Dartmouth is a fantastic destination for a day trip or holiday that the whole family will enjoy. With such a plethora of different activities there’s bound so be something for everyone here no matter what age or preferences they have. To help you get the most out of your visit and ensure the family has a marvellous time, we’ve listed some of the best family friendly activities to enjoy in and around Dartmouth.
Go Train and Boat Spotting
With the River Dart on its doorstep and a unique heritage steam line running on the other side of the river, Dartmouth is great for boat and train spotting.
Make a competition of who can spot the first yellow boat or guess which colour train is running that day to keep the little ones engaged in the comings and goings of this busy harbour town. It seems simple but it can keep your little ones entertained for hours!
Along the river edge in Dartmouth you’ll find The Embankment, which is the perfect spot for Crabbing. Overlooking the village of Kingswear on the opposite side of the River Dart, take a seat by the water’s edge and see how many of these scurrying creatures you can catch.
All you need is a bucket, line or net and some bait and you’re ready to go. Just make sure to put them back in the water as they have gills like fish and need water to breathe.
Read our blog post here to find out how to eco-crab.
Visit Coronation Park
Upriver from the town centre you’ll find Coronation Park. This large and inviting open space with views across the water is home to a large playing field as well as tennis courts, play park and a refreshment kiosk; making it the ideal location for a picnic.
Play some park games and explore the play area to tire your little tykes out before heading back to your accommodation.
Visit Dartmouth Castle
Combine adventure and history with a trip to Dartmouth Castle, located at the river mouth. The whole family will have fun exploring the humble passageways and admiring the guns and cannons of this impressive 600-year-old fortress.
For some hands on fun, visit the gun tower where you can try on a helmet for size or handle cannon balls and shots fired from the castle’s guns. The castle can be reached by car or footpath. Or perhaps take the passenger ferry from town for an extra dose of fun!
Go to the Beach
There’s no better family activity to enjoy whilst on holiday in Devon than a day trip to the beach and Dartmouth is lucky enough to be a short drive away from a few
Aside from the small inlets; Castle Cove and Sugary Cove within the town, the closest main beach to the town with facilities is Blackpool Sands; one of the most picturesque beaches in South Devon. This Blue Flag shingle beach is a sheltered bay with water sports, beach shop and café all on offer.
Some other great family friendly beaches near to Dartmouth include Slapton Sands, Goodrington Sands and Broadsands.
Enjoy an Event
Throughout the year the town is home to a number of exciting events with many having elements specially designed for kids and the whole family to enjoy. Base your holiday or day trip around any of our big annual events and you’ll find that there’s so much to see and do.
In May we see the ever-popular Dart Music Fest, a three-day event where music and a buzzing atmosphere permeates the town. A huge bonus is that it’s free to attend!
The Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta held in August is a great day out for the whole family. As well as rowing competitions and yacht racing to enjoy, there’s fireworks, a fancy dress competition, scavenger hunt, dog show and a pavement artist competition.
If you’re a family of foodies, Dartmouth Food Festival might be the perfect trip to plan your getaway around. Delicious regional food, demonstrations and workshops invite fun for the whole family. Entry to the festival is free with a charge for some events.
Try Some Watersports
With its position at the estuary mouth and plenty of nearby beaches, Dartmouth is ideal for watersports. The peaceful waters upstream are perfect for kayaking and paddleboarding while the river mouth and sea are great for sailing and sea kayaking.
With a number of watersport providers and sailing schools operating in and near Dartmouth, it’s the perfect opportunity for the more adventurous members of the family to give one of these exciting hobbies a try.
Discover a whole range of Dartmouth’s watersports providers here.
Visit a local attraction
There’s plenty for the kids (and adults!) to enjoy at one of the many attractions in and around Dartmouth. Why not enjoy a dip in the pool at Dartmouth’s Leisure Centre, or perhaps take a ride on the steam train across at Kingswear.
Just a short trek from Dartmouth you will also find a couple of National Trust properties; Coleton Fishacre and Greenway on the opposite side of the river. Or, if you don’t mind heading a little further afield, Pennywell Farm also makes for a wonderful day out for animal mad kids and grown-ups.
Enjoy an Ice Cream
For an extra special delight during your trip to Dartmouth why not treat yourself and your family to a yummy locally made Devonshire Ice Cream. With a number of outlets in town serving up cones and tubs of this delicious luxury we’re sure you can find a new favourite flavour.
We hope this gives you some great ideas of days out in Dartmouth that the whole family will enjoy. We love seeing your photos of Dartmouth so tag us in them on Instagram using @discoverdartmouth or #discoverdartmouth for your chance to be featured on our page – and don’t forget to follow us too!