The Steam Packet was by Topsham quay, which finally closed as a general public house when its last landlord, Barry Stock, retired on November 8th 2008.
This was a pretty historic event; though the Bridge Inn is considerably older as a building, the Steam Packet was the second oldest pub in Topsham, and the oldest one purpose-built. It began its days as the Red Lion, and was renamed in 1850 after the steam packet Zephyr that called at Topsham as part of its weekly run between Torquay and London. Its owner in the late 1890s was Charles Gale (who also ran the London and South Western, now Drakes) whose wife, Tryphena Sparks, was a cousin of Thomas Hardy.
The pub has now been converted to a licensed cafe named Route2, so you may be able to enjoy a pint, but don’t take too long, there are still some delights to be had!
1 Monmouth Hill,