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.
A baby alpaca at Totnes Rare Breeds Farm (a MUST see!) Steam train A rather curious notice outside the gentlemen’s toilet at the old rail station – did guys have issues with dressing back then?Torquay
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.