Dartmouth Castle

Key Information

01803 834445
Dartmouth Castle, Castle Road, Dartmouth, UK
Daily from April – Nov
Weekends in winter
Closed 24 - 26 Dec
See website for up-to-date hours.


‘This impressive fortress has a long history of protecting Devon’s south coast. The castle is best visited on a warm summer’s day by taking the Dartmouth Castle Ferry down the estuary, catching glimpses of grey seals and seabirds as you pass the cobbled seafront…’Countryfile, ‘10 must-visit coastal castles’

Surrounded by sparkling waters, Dartmouth is one of the most beautifully located fortresses in England. For over 600 years, the castle has guarded the narrow entrance to the Dart Estuary and the busy, vibrant port of Dartmouth. It offers stunning views and provides a great family day out.

The seaside castle has plenty for explorers – young and old, such as an atmospheric Gun Tower, winding passages and a climb to the top of the battlements. And if the weather is fine, you can catch a river boat from the town quay, landing you a minute’s walk away from the entrance. Walkers will also love the coastal and woodland walks around the castle, where you can spot plenty of wildlife and birds.

Installations bring the castle’s story to life, right up to its last call to action in the Second World War, and dramatic displays show a crew preparing to fire a heavy gun. Families can explore the weapons used to defend the fortress, trying on helmets and handling cannonballs. You’re also introduced to characters from Dartmouth’s history, and young history hunters can follow ‘John Hawley’s Explorer Trail’, an activity quest throughout the castle.

Top tips:

  • Discover the story of John Hawley – inspiration for the flamboyant ‘Shipman’ in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales
  • Climb to the top for splendid views over Dartmouth town
  • Take a ferry boat ride to or from the castle, perfect for wildlife spotting
  • Enjoy a home-made cream tea in the sunshine while you watch the boats drift by


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