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A day out in Topsham

Topsham is a small town near Exeter on the Exe estuary, which is ideal for a day out whilst staying at The 25 Boutique B&B. Julian and I spent a day there earlier this week.

It’s just over half an hour’s drive, but we chose to go by train so we could have a drink at lunchtime. The train station is a ten minute walk from us, so it’s really handy and the journey took just over an hour. It’s an attractive stretch of train track mainly following the coastline.

We should probably discuss pronunciation – lots of people say “Topshum”, but the more traditional Devonian way is to say “Topsum” so we’ll go with that. It’s always best to fit in with the locals – and don’t forget – cream first, then jam on your scones!

Topsham was once a thriving port and shipbuilding centre and still retains a strong maritime feel. It’s now somewhat of a foodie haven with some fabulous places to eat and there are lots of independent shops selling everything from gifts to homewares, wine to kitchen items, furniture and books.

If you like antiques, then the former Customs House on the quay has been turned into an Aladdin’s cave of things to mooch around on three floors and you never know what you might find. Whilst there, you can walk along the quay and enjoy the sunshine, the seabirds on the estuary mudflats and the views.

You’ll also find Topsham Museum overlooking the estuary – it features the town’s maritime history, furnished period rooms of the original merchant’s house and a general history of the town, exhibits covering the local wildlife, local trades and memorabilia of the film star Vivien Leigh.

If you take your swimming costume, you’ll be able to make use of Topsham outdoor pool which is open every day from April to the end of September. It’s heated too. It’s not a council run amenity, but was founded by, and is now run by volunteers from the town and it is totally self-funding.

We had a delicious lunch at the Salutation Inn, a fine dining restaurant which offers a great value three course Prix Fixe menu for just £25 which we had, but they also have a regular menu and a very tasty looking afternoon tea on offer too. It was served in a historic courtyard under a modern glazed atrium (don’t forget your sunglasses on a sunny day).

There are lots of lovely places to eat in the town and plenty of choice to suit all tastes and budgets. We grabbed a coffee earlier in the day at a little café overlooking the estuary where we received great coffee and a friendly welcome.

All in all we had a lovely day in Topsham, and it was a warm sunny day too. We hope you have a great day out if you go when you are next staying with us.

If you choose to drive to Topsham, it’s only 15 minutes from Powderham Castle and Exeter so there’s plenty to keep you busy in the area if you have enough time and want to make a full day of it.


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