The Family-friendly Guide to Topsham

Topsham is wonderful at any time of year with some of its best-loved features being waterside walks and pubs, a nature reserve and green views across east Devon – so it’s perfect for kids and adults alike and an easy-to-reach slice of nature, a short bus or train hop from Exeter.

If you come on a Saturday watch and listen for the Town Crier delivering local news, then head to the water and boatyards below St Margaret’s Church and spot the swans – black Dawlish ones if you’re lucky.

Perhaps take a ferry across the estuary on a weekend (depending on the time of year) for an unbeatable view of Topsham’s famous Dutch-style houses and mansions, or settle for life on land in one of the town’s child-friendly pubs: the Lighter Inn, The Passage House, The Globe and The Lord Nelson all have plenty of opportunities for delicious lunches and suppers.

As an alternative, sit-in or grab a picnic from The Boathouse, The Cafe, Circle or Route 2 – cakes and coffee to die for at each of them – and visit the Quay to admire the restoration of the wooden barge ‘Vigilant’.

Parents can reward themselves in Topsham’s independent shops and then it’s just minutes to the Recreation Ground on Ferry Road. That’s by the water too – but there’s also a skateboard slide, zipwire and other play equipment for all ages.

Burn off more energy with a stroll to the RSPB bird hide at Bowling Green Marshes nature reserve via the iconic Goat Walk (at the end of Strand) with views all the way to Exmouth. Then reward everyone with an ice cream or cream tea in town, or stay for dinner and watch the sun set ­– a perfect end to a memorable day.

How many other places tick all those boxes?

Take a browse around the town’s website for lots of ideas of things to do in Topsham.

Thanks to local resident Hilary Thomson for help with this guide.

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