We understand that holidays and trips can be expensive, but that shouldn’t stop you from having a fantastic time and exploring lots of wonderful places. Whether you are visiting Dartmouth for a day trip with the whole family and looking for inexpensive activities or you’re planning on spending a full week in the area and fancy adding some free things to do to your itinerary, we’ve put together a list of the top ten free things to do in Dartmouth and the surrounding area so that you can enjoy a great day out without worrying about those pennies!
Dartmouth Town Trail
Discover all about Dartmouth’s fascinating history as you enjoy an easy 1.2 mile walk around the town. There is plenty to discover and this town trail will help you spot things that you may never normally have noticed, it’s a great way to keep the kids entertained and active during your time in Dartmouth. To read about the route and what you can find along the way, please click here.
Just around the corner from Dartmouth Castle, along the South West Coast Path you will find the secluded rocky beach, Sugary Cove. This sheltered bay is a beautiful spot to relax regardless of the time of year; there are relatively steep steps down to the cove so the descent may be tricky for some, however, it is definitely worth it! Find out more about Sugary Cove here.
Visit a Gallery
Dartmouth is renowned for its stunning array of galleries, many of which are home to artwork by local artists and craftsmen. Why not spend some time perusing the galleries and admiring the work, much of it has been inspired by Dartmouth and its beautiful surroundings. Discover the galleries in Dartmouth here.
Just a short car ride from Dartmouth is the picturesque beach, Blackpool Sands. This is the perfect destination for a full day out at the beach and is extremely popular among families. You can while away the hours basking in sunshine and absorbing the blissful surroundings or enjoy an energetic afternoon of fun with the kids, either way this is the spot for you. More information about Blackpool Sands is available here.
Coronation Park is the ideal place for children to let off some steam, with a vast green area for ball games and more as well as a great play area, it’s definitely a suitable spot to spend an afternoon when on holiday in Dartmouth. During the warmer months it makes a lovely location for a picnic too.
Wild swimming is a popular pastime with locals and visitors to the area of Dartmouth and the surrounds. You can enjoy this activity off the beaches in Dartmouth and nearby as well as in many places along the River Dart – wherever you find a suitable spot. Just remember to never swim out of your depth and children should always be accompanied by an adult, be careful of strong currents too as they can often be difficult to notice until you’re in the water.
Spot the Steam Train and Boats
If you’re looking for a way to keep the kiddies occupied during your visit to Dartmouth then why not spend some time walking around the Boat Float and along the waterside, there are lots of interesting vessels to be spotted in the harbour as well as on the river. You can also look out for the steam train coming into Kingswear from Paignton.
Nearby Slapton is full of free things to do, with a beach, nature reserve and brimming with local history, you’re sure to find something that will please the whole family. Slapton Sands is a huge expanse of shingle beach with the largest freshwater lake in the South West sitting idly alongside it. Slapton Ley Nature Reserve is perfect for spotting wildlife and exploring diverse plantlife while just up the road at Torcross lays a Sherman amphibious tank which serves as a memorial to those who lost their lives during WWII’s Exercise Tiger.
Find a Free Event
Dartmouth is home to plenty of exciting events all year round, and the best part is that most of them are free to attend. From Dart Music Festival in May and the Royal Regatta in August to the Food Festival in October as well as heaps more you’re sure to enjoy any of these festivities as the streets come alive and the community celebrates. Check out what’s on in Dartmouth here.
On the other side of the River Dart, not far from Kingswear and the National Trust property of Coleton Fishacre is the Daymark, an 80 foot tower that was erected in the 1800s to help guide ships and boats to Dartmouth harbour. You can get to the Daymark by either following the South West Cost Path inward from Froward Point or by parking at Brownstone Car Park and following the tarmac lane.
So that’s our top ten free things to do in Dartmouth and the surrounding area. We love seeing your photos of Dartmouth so follow us on Instagram and don’t forget to share them with us by tagging @discoverdartmouth or #discoverdartmouth. That way we can share them with our followers too!