Car(e) free Dartmoor

Visitors to south Devon, particularly those from Europe, are frequently taken aback at the lack of public transport into and around the beautiful Dartmoor National Park. Even if you’re staying in one of the so-called “gateway” towns like Ashburton or Bovey Tracey, it’s not possible to get up to the moor without hiring a taxi or walking for miles on roads before you get to proper moorland scenery. But there are ways for visitors to Totnes to enjoy Dartmoor without a car. Here’s a few of them:

From Totnes you can get the excellent Stagecoach Gold bus to Ivybridge or South Brent (runs every half hour and even hourly on a Sunday). From both of these towns the walks onto the moor are on footpaths — and if you’re a confident walker able to read a map and compass you can walk from one to the other via some fabulous Dartmoor scenery.

Ivybridge lies on the lovely river Erme and you can follow the river upstream from the town centre through beautiful woodland, then cut across to the picturesque hamlet of Harford and onto the open moor at Harford Moor Gate. The energetic can walk from here all the way to Piles Copse, one of the three areas of ancient woodland on Dartmoor and an idyllic spot for a picnic. The Two Moors Way runs along the ridge above, and you can follow it back into town passing prehistoric stone rows and with magnificent moorland views.

In South Brent you can follow footpaths up the equally lovely river Avon valley, via Lutton and Didworthy, then walk up the bridlepath to Corringdon Ball and the Glazebrook valley where there are many prehistoric remains and great high moor scenery. Return on footpaths via Aishridge and Aish.

On Saturdays between May and September, you can take advantage of the Haytor Hoppa which drives across the moor taking in sights such as Hay Tor, Widecombe and Hound Tor. Take the train to Newton Abbot and pick the bus up there. You can hop off at one place and hop on again at another, thus enjoying a linear walk or two, and eventually returning to Newton Abbot train station. There are four buses and day and the timetable can be found here.

If you’re used to camping and carrying your own equipment, you can take advantage of the fact that Dartmoor is the only national park in the country that allows wild camping. Take a small tent and pitch it at least 100m from a road or house and the moor is your oyster (with the exception of a few areas – see link below). You can walk from Ivybridge to Okehampton or follow the Two Moors Way from Ivybridge on a more easterly route, finishing somewhere like Chagford. It goes without saying that you need a compass, a map and the ability to navigate before you venture out onto these high moorland routes! Information on wild camping can be found here. Buses can take you from Okehampton or Chagford back to Exeter and from there by train back to Totnes.

If you’re not comfortable with negotiating your own route or you’d like the benefit of a guide who can introduce you to the hidden delights and history of Dartmoor, contact Dartmoor Walks and Rides This Way. Based in Ashburton, which is served by the regular 88 bus from Totnes, I can meet you at the bus stop and take you for a half-day or full-day exploration of the moor either on foot or on an electric bike. But I’m afraid the 88 bus doesn’t run on Sundays…..

4 people on bicycles

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Creating memories that last a lifetime

For a fun and memorable experience that you can take away with you, China Blue’s Ceramic Studio has been designed with you in mind. The largest of its kind in the South West, Paint Your Own offers a fantastic range of pottery for the whole family to decorate. Simply pop in, choose your ceramic, and get painting!

There are three children, one boy and two girls. She raises her hand.


The wide range of activities that we offer include:

Pottery painting – Simply pop in, choose your ceramic and get painting! We will then glaze your masterpiece ready for collection in person or to be sent straight to your address.
Paint & Go – Don’t want to wait to have your finished piece? Decorate your chosen ceramic with poster paints and you can take it away with you  the very same day! (Please note: these ceramics arenot food safe or waterproof).
Hand and foot casts – Looking for a special memento of your little one? We can help you create a unique hand or foot cast to treasure forever.
• Pot throwing – If you like the idea of making something from scratch, our friendly and helpful staff offer pot throwing sessions, which are also available as a gift voucher.
• Parties and events – we can accommodate birthday parties, hen/stag do’s, school visits, creative workshops and team building events with a private studio and WiFi.

To find out more or to book an event, call us on 01803 860908 or email pyo@china-blue.co.uk


The fun doesn’t end once you’ve finished your masterpiece. Browse China Blue’s lifestyle store for a great selection of fun and contemporary gifts from exclusive brands, including:
• Tableware and decorations
• Lights and lamps
• Vases and glassware
• Soft furnishing
• Beauty and toiletries
• Food and drink

All that creativity and shopping can be tiring, so why not take a break in China Blue’s tempting café? Delicious savouries and sweets are freshly made daily, perfect with a cup of tea or freshly brewed bespoke coffee. Relax indoors or outside in our lavish patio area, perfect for those warm summer days.

Just some of the treats available include:
• Cooked breakfasts
• Brunches
• Croissants, cakes and cream teas
• Jacket potatoes
• Ciabattas and sandwiches
• Soups and salads
• Pastries, quiches and pies

We also have a wide range of vegetarian and vegan options available.

