Besides being nationally known as one of the prettiest coastal towns in the UK, Dartmouth has much more to offer than just beautiful scenery and gorgeous streets. With a vibrant town centre, abundance of history, top events and a welcoming charm amongst all its inhabitants, it’s no wonder that Dartmouth makes for a perfect holiday destination all year round.
Discover Dartmouth’s Captivating History…
From a historical Castle to a famous writer’s holiday home and fascinating museum, Dartmouth has plenty to discover for those who enjoy learning about the past.
Britannia Royal Naval College
Towering over the town, sitting upon the hill lays the magnificent structure of the Britannia Royal Naval College, which since 1998 has been the sole base for training Royal Naval officers. With so much to unearth and plenty of Royal links, this beautiful building offers much to marvel at and even guided tours for you to understand more about the history of the base.
National Trust Properties
If earlier history is more your type of thing then a visit to Dartmouth would not be complete without a trip to one (or both!) of the mesmerising National Trust properties nearby. Coleton Fishacre, on the other side of the river in Kingswear is a 1920s house and gardens which offer an interesting insight in to the art-deco period. Further up the River Dart stands Greenway House, the holiday home and estate of the well renowned crime-writer, Agatha Christie. Here you can delve into her family’s history as well as exploring the impeccably kempt gardens and grounds that surround the house.
Steam Train and Paddle Steamer
Travelling to and from Dartmouth can be like stepping back in time itself by enjoying a relaxing river cruise aboard Dartmouth’s very own Paddle Steamer. If you prefer to keep your feet on dry land then you can enjoy a scenic journey from Paignton in Torbay to Kingswear, just opposite Dartmouth, on the Steam Railway. Both are run by the Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boat Company and offer an exciting day out for adults and children alike.
Dartmouth Castle & Bayards Cove Fort
Resting on the mouth of the River Dart, gazing out to sea is Dartmouth Castle, an artillery fort built to protect the coastal town; now run by the English Heritage it combines history with some beautiful views and great walks – a fantastic day out for the whole family. Closer to the town on the river bank, you can also find Bayards Cove Fort, once again built to safeguard the harbour from potential attackers.
Newcomen Engine & Dartmouth Museum
Head to Dartmouth Visitor Centre during your visit, for your chance to see the oldest, preserved working steam engine in the world. Thomas Newcomen who designed the first successful steam engine was born in Dartmouth and the town are proud to have such a historic piece of engineering. Situated within the architecturally impressive Butterwalk building, Dartmouth Museum is a treasure trove of exciting collections and artefacts to discover, with interactive exhibitions that make it great for children.
Get Adventurous in Stunning Surroundings…
The location of Dartmouth makes it a diverse and exciting area to discover, with a graceful riverside location, on the mouth of the River Dart and surrounded by lush countryside, you’re sure to find plenty to do in and around this wonderful town.
Walks are in abundance in and around Dartmouth, from challenging treks to peaceful strolls along the riverbank, whichever direction you head you’re sure not to be disappointed. Dartmouth is nestled within the South Devon AONB so just a few miles out of the town you can find sensational landscapes and dazzling beaches.
River & Coast
With so much water surrounding Dartmouth it’s easy to see why it’s a hotspot for sailing enthusiasts and water sport lovers. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing canoe or paddleboard up the river, peaceful sail out onto the ocean or exhilarating kayak in choppier seas, Dartmouth offers a great hub for it all. You can bring your own equipment, hire from one of the local water sports companies or if you’d prefer to just relax and soak up the idyllic views, there are plenty of opportunities for river cruises and boat trips.
Find a Souvenir or Bite to Eat…
Dartmouth is home to an eclectic array of shops, restaurants, cafés and galleries, lending itself to an exciting day shopping and scrumptious meal or two.
Shops & Galleries
Throughout the pretty streets of this colourful town sit a plethora of independent shops, boutiques and galleries as well as some better known brands. Galleries are in abundance here in Dartmouth and it’s not difficult to see why so many artists and craft makers find this lovely town so inspiring. Even the gift shops are filled with unique memorabilia and presents – the perfect places to get a little piece of Dartmouth to take home with you.
Restaurants & Pubs
From local cosy pubs, to high end fish restaurants and stylish bistros, Dartmouth offers something to suit everyone. Whether it’s a quick snack during some retail therapy, chilled beverage on a summers day, hearty meal after a brisk walk or fancy evening out you’re bound to find something here in this gorgeous harbourside community. Every eatery in Dartmouth brings its own unique style and taste to the area; you might find it difficult to choose!
Immerse Yourself in a Calendar of Lively Events…
All year round Dartmouth plays host to a number of exciting events, festivals and shows. Whatever time you are planning to visit, there is something for everyone and it’s definitely worth taking a look at our What’s On page to see what is happening, you may even want to plan your visit around it! Regardless of the time of year, The Flavel is home to a wonderful array of concerts, shows, cinema screenings and plenty of other events.
During the summer months, Dartmouth comes alive with a host of memorable events which are enjoyable for the whole family. In May, the beautiful coastal resort has its annual Music Festival, a truly fantastic event for everyone! For 3 days Dartmouth plays host to music of every genre in the streets, restaurants and other venues throughout the town. During August Dartmouth holds it’s annual Royal Regatta; a feast for the senses, with stalls, fireworks, music and loads more to keep the whole family entertained.
Dartmouth is not just a summer destination, throughout those cooler months they also welcome some other great events. With a heavenly Food Festival and Galleries Week, both in October, there’s something to suit everybody. During the Christmas season, you do not want to miss Candlelit Dartmouth, a two day event which sees the beautiful town adorned with lights and plenty of activities happening, including a lantern parade, craft workshops and Christmas market.
Relax in Peaceful Accommodation…
Wherever you look in Dartmouth you will find charming places to stay, there is great town accommodation if you want to be in the midst of this thriving community, or alternatively, countryside accommodation options that are set in the surrounds; with Dartmouth being within easy reach and allowing you to easily explore more of the greater area. Dartmouth is a town that has it all on offer, whether it be a locally run intimate and friendly bed and breakfast, beautiful decorated luxurious hotel or stunning secluded self catering holiday cottage. For a list of accommodation options in and around Dartmouth, please take a look at our Where to Stay page.
So there we have, need we give you any more reasons to visit this idyllic town resting on the mouth of the River Dart? Why not choose Dartmouth for a holiday this year or short break, you certainly won’t be disappointed!
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