Torrington creates a triangle with Bideford and Barnstaple. The town itself is built on a huge hill which overlooks the valley of the River Torridge and dates back to at least the Middle Ages. It potentially dates as far back as the Saxon times due to its location being perfect for defence. The common land that surrounds the town on three sides, was given to the town in the 12th Century and provides the most amazing walks and stunning views of the valley. Just to the South West of Torrington, on the river Torridge, is a small hamlet called Taddiport, which is famed for being a leper colony in the medieval times. The views of Tadddiport from Torrington are lovely (apart from the derelict old dairy which really is a blot on the landscape).
Torrington’s major claim to fame though, is the Battle of Torrington in 1646. As all local school children know, during the English Civil War, the Roundheads defeated the Cavaliers and thus ended the West Country’s Royal Resistance. The 1646 museum, situated in the South Street car park (with possibly the best views ever), has some interesting artefacts and exhibits about this period.
Today, it is a reasonably busy small town, with mainly local, independently run shops. It still has a pannier market where local traders and producers sell their wares. It has a small theatre, which in the daytime, during the school holidays, screens films for children. In the evening it plays host to many an entertainer. We have seen films, local theatre productions, youth theatre productions, internationally acclaimed singers, tribute bands and comedians in this fantastic little venue.
As an aside, just on the outskirts of Torrington is a great holiday park called Smytham Manor. We have been camping there for well over ten years and would highly recommend it. The facilities are clean, it has an outdoor, solar heated, pool and the private woods lead to the Tarka Trail.
Places to eat in Torrington, Devon
However, this is a food tour…..so……we thought we’d try a traditional market town pub’s food. Click below to see our review of The Black Horse Inn:
A quick update – we went back there to eat and were once again treated to good, hearty, well cooked food.