Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Today we headed out to Totnes, a delightful `hippy` alternative sort of town, one of my firm favourites. We always walk past this lovely little cafe from the car park, and I always think how appealing it looks.

Our first port of call is always the Anne of Cleves, a traditional little tea room.

It has all the obligatory requirements of a tea room, pastel walls, dark beams, pretty hanging plates and copper kettles.

and a scrumptious display of lovely cakes and pastries in the window...so after mugs of coffee and freshly baked scones, we felt able to continue on our way

Its been humid again today, so it was a bit of a huff and puff up the hill and under the East Gate Arch at the top

Totnes is full of unusual shops, which is why it is so charming..

This is one of my favourites, and has some lovely vintage furniture, baskets and knick knacks

We came across this fabulous shop Im standing outside, which had the most beautiful bags made out of saris, and inside it was an aladdins cave of sari hangings, quilt covers and fine shawls all beautifully beaded and embroidered, I would have loved to have taken a photo, but didnt like too

At the top of the town, is another of my favourites, this Indian shop with lovely embroided clothes, bells, incense fabulous and so hippy!

Even the fish and chip shop is decorated in a novel way, havent tried the chippies though..
The footpath evenually runs into a little square, where there are nice houses, this one has the traditional slate hung front.

and I loved the colour of this one with the gay window baskets..

and this very beautiful character house

This part of the town is called `the narrows` and leechwell lane runs down the hill between high walls where ivy flaps and brambles grow and tiny ferns grow in crevices...there used to be a Leper hospital in the 12th century on the outskirts of Totnes, and it is a popular belief that lepers would walk this lane to St. Marys church.

The Leechwells a set of three springs, are half way along the lane, and it was believed the lepers would come here to be cured...indeed the town folk would come here too, to be cured of any ailments. The springs flowed into the troughs which were known as Toad, Long Crippler and Snake, and even today the springs are revered by the New Age followers who hang ribbons and gifts about the springs.

Having enjoyed the coolness of the twisty little lane, and the peace of the Leechwells, we walked back to the market square, where we were delighted to see a display of dancing. On Tuesdays in the summer, the market has an Elizabethan theme, and the stall holders all dress in the appropiate dress, we were pleased to have seen the dancing, and their lovely costumes.

We walked back down the hill under the Butterwalk.

this is where there would have orginally been market stalls

across the street was this lovely ice cream pink house with wonderful faces adorning it

We decided to walk down by the Guildhall, its at the back of the main street and nice and peaceful, I thought the pink petunias in the hanging baskets were a lovely contrast to the grey slate and stone of the Guildhall.

Having enjoyed the town, we walked down to the river and walked along the little wooded path

Himalayian balsalm

and purple loosestrife ran like a pink ribbon along the edge of the river, and meadowsweet filled the air with its sweet perfume

wrens called shrilly from the trees, and ducks and moorhens flapped about in the river, we walked down to the weir, and sat on the bench enjoying the sound of the rushing water a perfect end to a lovely day.


Timi said...

I like the photos of the little tea room....just so lovely!

Ramblings From Spain said...

Such a wonderful day out.. from the gorgeous houses, and trinkety shops, to the lovely display of dancing, especially nice to see it on video. Loved it! xx

Piecefulafternoon said...

The whole day was lovely. The dancing ladies were so smooth it looked like they were on wheels. Just lovely.

galant said...

Love the meander through Totnes and the walk to the Cider Press Centre along the water meadows. You have made me want to be back there right now instead of doing housework!
Margaret P