A juicy legendThe story goes that Sir Francis Drake bumped into a delivery boy carrying a basket of oranges at the top of town, sending the citruses tumbling down the hill. Because oranges were an exotic and expensive fruit at the time all the town's children decided to chase after them and a legend was born. Another version of the story, which identifies the boy as John Hayman, says that Drake offered him an orange which he dropped (perhaps in surprise as he had not seen an orange before) and let roll down the hill. It wasn't until the 1970s however that the first modern race was held, organised by the Totnes Elizabethan society.
Orange TuesdaysAlthough the origins of the race may be legendary, the one rule is very real - competitors cannot carry their orange. They can however kick, throw, or roll it to get ahead. And if you're wondering how judges tell the oranges apart they don't – the rule is simply that the first person to cross the finish line with an intact orange wins. The course runs for 450 metres from the Market Square and everyone is welcome to join. Younger participants race from the top of the high street and finish at the market square, for older ones the finish line is at the Seven Stars hotel. Winners get trophies and the satisfaction that they can run faster than a piece of fruit, and afterwards a charity auction is held. Of course oranges aren't quite as valuable now, and if you don't fancy running down the hill after one you can walk into one of the town's food shops and find a zesty treat.
As we move into 2019, being active and healthy is top of the agenda for many people. It can be a struggle to get motivated during winter, as gyms can be expensive as well as overcrowded and temperatures outside plummet, making outdoor exercise very unappealing.
Weaving healthy activities into a weekend away is a great way to stay active whilst having fun. From canoeing in the Isle of Wight to hiking in the Lake District, last-minute holiday marketplace, Snaptrip has compiled the best spots in the UK to get some fresh air and stay active this January.
Watersports in Totnes
Totnes is bursting with outstanding natural beauty. Sitting at the head of the estuary of the River Dart, it’s the perfect location for watersport enthusiasts. There’s plenty of spots perfect for paddle boarding or exploring the river by inflatable SUP. The river winds its way through both Dartmouth and Totnes, so there’s a chance to explore both towns too. Paddle the river during the summer months and you’ll be welcomed by rolling hills and flourishing greenery.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Sharpham Trust is one of 445 heritage organisations across the country set to receive a lifesaving financial boost from the government to help them through the coronavirus pandemic, thanks to the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.
445 organisations, including The Trust, will share £103 million, to help restart vital reconstruction work and maintenance on cherished heritage sites, keeping venues open and supporting those working in the sector.
The Sharpham Trust has been awarded £98,000, which will help the nature and mindfulness education charity continue to operate.
The Trust offers mindfulness retreats and courses, puts on nature-connection events, offers weddings and operates Sharpham Meadow Natural Burial Ground. Like many organisations and businesses, the Trust has been severely impacted by the restrictions imposed as a result of Coronavirus.
Julian Carnell, Trust Director, said: “We were forced to close back in March and although we managed to partially reopen in August we have been operating at a much-reduced capacity as a Covid-Secure venue.
“There is a huge demand for our courses and retreats in these difficult times and we are working hard to make sure we can keep offering people these experiences safely.
“This latest £98,000 grant from the government through the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage is very welcome. Despite losing around 50% of this year’s income I am proud that we have been able to keep all our staff employed and continue to support our users in the face of severe challenges.”
Helping the Trust to stay open
This vital funding is from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritageand the Heritage Stimulus Fund - funded by Government and administered at arms-length by Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Both funds are part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund which is designed to secure the future of Britain’s museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues with emergency grants and loans.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:“As a nation it is essential that we preserve our heritage and celebrate and learn from our past. This massive support package will protect our shared heritage for future generations, save jobs and help us prepare for a cultural bounceback post-Covid.”
Duncan Wilson, Historic England’s Chief Executive said: “It is heartening to see grants, both large and small, from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund helping heritage sites and organisations across the country which have been hit hard by the effects of Covid-19.
“These grants range from giving skilled craft workers the chance to keep their trades alive to helping heritage organisations pay the bills, and to kick-starting repair works at our best-loved historic sites. The funding is an essential lifeline for our heritage and the people who work tirelessly to conserve it for us all, so that we can hand it on to future generations.”
Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the National Lottery Heritage Fund said:“It is absolutely right that investing in heritage should be a priority during this crisis and this support by Government is crucial. Heritage creates jobs and economic prosperity, is a major driver for tourism and makes our towns, cities, and rural areas better places to live. All of this is so important for our wellbeing and will be particularly vital when we start to emerge from this incredibly difficult time.
