Dartmouth is a pretty town, steeped in nautical history and in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, that lies on the south coast at the mouth of the River Dart. It has been an important port for many centuries and Chaucer, Raleigh and Drake knew it well. Its narrow streets and medieval houses have many stories to tell! Regular ferries run to Dartmouth Castle, which guards the entrance to the river, and across the river to Kingswear, where steam trains chug their way to Paignton.
In the centre of town a wide variety of shops, pubs and restaurants look out over the Boat Float where small vessels are moored. Children enjoy crabbing from the harbour walls, and a short stroll down the ancient Butterwalk past Dartmouth Museum leads to Dartmouth Market where delicious local products are sold. Towards the seafront past the Royal Castle Hotel (1639), St Saviours church (1335) and the oldest pub in town, the Cherub (1380) we ﬁnd The Sea Horse, an excellent upmarket ﬁsh restaurant, and RockFish where ﬁsh and chips are cooked to perfection, both overlooking the river and run by well known chef Mitch Tonks.
Heading up the River Dart are regular boat trips to the pretty village of Dittisham, and on further to Totnes. Another worthwhile option is a round robin trip by steam train, bus and boat. Excellent value!
The National Trust oﬀers two beautiful properties nearby; Greenway, overlooking the Dart, which was the home of Agatha Christie, and Collaton Fishacre which was the home of the D’Oyley Carte family of Gilbert & Sullivan fame. Both houses have extensive gardens which are worth a visit on their own, with kaleidoscopes of colour in spring summer and autumn.
If you are after time by the seaside this is well catered for at Blackpool Sands which has its own excellent cafe and facilities. Further on at Start Bay is Torcross and Slapton Sands where a Humpback Whales can occasionally be seen! Woodlands Adventure Park, just ﬁve miles from town, has a wealth of excitement for the young at heart.