Be an eco-tourist – by Blueriver Cottages

At Blueriver Cottages, we strive to make the right choices for environmental sustainability. In this blog, we offer a few suggestions so that our guests and other visitors to this beautiful area can help us to protect the local environment, wildlife and economy for all to enjoy!

How to go green

CONSERVE ENERGY
At your cottage, reduce energy by switching off lights and closing windows if heating is on. Please visit energysavingtrust.org.uk for more information on what you can do to save energy at home and when on holiday.

SUPPORT THE REAL LOCAL ECONOMY
Locally made crafts and souvenirs are not always cheaper, but purchasing them ensures your contribution to the economy will have a more direct and positive impact.

CLEANER JOURNEYS
Some destinations are just harder to reach, so consider renting a hybrid or hybrid vehicle. Walk, bike, or use public transportation to get around whenever possible.

SAY NO TO PLASTIC
Take a BPA-free water bottle you can refill over and over again at many eateries. Refuse plastic straws.

BEACH CLEANS
There are monthly beach cleans to take part in but you don’t have to wait for those – spend 10 minutes before you leave the beach to do your bit.

EAT LOCALLY SOURCED FOOD
Support the region’s farmers, get a more authentic taste of the cuisine and cut your carbon footprint even more.

TAKE AN EDUCATIONAL WALK
Totnes is the world’s first Transition Town. Take part in one of their walks to find more out about the pioneering projects.

RESPECT NATURE
Help us to look after the beautiful landscape and wildlife of our county by not littering, guarding against fire and using footpaths and cycle-ways responsibly. Ensure you follow the Countryside Code.


You can take a look at Blueriver Cottages’ collection of holiday homes in South Devon and Torbay by clicking here.


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New retreat venue at Sharpham

Charity invests £1.6million in a new retreat venue at Sharpham

The Sharpham Trust is investing £1.6 million to convert a stable yard behind Sharpham House to a new centre for mindfulness courses and retreats.

The charity, which works to connect people to nature and themselves, has begun the creation of The Coach House - which will feature a new meditation space and 18 en-suite rooms.

The current, disused stableyard is a Grade II-listed building, dating back to 1760 when Sharpham House was built for the naval sea captain Philemon Pownoll.

Now work has begun to develop the single-storey quadrangle directly behind Sharpham House into a new retreat centre where participants can stay, amid historic grounds thought to have been landscaped by Capability Brown.

The Trust runs an annual programme of courses and retreats featuring mindfulness meditation and nature connection on the wider Sharpham Estate and on the adjacent River Dart.

“Prior to the pandemic we were finding that our programme was fully booked with long waiting lists,” said Trust Director Julian Carnell.

“As a charity we want to help as many people as possible and so creating more accommodation became a priority. The stable yard had become rundown and so there was a fantastic opportunity to give the building a new lease of life and restore it as part of the Sharpham Estate’s important heritage,” he said.

The Coach House behind Sharpham House INSIDE April 2021 LO RES
The Coach House

Retreats in The Coach House

The Coach House will join the Trust’s other retreat venues Sharpham House, The Barn Retreat and Woodland Campsite and it will offer a weekly programme for those in need of developing and deepening their mindfulness practice, compassion and their connection to nature.

Participants staying there will be able to spend a week living in community surrounded by the amazing natural environment of the Sharpham Estate.

They will spend time volunteering in the 18th century Walled Garden – helping to grow food for the retreats at Sharpham – and conserving the heritage and wildlife of the wider estate.

Helping 1,000 more people a year

Chairman of Sharpham’s Trustees Daniel Stokes said: “Our mission is to connect people to nature and foster mindfulness and wellbeing. There is now a plethora of research showing the physical and mental health benefits of spending time in nature.

“This project will enable us to help another 1,000 people a year, giving them a chance to spend time slowing down and reflecting in a beautiful natural setting,” he said.

Using local construction companies

The Trust is using South Devon firm Carpenter Oak to build the frame for an eye-catching glass structure linked to The Coach House which will be the new centre’s meditation and dining space.

Classic Builders, a local South West-based construction company, has been awarded the contract to convert the Coach House and hopes to complete the works by January 2022.

“We are delighted to be working with The Sharpham Trust on this significant local project. The Coach House is an important listed building, not only in a sensitive location but also next to Sharpham House. We’re looking forward to drawing on our years of experience delivering comparable works in similar settings to make this project a success,” said Adam Brimacombe, Director at Classic Builders.

