Things To Do In Topsham
As you can probably tell from the name, Pebblebed Vineyard is under the same ownership as Pebblebed House.
Pebblebed Vineyards is located about a mile away from Topsham at Clyst St George, and covers more than 22 acres planted with both white and red grape varieties including Pinot Noir suited to the Devon climate.
The vineyard has won national acclaim, regularly winning awards particularly for its sparkling wines, and in 2010 featured successfully on the BBC programme Dragons Den gaining support from Duncan Bannatyne.
The Vineyard and Winery are open for tours and tastings during May through to September, Thursday at 4pm and Saturdays at 11am and 3pm. Please see www.pebblebed.co.uk. to book.
The vineyard also has a wine bar beneath Pebblebed House, which is a great place to sample their wines accompanied by homemade Italian pizzas and local tapas sharing boards.
Places to Eat
In Topsham you will never have trouble with finding somewhere to enjoy a bite to eat. There are many award-winning places to have a meal, such as the fish and seafood restaurant, The Galley, La Petite Maison, The Globe Hotel, The Lighter Inn, The Pig and Pallet, and close to the Quay the french restaurant L'estuarie.
Topsham is foodie heaven with some wonderful local food shops, including Country Cheeses, Arthurs Butchers, Richards Greengrocers, Topsham Wines and many more interesting independent shops.
Topsham also has some wonderful unique craft and gift shops. The owner of Pebblebed House Anna Bowen runs The Bird Cage Jewellers and Gifts located opposite St Margaret’s Church in the main high street. Anna handcrafts some unique jewellery items and other crafts and gifts. Please see the Bird Cage website for more information.
Places to go with the family
Crealy Adventure Park
Crealy Adventure Park is located just outside Exeter and is an extremely popular attraction for families from all over the country. Rides at the park include ‘Vortex’, ‘Dolphin Drop’, ‘Tidal Wave’, ‘The Twister', as well as many more. The rides vary from those suitable for young children to those for adults.
Crealy also has many other family friendly attractions to enjoy such as the junior quad bikes, the arcade, the adventure zone and the soak zone. The park also has its own animals to visit - from monkeys to ponies - they have it all. To find out more about Crealy please visit the website.
The Miniature Pony Centre
The Miniature Pony Centre in Moretonhamstead is another great place to take the family. They have animals such as rabbits, chickens, donkeys, but the majority of the attraction is filled with horses and ponies.
Children aged from 3-10 years old can enjoy supervised pony rides even if they are a first time rider! There is also a children’s entertainer on-site and plenty of talks and demonstrations to be watched.
Just a mile south of Buckfastleigh is Pennywell Farm, famous for its miniature piglets. Enjoy a tractor and trailer ride to see all of the views, or have a race on the go-karts. Pennywell also has lots of other farm animals, along with reindeer! Visit the website to find out more.
Escot ‘The Natural Place’ in Ottery St. Mary is perfect for a relaxing day enjoying nature. Covering 220 acres of private parkland, Escot is an award-winning attraction without being commercialised. Watch the displays featuring birds of prey or look out for indigenous red squirrels. There is a giant Beech Hedge maze to find your way around, and yummy cream teas and light lunches to enjoy at the Coach House restaurant.
Visit the highest manmade waterfall, Canonteign Falls, which descends over 70m. There is a children’s nature trail and two play areas for the kids to enjoy, as well as a zip wire and mini assault course. For the adults, you can see the breath-taking views of the waterfall and the beautiful gardens. The bee garden is also another attraction at Canonteign Falls, with six working hives. At the Home Farm Café you can enjoy breakfast, lunch and cream teas. End your trip in the Canonteign Falls gift shop to pick up a little treat for yourself or someone special.
Things To Do On Rainy Days
Go bowling! Tenpin in Exeter is a great way to have fun in bad weather. The facilities include 22 bowling lanes, pool tables, cosmic bowling, table tennis, amusements, a Beach Road Café and a fully licenced bar - a great night out too.
Riviera International Centre
In the Riviera International Centre in Torquay is Waves Leisure pool. Perfect for all weathers, this heated indoor pool has a unique sloping floor. It also has a water-play activity centre, wave machine and a flume. After working up an appetite swimming, you can grab a snack at the café bar.
Beer Quarry Caves
For something a little different you can take a trip to the Quarry Caves of Beer. The limestone quarry has supplied stone for many famous buildings including Westminster Abbey, Exeter Cathedral and many more. During your visit you will receive a very informative, interesting tour of the Quarry.
