Last Saturday the clocks changed. It might have meant one hour less in bed but that’s a small sacrifice to make to have lighter and warmer evenings.
To celebrate the change, Steve and I headed down to Topsham. A small picturesque town nestled next to the Exe Estuary, a 10-minute train journey from Exeter. Topsham is my go to “gotta get out of the city” destination. It may only be a few minutes away but it has a completely different feel altogether. I wouldn’t say Topsham is a sleepy town, it’s far from that. There are great cafes, top quality restaurants, independent shops galore plus a museum. Not only that but there’s an Aladdin’s cave of an antiques centre on the quayside that you could so easily get lost in for hours.
Steve and I arrived to very welcome spring sunshine at about 2pm with the other city escapees. We made our way through the town popping into charity shops and various indies on route as we made our way to the quayside. If you love a good charity shop rummage you will love Topsham! The population is generally that little bit older so you find some real gems. Cashmere jumpers for £2.75? Don’t mind if I do!
Topsham was holding their annual Spring Forward event with musicians and street performers holding court at various stages throughout the town. The shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants were in the most part offering discounts to entice city dwellers like myself as well as the locals to get out and show support. A great initiative that seemed to be working. The town was bustling and the pubs and restaurants were bursting at the seams.
With the sun shining and musicians playing we made our first point of call The Lighter Inn. With plenty of outside seating and views out over the estuary, it’s a popular spot. An ale for Steve and a cider for me we sat topping up our vitamin D levels whilst listening to the music. The Lighter Inn on days like this certainly seems to be the place to be. Every Tom, Dick and Harry seemed to have the same idea as us but that didn’t matter. The sun was shining and all was well in the world!
Two drinks to the good we took ourselves off for a walk stopping in at Topsham Museum. After all the years of visiting Topsham, I have never once visited. I am so glad I did on this occasion. Who would have known that the owner of the house that is now the museum had a brother who married the famous actress Vivien Leigh of Gone With The Wind fame? That epic love story was one of our family’s favourite films when I was growing up with the added significance of the house and cotton plantation in the movie being named Tara. I was amazed to see in its full glory the most beautiful silk nightdress worn by Vivien Leigh in Gone With The Wind. The film she won her academy award for playing the southern belle Scarlett O’Hara. Just brilliant.
Carrying on we took ourselves along the Goat Walk which follows the estuary part of the way before circulating back through the RSPB nature reserve towards Darts Farm. We had our hearts set on fish and chips and hands down The Fish Shed at Darts Farm serves THE best fish and chips I have ever tasted. Their fresh locally caught fish wrapped in crispy beer batter served with chunky chips is second to none. If you ever find yourself in the area you should definitely make a point of stopping.
We sat outside watching the sunset as we devoured our fish supper. The perfect end to our afternoon in Topsham.
If you are interested in visiting Topsham you might want to read the following posts….