Category: Blog

Half Term Park and Ride

Half Term Park and Ride

Bob the Bus will be operating a FREE Park and Ride service during the October half term week in support of local businesses.

Saturday 23rd to Saturday 30th October 2021, 10am – 5pm Daily (including Sunday).

From KEVICC (Redworth side, TQ9 5JX) to town via:

Station Road / Coronation Road / Fore Street / High Street / Narrows / Western Bypass & back to KEVICC.

Running Every 15 minutes.

Stops anywhere on Fore Street and High Street.

Advance notice and directional signage on all routes into town.

The initiative is supported by South Hams District Council and Totnes Town Council to help local businesses.

THE SUMMER SIX – 50% OFF!

Keeping the kids entertained for 6 weeks can be expensive… right?!

So, to survive the six week holiday without spending a fortune, we will be running a weekly offer in our Paint Your Own Ceramic Studio.

Starting from Saturday 24th of July, there will be a 'pick of the week' with a huge discount of 50%.

week one
WEEK 1 - Zebra 
ONLY £6.57
week two
WEEK 2 - Dragon
ONLY £6.57
week three
WEEK 3 - Cat Money Box
ONLY £5.07
week four
WEEK 4 - Dog Shaped Dish 
ONLY £4.57
week five
WEEK 5 - A Mug
ONLY £4.57
week six
WEEK 6 - Fairy Riding a Unicorn 
ONLY £7.57

Pricing includes all paints, firing and glazing!

Make memories to last a lifetime and Colour Me Happy at China Blue!

Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

You can reserve a table to paint by:
Calling - 01803 860 908
Email - pyo@china-blue.co.uk 

Direct message us on Instagram -  here

www.china-blue.co.uk

Sea Change Presents

One-day event will go ahead this summer ahead of full return in 2022 Confirmed so far: White Flowers, JOHN, The Orielles, Anna Phoebe, Breathe Panel,  Anna B Savage, DJxKWF, Heavenly Recordings, White Rabbit Books and MIRRY: From  The Shadows Into The Light 

Tickets on sale now from seachangepresents.co.uk 

SCP announce twitter2

28/6/21 -- Sea Change, one of the most distinctive events in the festival calendar, is delighted to confirm that it will return this year, aiming to spark a genuine cultural recovery in the South West.  Following the inevitable cancellation of two editions of the festival, Sea Change will return this summer with a one-day event taking place in Totnes on 28 August 2021. The full three-day event will return to Totnes from 27-29 May 2022

This year’s Sea Change event will see live music, film and conversations happening at atmospheric venues across Totnes, including St Mary’s Church, the Totnes Cinema, The Barrel House Ballroom and The BulI Inn. 

Confirmed so far are dream-pop duo White Flowers; the BBC 6Music A-listed JOHN; The Orielles presenting a screening (and Q&A/DJ set) of their 'La Vita Olistica' film; violinist and composer Anna  Phoebe; South-East based four-piece Breathe Panel; singer-songwriter Anna B Savage; improvisational duo DJxKWF; and MIRRY: From The Shadows Into The Light, an installation and live experience (with musicians Tom Fraser and Simon Tong) that dives into the magical music and archives of Mirabel “Mirry” Lomer. 

Tickets: https://www.seetickets.com/event/sea-change-presents/multiple-venues/1984316 

White Rabbit Books will be joining the weekend too with conversations including Jeff Barrett and  Robin Turner in conversation with author Roy Wilkinson about ‘Belief In Magic’ (charting the first 

thirty years of Heavenly Recordings) and Gordon Burn Prize-winning author David Keenan who will be talking about his masterly fifth novel, Monument Maker. 

This year’s event marks the start of an exciting new partnership with The Bull Inn (Eco Hotel of the  Year 2020’ The Times and The Sunday Times), run by Geetie Singh-Watson MBE, which will host intimate events and bring beautiful festival food to Totnes. 

