the ages.
Admission: £1.50 Adults £0.50 Children
Address: The Elizabethan Museum, 70 Fore Street, Totnes, Devon
Postcode: TQ9 5RU Street Map
Contact: PH 0180 863821
|Avenue Cottage Gardens|
Avenue Cottage Gardens comprise some 11 acres of woodland gardens first planted some 200 years ago. Located in a beautiful valley, you'll also be able to visit the Elizabethan Landscaped Garden which features wonderful rhododendrons and azaleas as well as many rarer and unusual species. Another attraction are the beautiful views of the River Dart and Sharpham House.
Admission: £2.50 Adults £0.50 Children
Address: Avenue Cottage Gardens, Ashprington, Totnes, Devon
Postcode: TQ9 7UT Street Map
Contact: PH 01284 757 490
|Totnes Rare Breeds Centre|
An award-winning attraction, the Totnes Rare Breeds Centre is dedicated to the maintenance of biodiversity and rare breeds. On your visit, you'll see rare species of goat, sheep, owls, ducks, domesticated animals and doves. This attraction is easily located near Totnes, just take your cue from the signs to the South Devon Steam Railway (N.B. This is the only entrance.).
Admission: £3.50 Adults £2.50 Children
Address: Totnes Rare Breeds Centre, Mayhems Cottage,, Totnes,
Postcode: TQ9 6LW Street Map
Contact: PH 01803 840 387
|South Devon Steam Railway|
A wonderful attraction in South Devon, take a scenic tour along the River Dart on a track first built in 1872. Special events are hosted on these steam engines throughout the season. You'll also be able to use their services to coordinate your trip with a visit aboard a vintage bus to Buckfast Abbey and the Buckfast Otter and Butterflies Sanctuary or the Totnes Rare Breeds Centre.
Admission: £8.80 Adults £5.30 Children
Address: South Devon Railway Station, Buckfastleigh, Totnes, South Devon
Postcode: TQ11 0DZ Street Map
Contact: PH 01364 642338
|Totnes Tourist Information Centre|
Located within a restored mill, the Totnes Tourist Office is the place to book visits to local attractions and accommodation. A good starting point, you'll also be able to see the on-site exhibition of Totnes' history.
Address: The Town Mill, Coronation Road, Totnes, Devon
Contact: PH 01803 863168