The Trust has been busy over the last ten years developing its charitable programmes and refurbishing the heritage of its listed landscape and properties. Every year, some 2,000 people attend retreats, courses and events on the Sharpham Estate.

See our events here: www.sharphamtrust.org/Calendar  

A new fish finger takeaway in town

Cormack's Seafood recently launched a takeaway lunch menu from our fish shop. We sell a range of four sandwiches, featuring our handmade products. On offer at the moment is:

Classic Fish Finger Sandwich  £8
shoestring fries, tartar sauce, iceberg

Nashville Hot Fish Finger Sandwich £8
fish fingers, hot chilli dust, pickles, Cajun mayo

Plaice Katsu Curry Sandwich £9
Curry mayo, pickles, cabbage

Brixham Crab & Avocado Sandwich £10
Coconut, lime and chilli mayo, smashed avocado, crispy fried onions

Our fish fingers are made using line caught pollack from Devon and are battered in panko breadcrumbs, dill and spices. Our katsu fillets are inspired by Aarik’s (owner and chef) time working in South-East Asia and are made with plaice landed in Brixham.

fish finger

The takeaway is available every day from noon Tuesday to Saturday. We are located on Ticklemore Street in Totnes. 

Rotherfold Artisan Market #4

 

The Rotherfold Artisan Market was created by The Kitchen Table, a small outside catering business based in Totnes and Me & East, a small shop selling crafts made by British artisans. We wanted to bring artisanal handmade gifts, home wares, food and drink to central Totnes, based in an under-used but lovely square at the top of town.

The crafts for sale will be made by hand-picked local makers and small businesses, there will be ready-to-eat food and drink as well as live music on our buskers stage.

