The History Lover’s Guide to Topsham.
If you love exploring the past as well as the present, Topsham is THE place to visit.
Only four miles from Exeter yet feeling like a world away, this ancient estuary town has an impressive story to tell.
The town on the Exe estuary is easy to access by public transport as well as by car and on foot, and is best known for its fascinating maritime history. Once a busy woollen cloth-trading port and warships, merchant vessels and deep-sea fishing vessels were launched from its shipyards.
But there’s much more to Topsham’s past than that. You can see stunningly well-preserved architecture from Dutch-influenced merchants’ houses and fisherman’s cottages jostling with re-purposed warehouses, factories and sail lofts.
Don’t just stay waterside. Make sure you spend time along the shopping areas and winding streets too, as you’ll discover old pub names above doorways, water pumps and even a 19th century wash-house.
A must-do is to pick up a Topsham Town Trails guide outside the Museum on Strand – itself an old Merchant’s house – and become an instant aficionado on the town’s glorious (and sometimes rowdy) past.
And you won’t go hungry on your day trip. Independent and award-winning cafes and restaurants are in abundance between the quirky gift shops and unique clothes stores – you’ll find everything you need for a perfect day out.
But is it pronounced Top-sham or Top’sum? That’s the big question: Ask a local if you dare!
Take a browse around the town’s website for information and things to do in Topsham.
Thanks to Gill McLean of Topsham Museum for help with this guide
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