There are many ways to explore the sights and sounds of this vibrant town, whether it’s on foot, water or by road, here are a few of our favourites.
Dartmouth’s riverside position makes it the ideal location to catch a boat trip from, or even to the town, discovering the surrounding waterside villages or stunning coastline along the way.
There are a number of boat trips operating out of Dartmouth which head upstream. Some, like Greenway Ferries, take you part way up the river either to Greenway House or to view the pretty village of Dittisham, while others will take you all the way to the historical riverside town of Totnes.
The River Mouth
From the Embankment in town you can view the river mouth, 600 year old castle which guards the entrance, and out towards the sea which lies beyond. If these glimpses of Dartmouth’s position on the south coast have intrigued you to discover more, there are many ferries which run on this part of the river, or your could even charter your own vessel from Dartmouth Boat Hire to explore the estuary.
A truly spectacular way to arrive in Dartmouth is by boat, following in the ‘footsteps’ of past explorers and travellers who have visited the town’s port over many hundreds of years. The main coastal boating route in and out of Dartmouth for visitors today is Torbay to Dartmouth. With boats running at various times throughout the day it’s the perfect way to arrive in to Dartmouth for a day exploring the shops, pubs and streets.
If you want to discover what hidden treasures the river banks and coastline hold, why not try sea kayaking with Sea Kayak Devon and explore this stretch of Devon under your own steam while being lead by an expert guide. Sea kayaking is not only an exciting way to travel, but you get to see the shoreline from a very different perspective to the bigger ferries. As well as sea kayaking, SUP (stand up paddleboarding) is another great way to journey around the river.
With its winding streets and nautical past there’s so much to see in and around Dartmouth, and a walking tour is the perfect way to uncover the town’s secrets.
The Dartmouth Guided History Tour is run by the Town Crier and Consort, Les and Liz Ellis. This 1 to 1 ½ hour tour guides you through the history of this important maritime port whilst pointing out the most significant buildings and places all within a sensible walking distance.
Overlooking the town and river is the impressive red brick building of Britannia Royal Naval College, home of initial Naval Officer training in the UK. Tours of this fascinating building, stunning architecture and its 150 years of intriguing heritage are held on selected dates throughout the year.
Stretching the length of the South Devon coast and as far as Dorset and Somerset is the South West Coast Path, the longest National Trail in the UK. Walking the coast path around Dartmouth allows you access to some of the more hidden gems along the coastline, including staggering cliff faces and small secluded coves which are hard to reach unless on foot.
Discover the town of Dartmouth at your own pace with the Dartmouth Town Trail. This easy 1.2 mile walk around the town takes you alongside the river as well as down some of Dartmouth’s oldest streets.
If you’d like to venture a little further from town, then hit the road and see where Devon’s winding country lanes and coastline routes lead.
Heading out of Dartmouth to the west follow the coastal road and enjoy stunning views across this rugged and picturesque landscape. With the freedom of your own car you can stop and take a break in one of the many charming villages or beaches you pass along the way.
Take the Bus
The Stagecoach X64 and Service 3 connect Dartmouth to the surrounding towns, villages and cities. The X64 starts its journey in Exeter, before passing through Newton Abbot and Totnes on its way to Dartmouth. Service 3 follows the coastal route to Plymouth passing through Kingsbridge.
Wherever you’re heading to or starting your journey in Dartmouth sit back and relax whilst you enjoy being driven through winding country lanes, historic market towns and vibrant cities.