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Europe > Britain and Ireland > United Kingdom > England > West Country > Devon > Topsham

Topsham

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Topsham is a small town in Devon in England's West Country.

Topsham Sunset

Understand[edit]

Topsham is now a part of Exeter, but was formerly a town in its own right, and most locals to the area consider Topsham separate and distinct from Exeter. Before the arrival of the railway, situated as it is on the Exe estuary, it was a busy port concerned with fishing and shipbuilding and the import and export of goods of all description.

Get in[edit]

The M5 motorway crosses the Exe estuary just north of Topsham. Exit 30 is a couple of miles away. From Exeter there is a rail link running down the Exe estuary to Exmouth. Topsham has its own railway station. There is a frequent bus service from the Quay into Exeter.

Get around[edit]

Ferry slips at Topsham

Topsham is small enough to walk everywhere.

See[edit]

On a sunny day, it's enough just to stroll around. Take a turn to the end of the Strand, as far as the Goatwalk. Venture up some of the side streets, perhaps Higher or Lower Shapter Street. If you choose Monmouth Street, walk as far as Monmouth Avenue on the left and cross the bridge over the road which once was the spur rail link to the Quay. Walk a few yards and find your way into White Street, where many of the fishermen used to live. Follow it back to the shore. Stroll along the Underway where, near the spot where the fishermen used to dry and repair their nets, you might like to climb the steps to St Margaret's Church. Or go further, past Trout's boatyard [1] to the ferry. Make your way out to Fore Street and do a little window gazing.

Do[edit]

Sit and enjoy.

Buy[edit]

  • Antiques - on the Quay is a large warehouse converted into an antiques market.

Eat[edit]

For its small size Topsham is littered with a number of great eating venues. With an ever growing reputation for quality so does the number of dining options.

On 31st March 2006, Topsham was judged Best Small Town for Food in the Western Morning News annual food awards. The Georgian Tearoom recently won the 'Best Tearoom / Cafe in Devon' award, the Galley Restaurant 'Best Restaurant in Devon', La Petite Maison (since closed) 'South West Restaurant of the Year', Denley's Essence of India the 2007 Exeter Curry Chef award, and Oliva the Devon Life Restaurant of the Year award.

  • Lighter Inn, The Quay, +44 1392 875439. The Quay, the former Customs House. Local ales and global dishes in quayside inn with candle-lit, rustic-chic interiors, plus terrace. Sit out on the Quay with your meal when the sun shines - lovely!
  • The Galley, 41 Fore Street, +44 1392 876078. Award winning seafood restaurant.
  • Passage House Inn, Ferry Road, +44 1392 873653. M-Su 10AM–11PM, Su 10AM–10:30PM. Cosy, relaxed English pub with fantastic food, plus an outdoor patio area with ample seating and stunning views across the Exe Estuary.

Drink[edit]

Topsham has 9 pubs (or 10, depending on what you class as a pub) and several more within walking distance.

  • Salutation Hotel, 68 Fore St, +44 1392 873005.
  • The Bridge Inn. An unspoilt, old-fashioned ale pub owned by the same family for over 111 years, and the only pub officially visited by HM The Queen. No lager, no mobile phones, no fried food. The locals are friendly and talkative. Opens limited hours (noon–2PM, 6PM–10:30PM, pork pies are the only food available in the evenings).

Sleep[edit]

Go next[edit]

  • Exeter - the big city. 4 miles to the centre. Forget the car and use the train or bus.
  • Exmouth - a traditional seaside place. 5 miles away. Use the train.
  • Lympstone - a pretty place about 3 miles away downstream. Another former port and fishing village. Use the train.
This city travel guide to Topsham is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.