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14 Great Things to do in Dartmouth

things to do in dartmouth

I hope that this post is helpful for anyone looking for things to do in Dartmouth. It is a really special town, well worth a visit for anyone in the area.

Finding some great things to do in Dartmouth

Captivated by rolling hills, charming harbour, and a rich history, Dartmouth is a gem waiting to be explored. Nestled on the banks of the River Dart, this delightful town offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a history buff seeking ancient castles, a nature lover yearning for scenic walks, or a family looking for splashtastic fun, Dartmouth has you covered. Dive into the town’s vibrant atmosphere, meander through its cobbled streets lined with independent shops and galleries, or set sail on a captivating river cruise. From indulging in fresh, local seafood to delving into the life of Agatha Christie at Greenway, Dartmouth promises an unforgettable escape. So, pack your bags and get ready to discover the magic of this quintessential English town!

Dartmouth Castle

best castles in devon

Perched majestically at the entrance to the Dart Estuary, Dartmouth Castle is a historic fortress dating back to the 14th century. Originally built to defend the town against invasion, the castle offers visitors a fascinating glimpse into Dartmouth’s military past. Explore the battlements, gunrooms, and winding staircases, and soak in panoramic views of the river and coastline from the castle’s ramparts. Don’t miss the chance to wander through the atmospheric tunnels carved into the rock, which once housed medieval gun batteries. With its stunning location and rich history, Dartmouth Castle is a must-visit attraction for history buffs and sightseers alike.

It is worth pointing out that Dartmouth is one of the many fantastic castles in Devon

Dartmouth Steam Railway

dartmouth steam railway

Step back in time and experience the golden age of steam travel aboard the Dartmouth Steam Railway. Departing from Kingswear Station, just across the river from Dartmouth, this heritage railway offers a scenic journey through the rolling hills and wooded valleys of the South Devon countryside. Sit back and relax in beautifully restored vintage carriages as the steam locomotive chugs its way along the picturesque route to Paignton, passing through charming villages and offering glimpses of the sparkling sea beyond. Whether you’re a train enthusiast or simply seeking a nostalgic adventure, a ride on the Dartmouth Steam Railway promises a memorable day out for the whole family.

Dartmouth Through Time” by Ginny Campbell offers a visual journey through Dartmouth’s history, contrasting vintage images with contemporary photographs. This book captures the town’s transformation, showcasing its rich heritage and evolving landscape. An engaging read for history enthusiasts and residents alike, it provides a nostalgic glimpse into Dartmouth’s past and present.

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dartmouuth through time

Dartmouth Museum

dartmouth museum

Immerse yourself in Dartmouth’s rich maritime history with a visit to Dartmouth Museum, located in the heart of the town. Housed in an atmospheric 17th-century merchant’s house, the museum showcases a diverse collection of artifacts, models, and interactive exhibits spanning centuries of local heritage. Explore exhibits detailing Dartmouth’s role in the English Civil War, its connections to the Royal Navy, and its vibrant trading past. Learn about the town’s famous residents, including explorers and adventurers, and gain insight into daily life in Dartmouth through the ages. With its informative displays and engaging activities, Dartmouth Museum offers a fascinating journey through the town’s past, making it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts of all ages and is one of theh many great things to do in Dartmouth.

Dartmouth Harbour

dartmouth harbour

Experience the natural beauty and maritime charm of Dartmouth Harbour, one of the most picturesque estuaries in the South West. Take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront promenade and watch as fishing boats, yachts, and pleasure craft bob gently on the sparkling waters of the River Dart. Stop for a bite to eat at one of the waterfront cafes or seafood restaurants and savor fresh local delicacies while enjoying panoramic views of the estuary. For a closer look at Dartmouth’s maritime heritage, why not hop aboard a river cruise or hire a kayak and explore the tranquil creeks and hidden coves that dot the coastline? Whether you’re admiring the views from land or sea, Dartmouth Harbour offers endless opportunities for relaxation and exploration in a truly idyllic setting.

