Totnes is a market town and civil parish at the head of the estuary of the River Dart in Devon, England, within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is about 21 miles (34 km) south-south-west of Exeter and is the administrative centre of the South Hams District Council.
Totnes has a long recorded history, dating back to 907, when its first castle was built. By the twelfth century it was already an important market town, and its former wealth and importance may be seen from the number of merchants' houses built in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Today, the town is a thriving centre for music, art, theatre and natural health. It has a sizeable alternative and "New Age" community, and is known as a place where one can live a bohemian lifestyle. Totnes has two electoral wards: Bridgetown and Town.
Totnes has attracted a sizeable "alternative" community, and the town is known as a place where one can live a "New Age" lifestyle. There are a number of facilities for artists, painters and musicians, and there is a twice-weekly market offering antiques, musical instruments, second-hand books, handmade clothing from across the world, and local organically produced products. In 2007, Time magazine declared Totnes the capital of new age chic. In 2005, Highlife, the British Airways magazine, declared it one of the world's Top 10 Funky Towns.
In March 2007 Totnes was the first town in Britain to introduce its own local alternative currency, the Totnes pound, to support the local economy of the town. Fourteen months later, 70 businesses within the town were trading in the "Totnes Pound," accepting them as payment and offering them to shoppers as change from their purchases. The initiative is part of the transition town concept, which was pioneered by Rob Hopkins, who had recently moved to Totnes.
Emphasising the town's continuing history of boat-building, between 1998 and 2001 Pete Goss built his revolutionary but ill-fated 120-foot Team Philips catamaran there.
Totnes has a population of over 8,076 people.