Read more Rotherfold Artisan Market


Rotherfold Artisan Market Poster


Businesses reopening

As per the latest Government advice, some of our non-essential shops opened their doors again from 15th June and were very happy to safely welcome some of you back. Restaurants, bars & visitor attractions should be able to open from 4th July with our local businesses working hard to make things as safe as possible.  Totnes Town Council has been working tirelessly to try and make the town as safe as possible for your return and have had a modification of the current speed limit to 5mph on Fore St / High St and The Narrows allowed by DCC to ensure the possibility of shared space and safety of pedestrians while social distancing.  There is also a road closure every Saturday from 9am - 1pm as a temporary measure so long as social distancing is required offering a good time for those who are more vulnerable to visit the town, however, bear in mind that the Saturday Market will be on this day as well which can get quite busy. There are no markets Mon - Thurs.  Here are just some of the shops, eateries, galleries and attractions that have or will be reopened:
GIFTS / FASHION Conker Shoes - open The Shops at Dartington - open ME AND EAST - opening Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays with a one in one out (or one family group) at a time Salago - opened ground floor only initially. Mon - Fri 12 - 5pm and Saturday 10am - 5pm. You can still shop online with click & collect China Blue - looking to reopen on 6th July. Products available online still Holly Keeling Interiors - open Apothespa : Organic & Natural Skincare - open  Narnia Totnes - open Out of the Blue - open 10am to 4pm Monday to Saturday  Miss Beaujangles - open Weds - Sat  Eleven Clothing - open 10am - 4.30pm with appointments available. Call 01803 834006 or message. Offering refunds within 5 days to allow you to try at home Fifty5a - open 11am - 3pm & from 10am Fridays. Sundays closed. Private appointment for 30 minutes available - email or DM shop@Fifty5a.com. Priority to customers from the vulnerable sector. Appointments scheduled from 9-11am or after 3pm Firefly_Totnes - open Fox & Company - open Thursday 10.30am - 4.30pm, Friday 10.30am - 5pm (limited fresh flowers on fridays), Sat 10.30am - 5pm Fusion - open  Pagoda Interiors - open Monday - Saturday 10am to 4pm. Allowing one person or two from a household at a time All the Best - open Mon - Sat 10am - 4.30pm  Moonstone Hare - open on Saturdays from 20th June from 10am - 4pm. Happy to arrange collection of orders outside these times wherever possible. Dobles - open Stone Fabrics & Sewing Surgery - call and collect service, check their website for all the fabrics online and a lot of haberdashery. Call 01803 868608 or drop a note in for free samples (can be collected or posted) 
BOOKS Totnes Bookshop - open from Monday to Saturday 10am - 5pm
ART White Space Art - open with reduced opening hours from 10.30am - 2.30pm. Please call to make appointments at other times. Eastgate Gallery in Totnes - open Creative Crafts and Needlework - open 10am-4pm Monday-Saturday. 3 customers into the shop at a time  the bowie gallery Totnes Devon - gallery is open by appointment plus always Friday 10am - 4pm. Call 07956412278 or 01803 863054 for appointments Yvonne Coomber Art Gallery - will open on Saturday 4th July & then Friday & Saturday 11-3pm during July. For appointments Monday - Thursday please call 01803 840161/07779058735 or email info@yvonnecoomber.com. They're offering 15% off prints, hand embellished canvases & original paintings to NHS/Key workers during July - email info@yvonnecoomber.com for information 
GARDENING / SERVICES Footworks Podiatrist on Castle Street. Rosanne and her specialist team Alex and Polar are available by appointment www.footworks-podiatry.co.uk / 01803 868888  The Potting Shed Totnes - open Tues to Sat 10am till 4pm with people allowed inside from 15th (under social distancing rules) The Potting Bench Totnes - open Thurs to Sat 10am - 4pm  The Totnes barbers - will reopen from 4th July  The Cobblers & Cleaners - open  Totnes TV and Electrical - open  Go Mobile - open  Barnes the Cleaners - reopening from 29th June
FOOD & DRINK The Hairy Barista - opening from 29th June The Green Cafe - open for takeaway and will open for indoor and garden tables from July 4th The Cellar Door at Sharpham Cheese - opening Wednesday - Saturday from 24th June  Green Table at The Dartington Hall Trust - open 11am - 4pm (closed Mon & Tues) Roly's Fudge Totnes - open with a serving hatch at the door and you'll be able to watch the fudge being made from the window  Ben's Farm Shops - open  Sharpham Wine - wine and cheese shop open Mon - Fri 11am - 4pm or order online with 10% off using code SHARPHAM10 Earth.Food.Love - open  The Kitchen Pantry by The Kitchen Table - new shop open Mon - Fri, 10am - 3pm selling home & locally made fresh & pantry food stuffs on the Industrial Estate  Delphini's Gelato Totnes - open 7 days a week 12 to 5pm, take away with card payment only Eversfield Organic Farm Shops - open from 8.30am to 5.30pm. Monday to Saturday The Curator Totnes - reopen for takeaways  Totnes Little Asia - open for takeaway & home delivery service from Wednesday 24th June. 5-9-30pm. Call 01803 868803 or 01803 868866 after 5pm for order  Silver Grill - The Totnes Chippy - open Tuesday - Thursday 4:45 - 8pm, Friday - Saturday 11:45 am - 2pm, 4:45 - 8pm. Order over phone, one entrance and one exit Bull Inn, Totnes - will be reopening on 8th July to overnight guests and customers for food only at first from Wednesday to Sunday initially. Check their website for more information: https://www.bullinntotnes.co.uk The Signal Box Cafe - (railway station) open for takeaway food, drinks, newspapers etc Back for 2 Seconds – open The Happy Apple - open  Bridgetown Stores - open 6am - 9pm 7 days a week Follaton stores - open 7am-8pm Mon to Sun  A W Luscombe Butchers - delivering with a range of products from other local businesses including Annies Fruit Shop, New Lion Brewery, The Almond Thief, The Wild Fig Deli and more Bridgetown Butchers - call 01803 866165/863323 to order where possible to help reduce waiting times. Minimum order for delivery £25 - free delivery within the Totnes area McCabes and Halls Butchers are both also operating Many businesses have been offering takeaway food, click & collect services or are selling online as well. Some of the restaurants / cafes / bars will be opening from 4th July (all being well) but in the meantime here is a list of those still operating online or with takeaways / click & collect until then: 