Coleton Fishacre

coleton fishacre

Nestled on the rugged cliffs above the sea, Coleton Fishacre is a stunning Arts and Crafts-style house surrounded by lush gardens. Built in the 1920s for the D’Oyly Carte family, the house boasts elegant Art Deco interiors, including a striking circular staircase and richly decorated rooms filled with period furnishings and artwork. Explore the meticulously landscaped gardens, which feature exotic plants, tranquil ponds, and winding pathways that offer breathtaking views of the coastline. With its unique blend of architecture, history, and natural beauty, Coleton Fishacre provides a captivating glimpse into the lives of the wealthy elite during the Jazz Age and is a must-visit destination for garden enthusiasts and history lovers alike. One of the great things to do in Dartmouth without a doubt.

Greenway Estate

Greenway House

Once the beloved holiday home of the renowned crime writer Agatha Christie, Greenway Estate is now open to the public, offering visitors the chance to explore the author’s former residence and its idyllic surroundings. Set amidst 30 acres of woodland and gardens overlooking the River Dart, Greenway is a treasure trove of fascinating artifacts, including Christie’s personal belongings, family photos, and a collection of rare books. Take a guided tour of the house to learn about Christie’s life and literary legacy, then wander through the gardens, which burst with color in spring and summer. Don’t miss the chance to stroll along the riverside paths or enjoy a picnic on the lawn, soaking in the tranquil atmosphere that inspired some of Christie’s most famous novels. Whether you’re a fan of her detective stories or simply seeking a peaceful retreat in the Devon countryside, Greenway Estate offers a truly memorable day out for visitors of all ages.

Dartmouth: An Enchanted Place” by Joslin Fiennes explores the charm and allure of Dartmouth, delving into its history, architecture, and natural beauty. With vivid descriptions and captivating images, this book offers a deep appreciation of Dartmouth’s unique character, making it an ideal read for both residents and visitors.

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dartmouth an enchanted place

Dartmouth Mayflower Heritage Trail

dartmouth mayflower heritage trail

Embark on a journey through history with the Dartmouth Mayflower Heritage Trail, a self-guided walking tour that explores the town’s connections to the Mayflower voyage and the Pilgrims’ journey to the New World. Follow in the footsteps of the passengers who departed from Dartmouth in 1620 aboard the Speedwell before joining the Mayflower in Plymouth. Along the trail, you’ll discover historic landmarks, plaques, and points of interest that commemorate Dartmouth’s role in this seminal moment in American history. Learn about the challenges faced by the Pilgrims during their voyage and the impact of their legacy on both sides of the Atlantic. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply curious to learn more about Dartmouth’s fascinating past, the Mayflower Heritage Trail offers a captivating exploration of the town’s maritime heritage and its enduring connections to the New World.

Bayard’s Cove Fort

bayards cove fort - best english heritage places in devon

Tucked away on the waterfront near Dartmouth Castle, Bayard’s Cove Fort is a small but impressive artillery fortification dating back to the 16th century. Built to defend the town against attack by sea, the fort played a crucial role in Dartmouth’s maritime defenses during periods of conflict. Today, visitors can explore the well-preserved remains of the fort, including its gun platforms, bastions, and magazine. Climb to the top of the ramparts for panoramic views of the river and the surrounding coastline, and imagine the soldiers who once stood guard here, watching for signs of approaching enemy ships. With its historic significance and commanding location overlooking the Dart Estuary, Bayard’s Cove Fort offers a fascinating glimpse into Dartmouth’s military past and is a must-visit attraction for history enthusiasts and sightseers alike.

It is worth noting that there are many other great English Heritage sites in Devon to explore too.

Dartmouth Regatta

dartmouth regatta

Experience the excitement and spectacle of the Dartmouth Regatta, one of the oldest and largest maritime events in the UK. Held annually in late August, the regatta brings together sailors, rowers, and spectators from near and far for a week-long celebration of maritime tradition and competition. Watch as colourful sailing boats and traditional rowing gigs race along the river, showcasing skill and agility against the stunning backdrop of Dartmouth’s historic waterfront. Landlubbers can enjoy a variety of shoreside activities, including live music, street food stalls, and family-friendly entertainment. With its vibrant atmosphere and packed schedule of events, the Dartmouth Regatta offers fun and excitement for visitors of all ages, making it a highlight of the summer calendar in South Devon.