Sea Change’s return comes as many festivals remain in jeopardy and are being forced to cancel for a  second year running. Given the ongoing precarious situation across the arts, Sea Change’s road back to life will be purposefully gradual, with the immediate emphasis being on bringing a safe, small and manageable event to Totnes this year. Director Rupert Morrison explains, “After the journey we’ve all been on, we’d never be complacent about being able to get people back to congregate safely.  

We’ve designed a day of live arts for intimate audiences that enables us to bring people back together with safety. We’ve kept it as small as we can and there will likely be some social distancing measures, but, whereas large events will continue to be so susceptible to governmental COVID  parameters, our scale enables us to present a euphoric live experience. We can’t wait.” 

The first two Sea Change events (2016 and 2017) generated over one million pounds for the local economy and today's announcement and continued commitment to the area will be very welcome news to a town synonymous with tourism. Sea Change is committed to bringing new and exciting events in music, art, film, literature, conversation and culture to the South West and specifically  Totnes. All events will follow Sea Change’s original mission statement, ‘Always intimate, always different, always special, always rare’. 

Rupert Morrrison adds, “I remember how different the town felt on those first few weekends. It was more alive than it had been in decades and everyone felt it. We’re still really in love with the town and we’re going to bring Sea Change to Totnes for a full weekend from 27th - 29th May 2022. We’ve  started production now and it feels great getting back to it.” 

Since the last proper edition of the festival in 2019, Sea Change became one of the first events to go digital, ran an extremely successful Crowdfunder campaign to ensure its survival and was also awarded a grant as part of Arts Council England’s Cultural Recovery Fund. Now, the re-branded Sea  Change Presents has already operated a pioneering socially distant live show with Squid (on the eve of their BBC Jools Holland appearance) at St Mary’s Church and has announced forthcoming Totnes shows for Gruff Rhys and Pip Blom. 

As it returns, Sea Change also announces the formation of an advisory board to support its events,  which includes Venue Group Head Of Production Chris Pollard; Rough Trade Books co-founder Nina 

Herve; live arts programmers Chris Bye, Susanna Grant and Kirsteen McNish; artists Matthew Shaw and Jenny Frances; press officer Michael Barrett; artist manager Andrew Ellis; journalist and broadcaster Laura Barton; and Heavenly Recordings founder Jeff Barrett. One of the board’s first commitments has been to sign up to the PRS-supported Keychange movement, a global network working towards gender equality in the music industry. 

Rupert Morrison explains: “We wanted to this past year as a complete redux; a one-time opportunity to really look at what we’re doing and where we want to be. The members of the board have all been instrumental in Sea Change’s successes so far and I am thrilled that I have been able to call on them all to ensure that we continue to head towards something genuinely different”.

SCP announce twitter3

Get to know your plants

Identify plants on the Totnes to Sharpham foot & cycle path – FREE SPOTTER SHEET NOW AVAILABLE

A free, downloadable spotter sheet that helps you identify plants is being offered by The Sharpham Trust as part of the charity’s rewilding project Wild for People.

The spotter sheet shares colour photos and information about the wild flowers you can expect to see along the footpath and cycle route that runs from Totnes to Ashprington, much of it through the Sharpham Estate.

The sheet can be viewed on a phone or printed out – so people can use it to check off the plants they’ve spotted.

“It’s a very simple sheet that encourages anyone to notice the nature around them on that popular walk from Totnes towards Sharpham,” said Lisa Carnell, Events and Education Officer at The Sharpham Trust.

“Lots of people walk or ride that path and perhaps don’t know much about the flora that shares that route. This is a really easy way to discover more about the wildlife around us.”

Each sheet has The Sharpham Trust’s social media links and the hashtags #SharphamTrust and #NoticeNature – inviting participants to photograph and share their own photographs of the wildflowers they spot.

“The ethos of The Sharpham Trust is based in mindfulness and the awareness that it brings, as well as a strong nature connection,” said Lisa. “This sheet – and future ones we develop – is to tempt people to look closer at the plants and flowers surrounding us.”

