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Home | Recommendations and Tips | Things to do in Totnes Devon – an essential holiday guide

Things to do in Totnes Devon – an essential holiday guide

Totnes is the bohemian heart of South Devon – the perfect place to get away from the stresses of every day life and enjoy wholesome food, wander historic streets and lose yourself in the surrounding countryside. Read on for your essential guide to things to do in Totnes Devon.

Dartmouth is also very close by. Here’s some ideas for things to do in Dartmouth.

Whether you are visiting Totnes as a couple on a romantic retreat, as a family with kids who need entertainment, or even on a dog-friendly holiday, there’s plenty of ways to fill you days in and around Totnes.

Climb Totnes Castle

The pretty market town of Totnes comes complete with its own Norman castle which William the Conqueror built at this strategic location on the River Dart. When you climb up into the castle bailey you can appreciate panoramic views of the town, countryside and river. The Castle is looked after by English Heritage so is free to visit for members. Find out prices and opening times on the English Heritage website.

Browse Totnes market and shops

There’s always an eclectic mix of delicious local produce, pre-loved furniture and vintage fashion to be found in Totnes’ markets and shops. Totnes High Street and its charming side streets are where to head for a mix of hippy boutiques, artisan bakeries and fair-trade trinkets.

The general market takes place every Friday and Saturday in the Civic Square. On the fourth Friday of the month this is supplemented by an indoor market. And if you’re lucky enough to be visiting on the third Sunday of the month you must visit the award-winning Totnes Good Food Sunday Market. It’s one of the top things to do in Totnes for foodies.

Find out more about market dates and opening times.

Read our guide about where to find more farmers markets in South Devon.

Ride South Devon Railway – Totnes steam train to Buckfastleigh

Totnes is on the main line between London Paddington and Penzance, but it also has a steam train line which is open to visitors. South Devon Railway runs from Totnes though the picturesque River Dart valley to Buckfastleigh. The ride takes 30 minutes in each direction. Your ticket includes entrance to a small museum at Buckfastleigh Station where you’ll also find a cafe.

For the latest fares and timetable check the South Devon Railway website.

Feed the animals at Totnes Rare Breeds Farm

This small volunteer-run attraction will delight young children who can hold guinea pigs, feed goats and take part in the activity trails around the farm. The farm isn’t open all year rund so check the website for open days and times.

You can also buy combined attraction tickets with South Devon Railway, which is right next door, to make a full day out.

Book a wine tour in Totnes Devon

You can’t visit Totnes without sampling some of Devon’s very best wine and cheese from the Sharpham Estate. You can take a self-guided vineyard tour, book a wine or cheese tasting session, or learn about the whole process of making wine in the South Devon countryside.

Find out about all the tours and tastings available at Sharpham just outside Totnes, Devon.

Pottery painting at China Blue, Totnes

This is the perfect activity for wet days in South Devon. Drop into the China Blue pottery studio and pick an ornament or piece of crockery to decorate. There’s also an extensive gift shop and the Blue 55 cafe where you can enjoy coffee and a piece of cake, lunch or even dinner in the evenings.

Totnes swimming pool

Another place that’s good to go with kids if the weather isn’t top is Totnes Leisure Centre. It has a swimming pool with regular float sessions. 

Check the timetable on the Leisure Centre website.

Catch the Totnes to Dartmouth ferry

See the pretty villages and wildlife of the River Dart valley from the water with a boat trip to the maritime town of Dartmouth. Shorter trips are also available to Greenway – Agatha Christie’s holiday home on the former Raleigh Estate beside the river – and pretty Dittisham, which is great for crabbing.

If you want to add to your day you can do the Round Robin tour of South Devon by boat, steam railway and bus. If you are looking for dog-friendly things to do in Totnes then this is one to add to your bucket list as pets are allowed on each part of the journey.

You can also hire a kayak in Totnes and ride down the river at your own pace.

Totnes events – what’s on

Whether you are visiting Totnes in the summer or winter, you’ll find some charming events happening in or around the town. In December, the Totnes Christmas Market offers late night shopping each Tuesday in the run up to Christmas.

A summer highlight is the Totnes Show held at Great Court Farm in July. This traditional country show is now over 100-years-old. Expect livestock competitions, shows in the main arena and live music the whole family can enjoy. Also don’t miss Totnes Carnival for a riot of colour and fun mid-August.

Take a look at the Visit Totnes website for the latest event listings.

Explore the River Dart Valley on foot

Whatever your ability you can find a walk to suit you near Totnes, Devon. We’ve shared some of the best places to explore using your own two feet including walks along the river and the nearby South West Coast Path in this post about Dart Valley activities on foot.

Totnes accommodation

If you are looking for Totnes holiday cottages then Dart Valley Cottages have several within easy reach of the town. Take a look at our holiday cottages near Totnes Devon.

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