Totnes and the River Dart

Totnes is a little town in the South Hams where a friend, alluding to it’s alternative population, once said  you can see the haze of the wacky baccy floating above as you approach. The name sign on the road from Dartington says it’s twinned with Narnia. Totnes is packed with little hippy shops, second hand bookshops, wholefoods, and  cafes to suit everyone, it’s a super place for a pootle. Every alternative therapy known to man can be sampled, needless to say it’s on a ley line.

Before leaving the town centre I had  a chat with a lady who runs a geisha house http://www.sarasvati-arts.co.uk/hachisu/index.html she was dressed in a beautiful kimono. One of the alternative therapies on offer is ‘gonging’, where you sit close to one of these and  you are immersed in its sound. Excuse the reflections on this photo, but I had to share it, click to open and read about a Pastor offering an unusual service!

Walking down the town we reached the River Dart and had a short walk on the Access for all ‘ path. We met a couple in their 80’s you were having trip down memory lane. They had grown up in Totnes and said that as children their parents had warned them away from the river because they would drown. Needless to say that didn’t stop them from jumping in and swimming around the weir. They weren’t swimming this time, or walking – they had cycled, only around eight miles, not their usual distance of up to thirty!

Further along I took these photos of a canoeist who looked like he was having a great time. On the walk back we found him on the river bank with his canoe deflated. He had parked in Totnes, caught the steam train up to Buckfastleigh, about seven miles, boat in backpack and then paddled downstream. We envied him, it sounds idyllic,  but no doubt I, if not friend, would have drowned. I hope you like the sound of Totnes, for further posts about the area click on Dartington in my category cloud and if you click on the first photo a slide show will appear!

30 thoughts on “Totnes and the River Dart

  1. Wonderful, talk about a trip down memory lane …. now, if you can get down to Slapton Lea and Torcross, then I will be able to see my father’s old home!! I love this part of the world, and so appreciate your pictures. I’ve been visiting the area since I was 10, and even lived across the Exe in Lympstone for many years …. It’s so good to be reminded of the beauty and quirkiness of this part of the world!!

    1. When were you last here? and in Lympstone? you will see a photo on here somewhere of the estuary from Lympstone, gorgeous little place and I sometimes pootle there when the tide is out! Thanks for visiting me and I may yet pop down to Slapton this summer!

    1. Nooo I’m supposed to be a writer! Thanks, the man with the canoe was really nice and I loved that his boat deflated and packed up into a case!

      1. That’s why ‘in disguise’.

        Bwahaha. You ‘loved’ that his boat deflated. ? Well, I would’ve wanted to see small mishap like that as well.

    1. Oh I know you would love it! then next you have your aura read, your chakras balanced, you could have danced Gabrielle Roth’s 5 rhythm’s, not to mention a flotation thingy!

  2. Quaint place. How do you pronounce “Totnes?” and a pootle? I think I’d be lost here. Saw your entry of Dartington too! Thanks for taking me there!

    1. Tot as in hot and nes as in yes! pootling is just wandering around with no fixed aim just soaking up the atmosphere! Totnes isn’t big enough to get lost in but it’s lovely and even has a castle!

  3. Excellent post! The photos are nothing less than amazing and they are exactly what interested travelers should see before making their actual visit to Totnes. I’ll be looking forward to reading your next post on Dartington and off course for some more fabulous photos.

  4. Gorgeous photos, Gilly!
    I liked your subtle descriptions of the town’s alt-lifestyles, too – they made me smile.
    Sounds lovely, though, no matter on what side of the fence your politics are. Who could resist that calm-looking river? (Oh, and the older couple you mention sound like they were quite the adventurers, even now! Though, why do I imagine them skinny-dipping in that river when they were of the age for such tomfoolery? :D)

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