Download the spotter sheet here: www.sharphamtrust.org/infosheets


id flowers

Rewilding at Sharpham

50 acres of farmland on the Sharpham Estate are being rewilded as part of the Wild For People project supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

In the first year of the project, more insects, birds and mammals have been recorded on the rewilding site, where grasses and wildflowers are proliferating in the absence of chemicals and artificial fertilisers.

Find out more about the project here: www.sharphamtrust.org/wild-for-people


Nature & Wildlife events at Sharpham

Look out for nature and wildlife events happening on the Sharpham Estate. If you subscribe to the mailing list, you can select Nature & Wildlife and/or Open Days & Events to get alerts to your inbox. Sign up here: www.sharphamtrust.org/subscribe

Visit our events page to see what’s happening at The Trust: www.sharphamtrust.org/calendar

There is more information and pictures at our website here www.sharphamtrust.org

Or call 01803 732542 or emailbookings@sharphamtrust.org

Patio Season Is Here

Now that the seasons are shifting and the days are getting sunnier, there is no better time to enjoy drinks and nibbles in our very own private patio!

Being only one of a few establishments with outside seating areas in Totnes, we wanted to make sure that everything is set up for you and loved ones to safely enjoy those long overdue catch ups. We have put all the necessary measures in place so that we are COVID safe, with social distancing measures being followed at all times. 

Our patio can safely seat nearly 60 guests, so there is plenty of space for everyone to relax and soak up the sun for a light brunch or lunch, freshly brewed coffee and one of our delicious homemade sweet treats made by Tori, China Blue's very own pastry chef.

china blue

You can enjoy outdoor dining with us Monday-Saturday 9-4.30pm, Sunday 10.30-4pm. There is no need to book in advance as we have plenty of spaces available, but if you have any questions please do give us a call on 01803 860906, or drop us an email at wildthyme@china-blue.co.uk

Being only one of a few establishments with outside seating areas in Totnes, we wanted to make sure that everything is set up for you and your loved ones to safely enjoy those long-overdue catch-ups. We have put all the necessary measures in place so that we are COVID safe, with social distancing measures being followed at all times. 

Our patio can safely seat nearly 60 guests, so there is plenty of space for everyone to relax and soak up the sun for a light brunch or lunch, freshly brewed coffee and one of our delicious homemade sweet treats made by Tori, China Blue's very own pastry chef.

china blue banner2

You can enjoy outdoor dining with us Monday-Saturday 9-4.30pm, Sunday 10.30-4pm. There is no need to book in advance as we have plenty of spaces available, but if you have any questions please do give us a call on 01803 860906, or drop us an email at wildthyme@china-blue.co.uk

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  

Re-opening at last and ‘on the rails to recovery’

After being closed for exactly one full year next Wednesday (17th March) as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the scenic South Devon Railway (SDR) has just announced its outline programme today for a Spring re-opening of the seven-mile heritage line running from Buckfastleigh to Totnes.

The last SDR steam trains ran virtually empty on Tuesday 17 March 2020 after visitors deserted Devon just ahead of the first lockdown the following weekend. This dramatic change came  straight after a very popular weekend SDR steam gala event featuring former branch favourite loco No. 4555 as the star visitor. What a contrast!

It’s now the longest period that the quintessential former GWR branch line has been closed in its 52-year history after re-opening as a tourist railway in 1969 following closure by British Railways in 1962.

Now, the SDR says it will re-open to visitors  in phases starting with the large Buckfastleigh site first on Monday 12 April when national CV-19 restrictions are set to ease significantly for attractions.

The site ‘Open Days’ will follow a similar format to those successfully staged last summer and autumn. Opening up the site was very popular with SDR visitors last year, and includes the gardens, workshop viewing, riverside picnic area, children’s playground, Lee Moor Tramway museum, north signal box, and the gift & model shop will be open too. 

Many of the SDR’s steam and diesel locomotives and historic coaches will be on display and, on selected days, both the miniature railway and the garden railway will be in operation too.

