Discovering the Hidden Gems of Tiverton: A Journey Through Time, Beauty, and Culture
At A Glance
🏰 – Tiverton Castle
🌉 – Great Western Canal
🛍️ – Tiverton Pannier Market
🌳 – Knightshayes Court and Gardens
⛪ – St. Peter’s Church
🎨 – Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life
🌊 – River Exe
🍻 – Local Pubs
🚶 – Walking Trails
🍽️ – Local Cuisine
Nestled in the heart of Devon’s picturesque countryside, Tiverton is a quaint and charming town that offers visitors a delightful combination of history, culture, and natural beauty. This enchanting destination has something for everyone, from the curious history buff to the nature lover, and it never fails to captivate those who venture here. In this article, we will explore the key features and highlights of Tiverton, sharing practical information and insider tips to help you make the most of your visit.
Steeped in history, Tiverton dates back to the early Roman period and became an important market town during the medieval era. Its rich heritage is evident throughout the town, with an array of historical landmarks and attractions for visitors to explore. The magnificent Tiverton Castle, built in the 12th century, is a must-visit for history enthusiasts. The castle’s well-preserved ruins and enchanting gardens transport visitors back in time, offering a glimpse into Tiverton’s fascinating past.
Tiverton Town Centre
Tiverton town centre offers a range of shopping opportunities, from independent boutiques to well-known high street retailers. Fore Street and Gold Street are home to an assortment of shops, where you’ll find everything from unique gifts and homewares to fashionable clothing and accessories. For a more traditional shopping experience, head to the Tiverton Pannier Market, which showcases a diverse selection of local produce and handmade crafts.
Heritage and Architecture
The town centre is rich in history, with several significant buildings and landmarks that showcase Tiverton’s architectural heritage. The 13th-century St. Peter’s Church, located on St. Peter Street, is a fine example of Gothic architecture and offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling streets. The Town Hall, an impressive Georgian building, is another historical highlight, serving as a reminder of Tiverton’s prosperous past.
Despite its urban setting, Tiverton town centre offers several green spaces for visitors to enjoy. The charming People’s Park, situated just a short walk from the main shopping area, provides a peaceful oasis with its lush lawns, flowerbeds, and mature trees. The park also features a children’s playground, making it a perfect spot for families to relax and unwind.
Entertainment and Culture
Tiverton town centre is a hub of cultural activity, with several venues offering live performances, exhibitions, and events throughout the year. The Tiverton Community Arts Theatre (TCAT) hosts a diverse program of plays, musicals, and concerts, showcasing local talent and touring productions. For art enthusiasts, the Tiverton Art Society regularly holds exhibitions featuring the work of local artists.
Key Features and Highlights
- Tiverton’s town centre is a delightful mix of historic charm and contemporary amenities, providing visitors with an array of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Strolling through the town centre, you’ll be enchanted by its blend of traditional architecture and modern conveniences, making it a perfect destination for a leisurely day out.
- Tiverton Canal: One of Tiverton’s most alluring attractions is the Grand Western Canal, a tranquil waterway that stretches for 11 miles through the stunning Devon countryside. A leisurely stroll along the canal’s towpath is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in nature and admire the picturesque surroundings. Alternatively, take a horse-drawn barge trip for a truly unique experience. Operated by Tiverton Canal Co., the barge trips run from April to October, with prices starting at £12.50 for adults and £9 for children.
Insider Tip: Don’t miss the opportunity to feed the friendly ducks at the canal’s edge. Bring some duck-friendly food (like oats or peas) and create a memorable experience for the whole family.
- Knightshayes Court: Another highlight of Tiverton is the stunning Knightshayes Court, a Gothic Revival mansion set within 250 acres of spectacular gardens and parkland. This National Trust property boasts an impressive collection of art and antiques, as well as intricately designed interiors that reflect the Victorian era’s opulence. The gardens are a horticultural paradise, with flourishing flora and fauna, a walled kitchen garden, and enchanting woodland walks. Knightshayes Court is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, and admission fees are £14 for adults and £7.00 for children.
- Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life: To truly understand Tiverton’s heritage, a visit to the Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life is essential. This fascinating museum showcases the area’s rich history through engaging exhibits and artefacts, ranging from agricultural machinery to Victorian costumes. The museum is open Monday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, with an admission fee of £7.00 for adults and free for children.
Practical Information for Visitors
Accommodation Tiverton offers a variety of accommodations to suit every budget and preference.
Dining Tiverton boasts an array of delightful dining options, from traditional British pubs to international cuisine. The Bridge Room at The Fisherman’s Cot is popular, serving delicious dishes in a scenic riverside setting.
Accommodation we recommend
- Deepaller Farm (sleeps 2, no pets)
- East Dunster Deer Farm B&B (sleeps 4, no pets)
- Stoodleigh Court Coach House (sleeps 2 in a double room, or up to 8 if whole property, no pets)
- The Old Vicarage (sleeps 10, pets allowed)
Tips to Maximize Enjoyment
- Visit the Tiverton Pannier Market: To immerse yourself in local culture, be sure to visit the Tiverton Pannier Market, held every Tuesday and Friday. This bustling market is a treasure trove of locally produced goods, fresh produce, and artisan crafts. It’s the perfect opportunity to pick up unique souvenirs and sample the region’s delectable culinary delights.
- Attend Local Events: Tiverton hosts a range of events throughout the year, celebrating local culture and traditions. Time your visit to coincide with the Tiverton Balloon and Music Festival, Tiverton Literary Festival, or the Tiverton Carnival. These vibrant events offer an unforgettable experience and a chance to connect with the local community.
- Explore Nearby Attractions: While Tiverton itself is captivating, the surrounding area is also worth exploring. Visit the stunning Exmoor National Park for breathtaking scenery and outdoor adventures, or venture to the picturesque village of Bickleigh, home to the enchanting Bickleigh Castle and the famous Bickleigh Mill.
Tiverton is a captivating destination that effortlessly combines history, natural beauty, and culture into an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re wandering along the serene canal, exploring the town’s historical landmarks, or indulging in local cuisine, Tiverton offers a wealth of attractions and activities to suit every interest. By following our practical tips and insider advice, you can make the most of your visit and create lasting memories in this enchanting corner of Devon.
Check out other things to do in East Devon
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