For more information, call us on 01803 860906 or email cafe@china-blue.co.uk


Support local businesses

We may still be asking visitors to #ComeBackLater due to the latest Government advice to #StayAlert and #StaySafe however you can still support many of our local, independent businesses by shopping online with many offering free postage, or if you're local you can take advantage of some of the home deliveries available.

As always, let me know if I've missed anything. Local businesses, if you have any updates or NHS / key worker special offers please DM me and I'll add them to the list, thanks.

nhs.uk OFFER

China Blue - they have been giving away a little box of treats to the NHS army in blue, carers, police force and all other key workers in the area to say thank you. You can collect from the front door

The Kitchen Table - they are offering free stews to Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust paid for by the lovely community members. They can be claimed at any time but need to be collected

Devon Yurts - will offer special discounts to NHS workers as soon as they're able to re-open. Get in touch with owner Liz to find out more, discounts depend on the length of stay (ID to be presented please)

TTS Tyre Services - offering NHS workers free puncture service, free tyre safety checks & discounts on purchases

A Choice of Gifts from Out of the Blue - they will be offering 20% off to all NHS staff as soon as they are able to re-open (ID to be presented please)

Canoe Adventures Devon - watch this space for their NHS offer for as soon as they're able to open again.

Smitty's Hairsalon - watch this space for their NHS offer for as soon as they're able to open again.

JazKids - watch this space for their NHS offer for as soon as they're able to open again.

FAB Totnes - watch this space for their NHS / Key Worker offer as soon as they're able to open again with a discount and relaxation package

GIFTS / HOMEWARE

ME AND EAST - check their website or send them a DM. FREE postage with orders over £50 or £2.95 https://meandeast.com

China Blue - online shop including paint your own kits https://china-blue-shop.co.uk/collections/arts-crafts/products/paint-your-own-kit-mug-1

A Choice of Gifts from Out of the Blue - buy online www.a-choice-of-gifts.co.uk

Yvonne Comber - offering a 25% discount off her prints, hand embellished canvases and original paintings. www.yvonnecoomber.com - enter code LOVEISTHEANSWER at the checkout

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/

Pagoda Interiors - free delivery for online orders https://www.pagodainteriors.co.uk/

FASHION

Colony Life Store - online orders via their website with FREE delivery on orders over £20 https://colonyshops.com

Conker Shoes - UK customers get FREE UK delivery for all orders made online including shoes, belts, bags, use code FREESHIP20 https://conkershoes.com

Salago - check out their online shop with this season’s ADINI and the 2020 sandals by Earth Spirit all with BIG DISCOUNTS. https://salago.co.uk

Fifty5a and Fifty5a men's store - offering free p&p and personal Totnes delivery via their telephone ordering - 01803 866681 or DM or email shop@fifty5a.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

ART

White Space Art - check out their online gallery. Offering 10% discount & free delivery on all artworks in the Easter exhibition (and across the site) while the gallery remains physically closed. Use discount code SPRING20. https://www.whitespaceart.com

Eastgate Gallery in Totnes - contemporary art and craft from local makers including jewellery, textiles, ceramics and much more. Shop online with FREE delivery https://eastgategallerytotnes.com/shop/

the bowie gallery Totnes Devon - the gallery lights are on daily during normal working hours (pre lockdown) so you can window shop at leisure. Contact Annie Bowie if there’s something you want to inspect closer or buy. Soon open by appointment!

TAKEAWAYS & HOT FOOD COLLECTIONS

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

Willow Vegetarian Restaurant - they will be offering take-aways from 3rd June. They're asking you to 'Keep your eye out for menus and details on ordering'

Waterside Bistro Totnes - their take-away menu is now open from Wed-Sat 5-8pm. Please order online https://www.watersidebistro.com/

Totnes Grill – Kebab and pizza delivery, call 01803 863835

Cafe Mumbai – From 5.30pm Tuesday to Sunday call 01803 866171

Room 101 – pizzas for delivery Tuesday to Saturday from 5pm, call 07727 278428

The Kitchen Table - still offering dairy, gluten & nut free stews and some houmous. Order for delivery call/ text Sima on 07583400998 or email sima@thekitchentable.org.uk to collect from the Totnes Indsutrial Estate kitchen

Pie Street - from 13th May 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

Silver Grill - The Totnes Chippy - Opening hours Tuesday - Thursday 16:45-20:00 Friday - Saturday 11:45-14:00, 16:45-20:00 with orders taken over phone and social distancing with one entrance and one exit

tamarindtree.totnes - on the Industrial Estate next to Kitchen Table with superb Indian food on Friday 1-8pm or Saturday 4-8pm. Let them know what you want 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 864696https://goodfoodhouse.co.uk/

Back for 2 Seconds – daytime opening in Fore Street

Pizzaside – Thursday to Sunday 5-8.30pm for collection or delivery. https://www.pizzaside.co.uk/

FOOD & DRINK

Sharpham Wine - grab a few bottles at sharpham.com at 10% off with the code sharpham10 on checkout

Roly's Fudge Totnes- buy online https://rolysfudge.co.uk

Ben's Farm Shops - Order and Collection service available via their website. Go to the collections form and add your order, they we will call for payment the next day and tell you to collect. https://bensfarmshop.co.uk/self-isolation-collection/