GIFTS - ONLINE  Love Frankie - buy online https://www.lovefrankie.com Little Blue Budgie - buy online https://www.littlebluebudgie.co.uk/ or phone 01803 847800 / message via facebook Penelope Tom - buy online https://www.penelopetom.com/
FASHION - ONLINE Colony Life Store - online orders via their website with FREE delivery on orders over £20 https://colonyshops.com SMALL-FOLK - check their online shop & free UK shipping (no end date). Use code POSITIVITY at checkout for the free postage https://small-folk.co.uk
FLOWERS ONLINE AND COLLECTIONS Blue Geranium Florist - continuing with online, phone and collect. Fresh flowers available Wednesday, Thursday and Friday every week
TAKEAWAYS & HOT FOOD COLLECTIONS Bianca e Massimo - open for takeaways  The Cott Inn - open 7 DAYS A WEEK Monday to Saturday 4 - 8 pm and Sunday 12 - 3pm for takeaway services, drive through collection in the car park. https://diningpubltd.touchtakeaway.net/menu Willow Vegetarian Restaurant - take-away Waterside Bistro Totnes - their take-away menu is now available from Wed-Sat 5-8pm. Please order online https://www.watersidebistro.com/ The Wild Fig Deli - order and collection service. Check their page for menu Totnes Grill – kebab and pizza delivery, call 01803 863835 Cafe Mumbai – take away from 5.30pm Tuesday to Sunday call 01803 866171 Room 101 – pizza delivery Tuesday to Saturday from 5pm call 07727 278428 The Kitchen Table - order for delivery call/ text Sima on 07583400998 or email sima@thekitchentable.org.uk to collect from the Totnes Industrial Estate kitchen Pie Street - take away & delivery Wednesday to Sunday 1pm-8.30pm. Call 01803 868674 to order http://www.piestreet.co.uk/ Lamaro Bakery – Italian food on Friday and Saturday 5-9pm, call 01803 862288 tamarindtree.totnes - on the Industrial Estate next to Kitchen Table with Indian food on Friday 1-8pm or Saturday 4-8pm. Order by DM, phone 07768964024 or email tamarindtree.totnes@outlook.com Taguchi-ya Canteen - Japanese food on Friday and Saturday collect 5-9pm, order online by Wednesday 12pm https://www.taguchiyacanteen.com/takeaway Good Food House – Delivery from 6-10pm every day (except Tuesday when closed), call 01803 864696 https://goodfoodhouse.co.uk/ Pizzaside – Thursday to Sunday 5-8.30pm for collection or delivery. https://www.pizzaside.co.uk/
FOOD & DRINK DELIVERIES / ONLINE Majestic Wine - email for delivery or call if over 70. tot@majestic.co.uk Annies Fruit Shop - online with delivery to Totnes & the wider area www.anniesoftotnes.co.uk The Refillery Totnes - daily deliveries to Totnes & Dartmouth areas, visit the website or call Tracy 07950 269955 Dartmouth Dairy - deliver to Totnes & surrounding villages on Monday & Thursday 🐄 https://www.dartmouthdairy.com Wine & Greene - delivering nationwide via courier and doing local drops every weekday (free over £20 to TQ9) - www.wineandgreene.com Dartmouth Fine Foods - home delivery of frozen ready meals, alongside boxes of veg and essentials to Totnes and the surrounding areas - www.dartmoutfinefoods.co.uk
LEISURE Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boat Company - reopening 6th July. You are not expected to wear a surgical style face mask, any face covering will be accepted. We have been working hard to ensure that we meet all the guidelines and will not put our customers and staff at risk.  Pennywell Farm - planning a phased reopening from early July: https://www.pennywellfarm.co.uk/…/were-planning-for-a-phas…/ Paignton Zoo - will reopen 6th July Totnes Fashion & Textiles Museum - will not reopen this year but you can check out a virtual exhibition on their website: https://totftm.org Sea Kayak Devon - NOW OPEN for groups of up to 5 people. All bookings are completely amendable or refundable if they are unable to run due to COVID 19. https://www.seakayakdevon.co.uk Totnes, Berry Pomeroy & Dartmouth Castles will be selling pre-bookable tickets online from July for an August opening: https://www.visittotnes.co.uk/see…/inspire-me/totnes-castle/ Totnes Rare Breeds Farm - open
PHARMACIES Most pharmacies are open with reduced hours and social distancing - please check each page and site for more details.

Devon 2nd Favourite Staycation Destination in UK

With the uncertainty of Brexit on the horizon, ‘staycations’ in the UK are set to increase* over 2019. For holidaymakers wishing to sidestep the unwanted worry of exchange rates and travel visas, it makes sense to choose a staycation in the UK this year over an exotic holiday abroad. But for those opting for a staycation for the first time, it can be difficult to know where to go. The Tourist Trail conducted a study** asking over 2,100 participants to choose their favourite destination for a UK staycation, and to explain the reasoning behind their choice. The results revealed that Cornwall was the most popular staycation destination, receiving 13.73% of the votes, with Devon a close second with 8.3%.  People cited the ‘laid back culture’, ‘relaxed lifestyle’ and ‘feeling like you’re abroad’ as the top reasons for choosing Devon.    Robin Williams, director of The Tourist Trail said: “I think it’s testament to UK tourism and the growing staycation industry that we have seen so many varied counties being voted for with such impassioned reasoning from the respondents.” To read the full article on the top 25 staycation destinations in the UK please visit  For more information on Devon please visit
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