Situated in South Devon’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and perched on the River Dart, Dartmouth is the ideal location to enjoy a festive walk over the Christmas and New Year period. Whether you’re a family who prefer a leisurely stroll or a group of friends who are constantly seeking excitement and adventure, there’s plenty of stunning walks in and around Dartmouth to explore.
A stroll along the River Dart from Coronation Park to the beautiful and historic 600-year-old Dartmouth Castle is just one of the great paths you can explore in Dartmouth. You’ll pass through Bayards Cove Fort, a Tudor fort built in the 1500s to protect Dartmouth from attack. Your little ones will love to stop here and peak through the gaps in the fort over to Kingswear. This circular walk from Coronation Park to the Castle and back is moderately long for little feet being roughly 3 miles and there are a few steps, but it’s an excellent walk for all.
Across the River Dart is Kingswear. Take the Dartmouth Ferry over to this unique village (open every day apart from Christmas Day) and begin your walk to Froward Point. You’ll be rewarded of unbeatable views of Dartmouth Castle, the Brownstone Battery and the Daymark. If you fancy making this walk shorter and less challenging, why not stop at the Daymark and head back along the same route, it’ll still be as picturesque, but slightly easier on tired feet!
You might be looking for a beautiful but easy walk to take with elderly relatives or young children, if so, a meander to Start Point Lighthouse is certainly a walk for you! First you’ll need to get to the Start Point Car Park. From here there’s a steady descent down the old lighthouse road to the headland, the amble there and back is just over a mile and the terrain is mostly smooth. Start Point is the southernmost point of Devon with the stunning rugged coastline behind you and endless blue sea in front. It’s not unusual to see an abundance of wildlife here including seals and many migrating birds.
Dartmouth Town Trail is a leisurely walk jam-packed with heritage. Follow the historical routes around the town and follow the paths that many pirates, merchants, kings and fishermen would have taken hundreds of years ago. This walk forms part of the wider South West Coast Path which runs alongside our beautiful town.
The mainly flat walk from Torcross to Slapton follows the narrow strip of land which separates Slapton Sands from Slapton Ley, the beautiful nature reserve filled with plenty of flora and fauna. The walk around Slapton Ley might be sufficient for you, covering over 490 acres and includes marshes, natural woodland and a beautiful lake, but if you’re up for a bigger adventure, why not follow the coastline to Strete Gate Beach or Blackpool Sands.
Blackpool Sands is an award-winning beach, located a short drive from Dartmouth town centre; it can also be accessed on foot via the South West Coast Path. The Blackpool Sands circular walk loops around the idyllic villages of Strete and Bowden before heading back to the beach. This is a great walk if you’re hoping to get some stunning coastal and countryside views. It’s moderately easy with some stretches of steep ascent and descent and some paths may be muddy in the winter.
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