Earth.Food.Love - free delivery on orders over £20. Full product & price list on their website. Order via email. Click & collect option for those not in the delivery area. http://thezerowasteshop.co.uk

The Happy Apple - open with social distancing rules in place

A W Luscombe Butchers - delivering their products and a range of products from other local businesses including Annies Fruit Shop, New Lion Brewery, The Almond Thief, The Wild Fig Deli and more - check their FB page for more details and list of products in one of the images

Bridgetown Butchers - call 01803 866165/863323 to order where possible to help reduce waiting times in the shop. Minimum order for delivery £25 - free delivery within the Totnes area

McCabes and Halls Butchers are both also operating

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

Seeds 2 Tonnes - delivery service available, check their FB page

Bridgetown Stores - open Monday - Friday 2pm - 6pm Saturday & Sunday 11am - 3pm and delivering

Follaton stores - open normal hours 7am-8pm mon to sun with social distancing rules in place

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

SERVICES

Barnes the Cleaners - free deliveries & collections daily for Totnes residents

The Potting Shed Totnes - email thepottingshedtotnes@gmail.com with your order, name, address and PHONE NUMBER and they will call you back

PHARMACIES

Most pharmacies are open with reduced hours and social distancing - please check each page and site for more details. Keep safe and well everyone 🌈🧡

Rest and BE Wild…with a Den in Devon!

The BE Wild! initiative follows a study of 1,000 parents by Beyond Escapes which found that over a third, 36 per cent, of UK mums and dads don’t think their children spend enough time playing outside. Whilst parents themselves nostalgically remember tree climbing (19 per cent), den-making (17 per cent), playing hide and seek (12 per cent) and even making mud pies (5 per cent of them!) as some of their favourite childhood activities, they don’t think their own kids get outdoors enough…and are looking for ways to get them off their smart phones and engage with the wild! beyond escape 3 Although many parents, 32 per cent, have built dens with their children during the past six- months, these are made from mainly sheets, curtains, chairs and towels; indoors, in the lounge! In fact, 52 per cent of all dens are now made at home in the bedroom, playroom or lounge, with only 23 per cent made in an outdoor space! So, now is the time to turn this around to bring back true the true den building experience! Mark Sears, from The Wild Network and Director of Dens at Beyond Escapes, commented: “Beyond Escapes approached us with this great idea to introduce complimentary den making kits to hire at their Devon resort, which we have helped advise on. Getting kids outside, detoxing from their smart-phones and tablets and ultimately rewilding them is what we are all about and we have seen more and more parents join us to encourage families and communities to do just that with positive results. “Beyond Escapes has the perfect setting with acres of land, sea views and plenty of flora and fauna. Families, or even big kids can enjoy some fun time foraging, building and getting involved with nature in their own time. I’m sure it will be a huge success and is a fantastic activity whatever the weather.” For those keen to get den building in their own garden, or to practise their den building skills before visiting Beyond Escapes, Devon, follow these key steps produced by BE Wild! 1. Find: Locate your perfect den spot 2. Forage: Source the material you want to use to make your den 3. Foundation: Pick your base tree to build your den around 4. Frame: Construct your den frame 5. Finesse: Add the final personal touches to your den 6. Fun: Games to play with your new den 7. Friends: Make den friends and have lots of adventure Jason Bruton, Managing Director at Beyond Escapes, said: “Our new den-making initiative was designed following a study which found that families were crying out for a reason to enjoy their nostalgic childhood activities, whilst simply getting outdoors. “With its breath-taking views, stunning beaches and abundance of natural attractions nearby, Beyond Escapes Devon is the perfect location for families to get outdoors, whilst still having the luxury of staying in high-end boutique accommodation. We welcome everyone staying to make their very own Devonshire Den, just hire the kit and get building!” beyond escape Helena Wiltshire, from Save the Children, added: “We’re thrilled that Beyond Escapes will be supporting Save the Children’s Den Day. The BE Wild! ‘re-wilding’ initiative is a fantastic way to encourage families to spend quality time together, get creative and build some dens this summer. We hope lots of families get involved and have some fun, whilst raising as much money as possible! “The funds raised will enable Save the Children to help transform children’s lives and provide them with the things they need to grow up healthy and happy, like a safe place to shelter or a vaccination to protect them from pneumonia. All children deserve the opportunity to fulfill their potential.” Beyond Escapes, Devon, set in the glorious South Devon hills, offers luxury self-catering accommodation options ranging from one bedroom BE Chic Studios to BE Deluxe Mansion Suites and two, three and four bedroom BE Deluxe Lodges complete with their own private hot tubs, as well as dedicated pet and baby friendly lodges. Top-class facilities on-site include the BE You Spa and Gym, and BE Tempted Restaurant serving locally-sourced dishes as well as offering tempting takeaways and hearty breakfast packs delivered directly to your accommodation. For more information or to book, call 0333 230 4538 or visit website beyondescapes beyond escape 2
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