In the centre of Dartmouth, overlooking the river front and next to the tranquil inner harbour, or Boat Float as it is also known, you’ll find the beautiful and peaceful Royal Avenue Gardens.
In the heart of the garden stands the cast iron bandstand which makes an impressive centre piece as well as providing a stage during town celebrations. Further into the park, away from the river, you’ll find the parks second main feature and focal point, an ornamental triple-tier stone fountain which is framed from the road by the arched Royal Avenue Gardens sign.
The park is filled with beautifully planted flower beds, which are linked by twisting paths allowing you to meander around the relaxing space. There are also many benches and seats available for passersby to sit and admire the plants. Among the many attractive beds you’ll find a herb garden, rose garden, Antipodean garden, Mediterranean garden and a Veale/Savill memorial garden as well as a small pond, community greenhouse and a war memorial.
During the 16th and 17th centuries Dartmouth was thriving and extra land was needed, this lead to the reclaiming of land from the river banks and mud flats, most of the level land in Dartmouth was previously river banks, this is true of the land used for Royal Avenue Gardens.
The park was created by the Town Council and opened in 1887 and was named Royal Avenue Gardens following Queen Victoria visit to the town a number of years earlier. The fountain was added to the park in 1897 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.
Royal Avenue Gardens is encircled by the Embankment and river to the east, the Boat Float to the south, Dartmouth town to the west, with the Visitor centre located in the north west corner, the Royal Avenue Garden car park to the north and the public toilets in the north east corner.