With so many wonderful attractions and places to go in Dartmouth and the surrounding areas, sometimes it can be difficult to choose what to do. Therefore, if its heritage, culture and history that you’re interested in, we have compiled a list of the top ten historic visits to help you decide on your next activity in Dartmouth.
Railway & Paddle Steamer
How about making your visit to and from Dartmouth historical in itself? The Dartmouth Steam Railway and Paddle Steamer are a great way to travel and fun for all the family. Jump on the Steam train from Paignton to Kingswear or board the Paddle Steamer in Dartmouth and meander your way up to river to the alluring town of Totnes.
Over 600 years old, Dartmouth Castle is not only set in a beautiful location, right on the mouth of the Dart Estuary, but is a historical landmark for the gorgeous town of Dartmouth. The Castle is an artillery fort, constructed to protect the coastal town. Now run by English Heritage, there is a plethora of things to see and do as well some beautiful walks in the surrounding area. This charming fortress is certainly not to be missed when visiting Dartmouth.
Alongside Dartmouth’s Visitor Centre stands the Newcomen Engine House which is home to one of Thomas Newcomen’s engines –the invention of which played a major role in the development of steam engines.
This National Trust run country house and gardens is a great destination for the whole family. Immerse yourself in the 1920’s decor around the house and the eclectic Art Deco ornaments and furniture. As well as the house, the carefully maintained gardens offer a pleasant setting for an afternoon stroll all year round.
Britannia Royal Naval College
If something a bit different is what you’re after when visiting Dartmouth, why not book in on Guided Tour around Britannia Royal Naval College. The magnificent architecture is truly a sight to behold and with the tours offering an extensive insight into life at the college, past and present, this truly is an exquisite experience.
Greenway, most popularly known as being Agatha Christie’s holiday home, is a picturesque National Trust house and gardens situated on the bank of the River Dart opposite Dittisham. The house encompasses all things Agatha Christie and her family with rooms of fascinating artefacts and lots of hands on exhibitions. Surrounding the magnificent house is an extensive collection of gardens, stretching down to the river side where you can find the boathouse and battery.
Bayards Cove is a quaint cobbled promenade with canons and seating, offering an appealing view of the river and across to Kingswear. Set to one end of Bayards Cove is a Tudor artillery fort built around the beginning of the 16th century to protect the town quay.
Dartmouth museum is a fascinating museum housed in the Grade I listed Butterwalk building. The Tudor architecture is something to marvel at alone, yet inside the buildings charm and fantastic museum exhibitions offer plenty more to discover. Learn about the history of Dartmouth and its famous sons as well as taking a look at the coastal town through the years.
St Saviour’s Church
Erected in the middle ages, St Saviour’s Church is located in the lower town of Dartmouth. Rich in history and gracefully decorated, this attractive place of worship is a definitely worth a look whilst your ambling through the streets of Dartmouth.
It may be a while away, but the buzz around Mayflower 400 is hard to ignore, and it is one date that certainly needs to go in your diary. In 2020, it will be 400 years since the Mayflower set sail. Travelling along the English Channel toward the Atlantic for a remarkable journey to America, Dartmouth being a crucial stop for repairs after the Speedwell (a second ship making the journey) began taking on water. Unfortunately the Speedwell did not manage to make the journey, having to turn back again shortly after the second attempt at departure. The final successful voyage was from Plymouth, UK to Plymouth, Massachusetts by the Mayflower. There will be lots of events and exhibitions going on in Dartmouth throughout the year to commemorate this incredible journey and with such significant history it is sure to be a huge highlight for this captivating waterfront town.