We had a rare day off last week. We had no guests checking in so mid-morning we headed off to Buckfastleigh which is about 30 minutes away.
We'd already been to Buckfastleigh, but if you wanted to start your day earlier, there's plenty to occupy you such as Buckfast Abbey, the Butterfly Farm and Otter Sanctuary.
It's the same car park for the Otters and Butterfly Farm as the South Devon Railway so we parked up and caught the steam train to Totnes which is a pleasant thirty minute journey roughly following alongside the River Dart.
Once in Totnes Station, it's a ten minute walk into the town so make sure you go on a fine day or take an umbrella (luckily the sun always shines on the English Riviera!).
Totnes is an interesting market town with lots of historic buildings, including Totnes museum half way up the High Street which is free entry. The main shopping street is on a steep hill so be prepared for some walking. There are lots of independent shops and they've very much avoided the dominance of high street chains here so there's plenty to look at. There are also lots of little cafés and tea rooms so you don't need to tackle that hill all in one go.
At the brow of the hill there's a market on Friday and Saturdays, and you'll also see the sign for Totnes Castle, an English Heritage property. Being a castle, it's on top of a large mound so more steps to climb but you'll want to walk off the cake you had half way up the High Street!
If you decide to drive, there are lots of interesting villages and other things to do around Totnes. We walked back to the station and caught the steam train back. The South Devon Railway also do regular Pullman carriage dining experiences - we're booked on one in October. They are well worth the experience, but are very popular so you'll need to be booking around six months in advance!
Enjoy Totnes, however you get there.