Escape to Devon – Totnes and Torquay

Last weekend I decided to head out of town in pursuit of a little West Country magic! Armed with a complimentary first class return courtesty of First Great Western (which, rather disappointingly, didn’t even extend to the luxury of free sandwiches!), I somewhat randomly opted for the charming and quirky Devonshire town of Totnes. The only reason I’d even heard of this relatively unknown location was due to the very important fact that it boasted the UK’s very first cat cafe (as prestigious a claim to fame as any I say). Sadly, I learned this closed down last year, but I still managed to find plenty of distractions to fill my time in this very picturesque spot.

Totnes can be found on the London-Penzance main line, approximately three hours travel time from London. The town has a local reputation for its alternative culture and spiritual connections – perhaps Devon’s equivalent to Somerset’s Glastonbury. During my short time there I was fortunate enough to meet many interesting people, of various ages, backgrounds and stages of life, who had recently left their old lives behind in pursuit of a new start and had happily ended up being drawn to the natural delights and eccentricites of the town. Judging by the lack of West Country accents around, I’d say there are a fair few people who’ve made Totnes their home in this way. It’s remarkably diverse for its size in terms of the variety of nationalities it attracts and the number of different restaurants and world cuisines you have to choose from.

This is probably the only trip I’ve done where I didn’t take my Canon (I was trying to travel light and “disconnect”) so apologies for the reduced quality of the images that follow – they should, however, give you a taste of the area.

View from my train window – the rail line runs spectacularly alongside the seafront as you approach Devon on the main line from London.

2015-06-18 20.41.55 cnView of Totnes taken from the top of the castle

20150619_171648 crop cnThe River Dart20150619_164200  The colourful high street20150621_103010 crop cn20150621_103141 crop cn20150619_190229 cnOne of the locals

20150620_102044 crop cnA baby alpaca at Totnes Rare Breeds Farm (a MUST see!)2015-06-20 13.54.18 crop Steam train  20150620_123553 A rather curious notice outside the gentlemen’s toilet at the old rail station – did guys have issues with dressing back then?20150620_113909Torquay

During my stay I couldn’t resist making the most of the incredible summer weather to visit the well-kept English Riviera town of Torquay, just a 40 min bus ride from Totnes. Unlike so many other English coastal towns, Torquay appears to have retained much of its grandeur, boasting hill-top villas with palm-tree laden gardens and a particuarly impressive coastline.

Torquay harbour

20150619_103755 cn20150619_131149 cnThe coast – think La Costa Amalfitana – only softer and a little more quaint 😉

2015-06-19 12.36.54 cn2015-06-19 12.38.39 cnThis girl was very brave – I’ve never seen so many huge jelly fish in the sea as I did that day!

20150619_111439 cn     Some very chic (and very expensive!) beach huts – in incredibly good condition and impeccably decorated inside20150619_112439 crop cn20150619_150756 crop cn

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2 thoughts on “Escape to Devon – Totnes and Torquay

  1. I think it’s indicative of the town’s creative and entrepreneurial spirit that it managed to get the cat cafe before Shoreditch! San Francisco seems to be lagging a bit.

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