Totleigh Barton, the first ever Arvon centre, is a 16th-century manor house in one of the most peaceful and idyllic parts of Devon.
Totleigh Barton is a thatched manor house with 14 single rooms and shared bathrooms. There is a wheelchair-accessible bedroom with en-suite bathroom. There is a cozy kitchen, a historic dining room with a wood burner, a comfortable lounge and spaces to relax and write throughout the house. The recently renovated barn offers a comfortable space for evening readings.
All your food and drink supplies are provided, except for alcohol, which can be delivered on request early in the week from a local wine merchant. We’re firmly committed to buying seasonally and locally produced goods; our menu reflects this. If you have any dietary needs for ethical, religious or medical reasons, please ring the centre to discuss – it’s important that you tell us in advance.
Totleigh Barton lies two miles from the village of Sheepwash, with walks along the River Torridge nearby. There is a beautiful and productive garden and quiet spaces on-site for writing, including a pod in the garden often used for one-to-one tutorials. There’s an orchard on-site where we grow plentiful crops of fruit.
“To step over the threshold into Totleigh Barton has always been to step into a world of writing.”
— Penelope Shuttle
"Totleigh feels a calm and wonderfully creative place to be - that feeling of being able to let my hair down and leave everything at home behind."
— Carol Forbes
"The whole package – tutors, venue, staff, environment, food – totally empowering, energising and unblocking. Thank you!"
— Course participant
The main work/living space is fully accessible and there is a wheelchair-accessible bedroom with en suite bathroom.
Totleigh Barton was built in the 16th-century, and in a recent study it was found that people have been living on the site of Totleigh Barton for nearly a thousand years, and it is mentioned in the Domesday Book.
Travelling by car
From Okehampton, take the A386 towards Hatherleigh. At the roundabout outside Hatherleigh, turn left and take the A3072 to Highampton, where you need to look for the right-hand turning for Sheepwash (on a sharp, left hand bend). After about a mile, turn right to Totleigh, immediately before the bridge over the River Torridge, and down a narrow lane, signposted Totleigh. After about 3/4 mile, on a long rise, you’ll see the Arvon sign at the start of a track on the left. The house is at the very end of this track.
Travelling by train
The nearest train station is Exeter St David’s, which is just over an hour’s drive away from Totleigh. Please contact us at least a week before the course starts if you’d like a taxi to collect you from the station. The pick-up point is immediately outside the main station exit at 3.30pm. The fee for the taxi from Exeter St Davids will be free, covered by Arvon. We can also arrange for a taxi to take you back to Exeter St David’s on Saturday morning at 10am.
Please see the accommodation, food and accessibility page for further information.
Centre Director: Mary Morris
Assistant Centre Director: Eliza Squire
Centre Assistant: Helen Reddaway
Centre Administrator: Sue Walker
Tel: 01409 231 338
COURSES AND RETREATS AT TOTLEIGH BARTON
Life Writing: Family History
Turning family stories into powerful, universal narratives
Fiction: Tutored Retreat
Bring your story to life
Re-ignite your writing