Dartmouth Food Festival

dartmouth food festival

Indulge your senses at the Dartmouth Food Festival, a gastronomic extravaganza that celebrates the finest local produce and culinary talent from the South West and beyond. Held annually in October, the festival transforms the streets of Dartmouth into a food lover’s paradise, with a tempting array of food and drink stalls, demonstrations, and tastings to enjoy. Sample delicious artisan cheeses, freshly caught seafood, gourmet chocolates, and much more, all sourced from the region’s bountiful larder. Meet local producers, chefs, and food experts, and gain insight into the vibrant food culture of Devon. Whether you’re a dedicated foodie or simply enjoy good food and drink, the Dartmouth Food Festival offers a delectable experience that’s not to be missed.

Dartmouth Artisan Market

Discover a treasure trove of handmade crafts, gourmet treats, and unique gifts at the Dartmouth Artisan Market, held on select weekends throughout the year in the historic market square. Browse stalls brimming with locally produced artwork, jewelry, ceramics, textiles, and more, all lovingly crafted by talented artisans from the South West. Sample artisanal cheeses, chutneys, and baked goods, or pick up a one-of-a-kind souvenir to remind you of your visit to Dartmouth. With its vibrant atmosphere and high-quality, locally sourced products, the Dartmouth Artisan Market is the perfect place to shop for unique gifts and support the region’s thriving artisan community.

Dartmouth Town Trail

dartmouth castle

Embark on a journey of discovery with the Dartmouth Town Trail, a self-guided walking tour that takes you on a fascinating journey through the town’s historic streets and landmarks. Pick up a trail map from the tourist information center or download it online, then set off to explore Dartmouth at your own pace. Along the way, you’ll uncover hidden gems and points of interest, from medieval buildings and narrow alleyways to charming waterfront promenades and bustling market squares. Learn about Dartmouth’s maritime heritage, its connections to famous explorers and adventurers, and the colorful characters who have shaped its history over the centuries. Whether you’re a history buff, a keen walker, or simply curious to learn more about Dartmouth’s past, the Town Trail offers an immersive and informative experience that will leave you with a deeper appreciation for this charming Devonshire town.

Dartmouth Castle Ferry

dartmouth ferry

Experience the magic of the River Dart with a leisurely cruise aboard the Dartmouth Castle Ferry. Departing regularly from Dartmouth’s historic waterfront, this iconic ferry service offers a scenic journey across the river to the charming village of Kingswear. Sit back and relax as you glide past lush green hillsides, picturesque riverside cottages, and imposing naval vessels moored along the quayside. Keep an eye out for wildlife such as seals, dolphins, and seabirds that call the river home. Once you reach Kingswear, take some time to explore the village’s quaint streets, visit the railway station, or enjoy a drink at one of the waterside pubs. Whether you’re crossing the river for practical reasons or simply for the pleasure of the journey, the Dartmouth Castle Ferry offers a delightful way to experience the beauty and tranquility of the River Dart.

Woodlands Theme Park

toboggan run at woodlands theme park

Get ready for a day of family fun and adventure at Woodlands Theme Park, one of the largest attractions of its kind in Devon. Nestled in 100 acres of woodland near Dartmouth, this award-winning park offers a wide range of rides, attractions, and activities for visitors of all ages. Thrill-seekers can brave the twists and turns of the Cyclone Watercoasters, plummet down the Avalanche, or soar through the air on the Vertigo Swing. Younger visitors will love exploring the indoor play zones, meeting animals in the zoo farm, and taking a ride on the park’s miniature railway. With live shows, falconry displays, and special events throughout the year, there’s always something new to discover at Woodlands Theme Park. Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-fueled excitement or family-friendly entertainment, a visit to Woodlands promises a day of unforgettable memories in the heart of the Devon countryside.

I hope that this post has given you some helpful ideas for things to do in Dartmouth. Please feel free to add any more suggestions in the comments below.

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