“Our heritage is still facing a perilous future – we are not out of the woods yet. But this hugely welcome funding from Government, and the money we continue to invest from the National Lottery, has undoubtedly stopped heritage and the organisations that care for it being permanently lost.”
- land-based, which includes litter from beach-goers, as well as debris that has either blown into the ocean or been washed in with stormwater runoff; and
- ocean-based, which includes garbage disposed at sea by ships and boats, as well as fishing debris, such as plastic strapping from bait boxes, discarded fishing line or nets, and derelict fishing gear. . While discarded fishing gear takes its toll on the marine environment by entangling marine life and destroying coral reefs, it only comprises an estimated 20% of all marine debris – a staggering 80% of all marine debris stems from land-based sources. This is not that surprising, considering that around 50% of all plastics are used to manufacture sing-use items which are discarded soon after they are first used.
How Can We Solve Plastic Pollution?We need to tackle the problem of marine debris head on. It’s not just an issue for environmentally conscious, it is an issue that ultimately affects human health. Man is a top predator that feeds on a variety of ocean fish, shellfish, and other marine species. We face the same risks as the killer whale and polar bear. While any plastic or polystyrene pellets that may have been clogging the gut of the fish that is nicely presented on our dinner plate have been long removed, the toxic contaminants originating from that debris remain stored in the flesh we are about to eat. Food for thought indeed. To read more click here.
Why We Love Totnes - by Blueriver Cottages.
One of the first things you might notice when you visit Totnes is the eclectic fashion and alternative attitude to life. Don’t be surprised to see festival dress or the occasional parrot on someone’s shoulder as you make your way to one of the many cafés and coffee shops.
Totnes is the first transition town with a global reputation for its interest in environmental and sustainability issues. Take a trip over to Dartington Hall which has a programme of wonderful courses, talks, festivals and events set in beautiful surroundings.
Staying in the town centre, a visit to the Totnes Museum will give you a rich insight in to the history of this enchanting town. Right in the middle of the hubbub is Totnes Castle which offers super views of the town and surrounding area.
Totnes prides itself on its high percentage of independent shops, cafés and restaurants. Interestingly, in 2012, the town came together to protest against a large coffee chain opening locally and won. This is a town with heart and spirit.
Its narrow winding roads, hidden passages and half-timbered housing give Totnes a certain Harry Potter charm. It’s hard not to succumb to the magic of this quirky, friendly town.
The team at Blueriver Cottages are passionate about where they live. Gemma, local Property Recruiter and Quality Assessor shares what she loves about the town..
" Down the road from Dartington, this arty town has plenty to satisfy all senses from the food, to the entertainment, and the views.
TIPS FOR EATING OUT
Pie Street is a great place to visit if you are looking for great comfort foods.
Standing at the top of Totnes Castle looking out over the town.
The Totnes Elizabethan Market is unique. I also love the Christmas markets which are great to get a bargain."
You can take a look at Blueriver Cottages’ collection of holiday homes in Totnes and surrounding area by clicking here.
Can't go out? No worries, we have you covered.
Order your ready-to-cook-at-home romantic feast and make the evening a gorgeous, delicious, intimate evening.
£50 per couple.
Gravadlax Chalkstream trout, horseradish creme fraiche, pickled beetroot & winter leaves (gf, can be df)
Baked Whitelake goat cheese with homemade onion marmalade, maple-glazed walnuts & winter leaves (v, gf)
Thyme & brandy mushrooms in garlic cream on toast with winter leaves (vg can be gf).
Local free-range duck leg roasted in orange, rosemary & red wine (df, gf)
Roast squash & blue cheese wellington (serves 2) (v, can be made vg and can be made gf)
Served with Chargrilled savoy cabbage with hazelnut vinaigrette (vg, gf).
Potato dauphinoise (v, gf) (thyme & garlic roast potatoes for vegans).
Crushed carrots with cinnamon & chilli (vg, gf).
Toffee apple & vanilla cheesecake with ginger base (gf).
Chocolate tart with rose mascarpone
Vegan chocolate tart with rose cream.
Order by 11th Feb for collection on Saturday 13th Feb 12-3. I will deliver to any couple shielding within a 10 mile radius of Totnes with fuel surcharge of £3-5
Food will be in compostable or recyclable containers, with easy to follow cooking & serving instructions and a beautifully printed menu to make it a really special evening!
Order by email email@example.com or call 07583 400998.
Collect from Unit 6, Burke Road, Totnes Industrial Estate, TQ9 5XL