International Forest Garden / Food Forest Symposium

From 31 May-4 June 2021
now Open Access

We are a carbon-negative organisation – we store more carbon on our land sites than we produce

Travel information

The symposium starts with registration between 8.30-9.30am on 1st June 2021, so you will probably need to have traveled the day before (May 31st) or earlier, and will likely need accommodation from 31st May (or earlier). The last symposium event ends at 4.00pm on 3rd June (though there will be tea and chat after).

Environmental impact
All travel of course has an environmental impact and we are acutely aware that gathering people from all over the world will have a carbon impact in particular. However please see our Environmental Impact Statement where we believe we can justify the impacts for this symposium.

Dartington Hall is well connected to Totnes by a good path. It is a 30-minute walk to Dartington Hall from Totnes train station and 40 minutes from the centre of Totnes.

From Totnes train station, on the booking office side of the station head the opposite way to the main road (ie if coming out from the station that side, turn left) and follow the signposted path towards the river Dart and Dartington. Follow the path to the banks of the River Dart and turn left. The path continues with the river on your right and leads round to a large weir. Continue along the riverside to reach a lane (the lower drive for Dartington Hall.) Turn right up this lane and follow up the hill to Dartington Hall. See maps.

If you are travelling by train, the nearest rail station is Totnes.  From the station to Dartington Hall is a 30 minute walk or a short taxi journey (see taxi list below)

  • Cross Country trains run from the North of the country via Birmingham, Bristol and Exeter. You may need to change for Totnes at Exeter or Newton Abbot.
  • Great Western trains run from London Paddington via Taunton and Exeter. You may need to change for Totnes at Exeter or Newton Abbot.
  • South Western trains from London Waterloo to Exeter. You will need to change onto a Totnes service at Exeter. A much cheaper service from London but it takes an hour longer.

To check train times and to book rail tickets online we recommend redspottedhanky or thetrainline.

If you’re travelling from elsewhere outside the UK, this website is an invaluable guide to all things rail, including the best ways to book tickets from outside the UK. Purchasing tickets in advance (up to 3 months)  is considerably cheaper than just rolling up on the day and purchasing from a ticket office. There is also good info on Britrail passes here. When you book a rail ticket to Totnes, you should be able to include the Heathrow Express journey as part of the ticket but you will need to request that specifically – otherwise you will be routed via London Underground, which takes longer and involves stairs and/or escalators.

Coach / bus
National Express run coaches to Totnes from London, Bristol and further afield.

There is a bus service from Totnes to Dartington Hall (service 165). There is a well-timed bus in the morning leaving Totnes (near the Seven Stars Hotel) at 08.40 and arriving at Dartington Hall at 08.55. In afternoon buses return to Totnes, leaving at 17.05 and 18.05. See the full timetable here

If you are travelling by car, then you should head for satnav (postcode) TQ9 6EL (Dartington Hall). The two main routes into the South West of England are the A303 and the M5. The A303 is more interesting but can be slow in places in summer, especially where it runs alongside Stonehenge. Allow 5 hours from London via the A303 and 4½ hours via the M5. There is plenty of parking at Dartington Hall, however you need to register you vehicle for free parking during the conference. If you know the Registration number beforehand you can email details to ART. Otherwise, when you arrive please proceed past the main car park, taking the second right up to the small parking area designated for check-in/out (near point 22 on the core estate map), where you can register you car for the duration of the conference before parking in the main car park.

The nearest airport is at Exeter, however this is a small regional airport and few international flights go there direct. If you are flying in to London it is possible to get a connecting flight (which may also be cheaper than getting a train despite the additional carbon cost.)

If you are flying into London, you are likely to arrive at Heathrow. To continue your journey by train, the easiest way is to find your way to Paddington Station in Central London. You can do this is via the Heathrow Express (15 mins) or via the Underground (Piccadilly Line; 55 mins) – see above in Trains. There is also the Railair coach service (40-50 minutes) from Heathrow to Reading railway station (where you can board trains for Totnes).

If you arrive at Gatwick airport, it is best to take the Gatwick Express to London Victoria, then take the Underground to Paddington Station, where main line trains to Totnes depart.


During the day, you can usually find a taxi waiting at Totnes Station, and on ‘The Plains’ at the bottom of Totnes although this is not guaranteed. Times when there may not be a taxi waiting are 8.00 – 9.15 (when you might be thinking about getting one to the Symposium that morning!) and 15.00 – 16.40 (both due to taxi school commitments) and late at night. Most taxis here DO NOT take cards so make sure you have cash handy.

It is a 30-minute walk to Dartington Hall from Totnes train station and 40 minutes from the centre of Totnes – see Walking above. There is also a well-timed bus in the morning – see Coach / Bus above.

Happy Cabby Taxis 01803 559292                          Bobs cabs  01803611311
Totnes Taxis 01803 868686                                     A P Taxi Co 01803 840404
Connect Cabs 07443 518087                                   Abacus Cabs 07790 345321
Station Taxis 01626 330077                                     Castle Cabs 01803 868686
Badger Cabs 01803 840400                                     Knight Cabs 01803 840940
South West Taxis 07803 126396                             Dart Taxis 01803 865575
South Hams Cabs 07772 744598                            Eagle Cabs 07412 841214
And Some Cabs 01803 840009                                Dart Travel 01803 862424
Annas Taxis 07815 883805                                       Brutus Cabs 07979 615349

Visas and Brexit
In 2021, the UK is due to have left the EU. We hope and expect that there will still be Visa-free travel between the UK and EU countres but will update this advice when we have certainty. Otherwise requirements for tourist visas are likely to be as they are now. Please make sure any visa application is sent in well in advance from your nearest UK Embassy.

Travel insurance
We strongly advise you take out travel insurance to cover any losses for travel or accommodation expenses that you could incur. The ART will not be held liable for such losses in the event of an unexpected cancellation of the symposium. 

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