It is also a good place to visit on a rainy day, as you will be sheltered underground, although your feet might get rather wet if you don’t wear the right shoes!
China-Blue Ceramic Studio
In Totnes is the largest ceramic studio in the South West, offering a wide range of pottery to choose from. Take your children to paint the pottery of their choice or maybe try out the pottery wheel with your partner. There is also a homeware store to shop in and a café to eat something tasty. Go online to find out more.
Castle Drogo is a very popular National Trust property in Drewsteignton near Exeter. The building was the last castle to be built in England and has a remarkable story to go with it.
On a nice day you can enjoy the lovely grounds of Castle Drogo or admire the beautiful views of Dartmoor from the pretty terraced garden. There is a quirky little Wendy house for the children to play in, complete with its very own miniature garden. You can also take a walk around the estate, or just have a stroll along the river.
Image provided by Emma Wakeham - nationaltrust.org.uk/killerton
Killerton House is another National Trust estate, in Broadclyst near Exeter. The 18th Century house is well known for its historical fashion collection. The estate is one of the largest that the National Trust has acquired, at 2,590 hectares (6,400 acres); it includes 200 cottages and 20 farms. Killerton House has bright, colourful gardens to walk around and enjoy a picnic, dependant on the weather.
Towns, Villages And City’s Near Topsham
Ottery St. Mary
Home to Escot Country Park is Ottery St. Mary. With almost 100 footpaths in and around Ottery it is the perfect place to be if you love walking. Enjoy the views whilst strolling alongside the River Otter or keep an eye out for the wildlife.
Budleigh Salterton is an ideal place to visit if you enjoy cycling as there is a cycle track to use at your leisure, with picnic spots along the way. You can even hire out bikes from Budleigh Bikes if you don’t have your own.
Situated on the Jurassic Coast, Budleigh is a charming, unspoilt seaside town. As well as the quaint pebble bay, there is plenty to do here, including visiting the museum, looking around the shops or enjoying a drink in one of the pubs or cafés.
The city of Exeter has lots of history to discover, and it is just four miles away from Topsham. One of the City’s main points of interest is the St. Peter's Cathedral, which dates back to Norman times and is a beautiful work of architecture with the longest unbroken roof span in Europe. You can find out more about the history of Exeter at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum.
As well as the historical side of Exeter, there is also a very modern side to the city. There is a great deal of choice when it comes to places to eat and drink in Exeter - treat yourself to a delicious high tea, or indulge yourself at Michael Caine’s restaurant, the Royal Clarence. If you love shopping you will be in bliss in Exeter, there are so many shops to choose from, a shop from the quaint backstreet alleys to the Princesshay shopping centre. You could also visit the popular Northbrook Golf Course in Exeter or even spend a relaxing day getting pampered at the Purity Boutique Spa.
If you’re into sport then Seaton is where you need to visit. Cycling, fishing, cliff-top golf and sailing are just some of the activities Seaton has to offer. You can also ride on the tram along the Axe Valley to take in all of the scenic views.
Sidmouth is a charming seaside town with everything you need, including sandy beaches, shops, lovely walks, and places to eat and drink. Sidmouth also has a museum, an art gallery and a theatre for your entertainment. The beach at Sidmouth, Jacob's Ladder, is a sand and pebbled beach, which lies in front of the red cliffs, and is a lovely place to spend an afternoon.
Beaches Near Topsham
Dawlish Warren Beach
With sand dunes and lakes to the back of Dawlish Warren Beach it makes a great habitat for all sorts of wildlife. Dawlish Warren also has experienced RNLI lifeguards on hand to allow parents to know that their children are safe playing in the water. As well as swimming in the sea, there are also other activities to be getting up to. There is a large grassed play area, children’s rides, mini golf, go-karts and amusements. It also is home to an 18-hole links golf course.
A beautiful cove with lots of history. The cove is very sheltered, so even if it’s windy you can still enjoy a day at the beach at Babbacombe. Babbacombe beach is also well-known for its scuba diving experiences, so it makes an exciting trip out for anybody interested in life under the sea.
Beer is also part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage site and is one of Devon’s most unique and most photographed beaches. There is lots of seating on the shingle beach that is set below gorgeous white chalk cliffs, to sit and relax.
Image Courtesy of: www.visitbudleigh.com