Dittisham, or as it’s known to locals Ditsum, is a couple of miles upstream on the River Dart from Dartmouth and can be reached by hopping aboard a ferry, driving or walking along the Dart Valley Trail. The village is a popular place to visit when holidaying in Dartmouth due to its beautiful setting and welcoming atmosphere. In this blog post, we’re going to explore a little about this waterside settlement and how you can enjoy it when you visit Dartmouth.
It is believed that the village of Dittisham was named after ‘Deedas’, a Saxon chief who may well have settled in this place shortly after the Saxon invasion of Devon around 600AD. Even though the Saxons practiced Paganism, the conversion to Christianity is shown by the record of a church in the village in 1055. In the Domesday Book from 1086, the village is referenced as Didashim, which means the homestead of ‘Deedas’.
The village nowadays is not densely populated; in 2001 the parish was home to 424 residents, in 1801 it had 639 whilst in 1901 Dittisham had a population of 549. Throughout the year however, the pretty destination welcomes many visitors from far and near who come to enjoy this thriving community. Little ones will love crabbing off the pontoon and the older guests will certainly enjoy a refreshing beverage in one of the two pubs on offer. Boats and life on the water here is immensely popular too so if you’re looking for somewhere a little different to enjoy kayaking or stand up paddleboarding, it’s definitely a destination to keep in mind.
Another way to enjoy Dittisham is by catching a ferry across from Greenway, situated on the other side of the Dart. Greenway Estate is most famously known as being the holiday home of the much-loved crime novelist, Agatha Christie, who even named a character after this gorgeous village, Lady Dittisham, in her book, Five Little Pigs. Those interested in the author and her work can visit Greenway Estatewhich is now owned by the National Trust and discover more about its fascinating history. Other famous residents of the estate include Sir Humphrey Gilbert and his half brother, Sir Walter Raleigh.
Walking to and around Dittisham will afford you some pretty spectacular views too. You could walk from Dartmouth, or vice versa, amble along the Dart Valley Trail, or for those seeking something a little more challenging, why not hike a circular walk between Dartmouth, Kingswear, Greenway and Dittisham using the Greenway Ferry and one of the ferries in Dartmouth to cross the river.
However you decide to visit Dittisham and whatever you decide to enjoy once you arrive, we can assure you that this secluded and unspoilt village is more than worth your time when you come to visit the area.
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