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Topsham

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Devon : Topsham
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Topsham [1] is a small town in Devon in England's West Country.

Exe Estuary from Topsham Quay (looking towards Exeter)

Understand

Topsham is now a part of Exeter, but was formerly a town in its own right. 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

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 station. There is a frequent bus service from the Quay into Exeter.

Get around

Topsham is small enough to walk everywhere.

See

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 [2] to the ferry. Make your way out to Fore Street and do a little window gazing. [3] for photographs.

  • Topsham Museum where you can get a real feel of Topsham's nautical past. It's open 2PM-5PM Mo,We,Sa,Su from Apr to Oct inc,and is free. [4]
  • RSPB Exe Estuary Nature Reserve [5]

Do

Sit and enjoy.

Buy

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

Eat

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 March 31st 2006. Topsham was judged Best Small Town for Food in the Western Morning News annual Food Towns awards. The Georgian Tearoom recently won the 'Best Tearoom / Cafe in Devon' award, the Galley Restaurant 'Best Restaurant in Devon', La Petite Maison '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, Tel: 01392 875439 - The former Customs House. Sit out on the Quay with your meal when the sun shines - lovely!
  • The Galley 'Fish' Restaurant, 41, Fore Street. Tel/Fax: 01392 876078 - Award winning seafood restuarant.
  • La Petite Maison 35 Fore Street. Tel: 01392 873660 - Wonderful, small and intimate restuarant. Winner of the 2003 Southwest restuarant of the year.

Drink

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, Tel: 01392 873005.
  • The Bridge Inn [6], a proper 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

Get out

  • Exeter - the big city. 4 miles to the center. 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.



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