The SDR site will be open all of the week commencing 12th April for the half-term holiday, then on every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday until 16th May. Entrance is free, but the SDR does ask for a donation at the gate. There is plenty of free car parking at Buckfastleigh station too. 

And, at long last, the really good news is that SDR trains are set to start steaming down the picturesque valley of the River Dart once more from Monday 17 May, and the fantastic sight, sound and smell of them are now almost as much a natural part of the landscape as the trees, green fields, cattle and Devon’s rolling hills. 

Not surprisingly, SDR staff can’t wait to welcome visitors back to the railway. A timetable of four steam trains per day will be in operation, leaving Buckfastleigh at 10.30, 12.10, 2.15 and 4.00, and arriving back about one and quarter hours later.

Experiencing the River Dart has never been easier…

To say that we’re raring to go is an understatement! Like everyone at the moment, we’re poised and ready to go just as soon as the government says we can: shiny clean SUPS, canoes and kayaks ready for hire; river sparkling; safety measures in place; and instructors shaven and shorn (OK, maybe not the last bit). We’re hoping to open up on March 29th and are taking bookings from now.

If you’re itching to get out onto the river after walking its banks for these long winter months, you’ll be pleased to know that the wait is over. Whether pootling off or powering away, wobbling or gliding on the SUP, you’re welcome to hire the boats and paddleboards, no experience necessary. A gorgeous family-friendly stretch of the Dart with enough space to feel like you have it to yourself.

Find us at the beach at the bottom of the concrete track on the meadows (Dartington Estate) every weekend + 7 days a week through school holidays* where you can turn up any time between 10-4pm and hire whatever craft you fancy for only £10pp/h (50% NHS discount on the first hour). If you’d prefer to let someone else do the work, book a half or full day with an instructor who’ll teach you some tricks and take you wherever you want, within reason! Book at: dynamicadventurescic.co.uk/activities

Leaning into local outdoor life.

If you prefer to stay dry, there’s plenty of options. Let us take you rock climbing, bouldering, weaselling, scrambling and abseiling on Dartmoor. Or build your own Half Day Adventure by combining any three of these fun activities: assault course, abseiling, ziplining, high ropes, archery and climbing on our 70ft crag.

Outdoors together again.

Thank you for your ongoing support of our CIC - we’re looking forward to seeing you as soon as is safe and whatever the weather! Hurrah!

*subject to river conditions – check Facebook/ Instragram/ website for update


For more information, see out page by clicking here.

canoe on the dart
Dynamic Adventures

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. 

Great news for the music scene in Totnes

The Barrel House Ballroom & The Black Bird Collective, through Arts council funding have curated a series of 8 video sessions to be released bi-weekly.

Anyone who has attended the Black Bird Open mic nights knows that Christian Murison brings so many great artists out of the woodwork and into the warm setting of the Totnes Brewing Company.

https://youtu.be/R95D0TzHNVg

With this in mind they have created something that feels in keeping with the open mic, a series of video sessions showcasing a diverse and eclectic mix of musical talent.

The first session featured one of the finest contemporary folk bands in the land - Harbottle & Jonas Trio - which premiered on Tuesday 2nd February 2021 to a truly appreciative audience on The Barrel House YouTube channel.

This exciting series will continue with the following sessions lined up and ready to roll...

Tuesday 16th February 2021
DANIEL MARCUS CLARK

Tuesday 2nd March 2021
LILAH BOWDEN

Tuesday 16th March 2021
JEWEL IN THE JACKDAW

Tuesday 30th March 2021
LILY

Tuesday 13th April 2021
FIONN COX-DAVIES

Tuesday 27th April 2021
KERRY LAYTON

Tuesday 11th May 2021
KUKI & THE BARD

These sessions have been made possible thanks to the determination, love and enthusiasm of the hard-working team at The Barrel House Ballroom, Sorting Room Studios, The Black Bird Collective and funded by Arts Council England.

daniel
Daniel Marcus Clark and Sam Walker
Skip to content