This guide to a weekend in Totnes, Devon, includes a review of a complimentary stay, courtesy of Boutique Retreats.
I’d heard rumours about Totnes during our last visit to Dartmoor.
Sat inside the warm ceramics studio belonging to Penny Simpson – enveloped by the wilds of Dartmoor’s rolling hills – we’d asked for suggestions for places to visit during our stay. Outside of afternoon hikes and making our way through a pile of books, what else should we do?
“I rarely get off the Moor”, Tash, Penny’s apprentice had admitted, “but when I do, I normally head to Totnes”. Noticing that I’d clearly never heard of the place, she explained that Totnes was a little like nearby Glastonbury – a hippy town.
“But it’s got a much younger, more upcoming feel to it”, she added, “and I’m not sure they like to be called hippies anymore”.
I was intrigued – listening as Tash described Totnes’ popular vegan scene, its boutique stores and its ethical and sustainable high street.
Perhaps Glastonbury’s alternative crown was slipping.
However, we never did make it to Totnes: our plans scuppered when a heavy blanket of snow fell across Dartmoor, covering it like a thick quilt. Confined to ancient villages and creaking inns (not, of course, that we were complaining), all that was left to do was read up on this mystical town.
Closing my local guidebook that evening, I decided to make it my mission to one day visit Totnes: exploring a town that had declared itself to be not only founded by giants, but twinned, no less, than with Narnia.