Great Things To Do In Dartmouth
Dartmouth is a charming town located in South Devon, England. It is a popular tourist destination known for its rich history, stunning scenery, and vibrant culture. Whether you’re interested in exploring the town’s historic landmarks, taking part in outdoor activities, or simply enjoying delicious seafood, Dartmouth has something for everyone. In this blog post, we will explore the top things to do in Dartmouth that will make your trip an unforgettable one.
Top tourist attractions in Dartmouth
Aside from its historic landmarks, Dartmouth is home to many top tourist attractions. One of the most popular attractions is the South West Coast Path. The path stretches for 630 miles from Minehead in Somerset to Poole Harbour in Dorset. The section of the path that passes through Dartmouth offers stunning views of the coastline and is a popular destination for hikers and walkers.
Another popular attraction in Dartmouth is the Dartmouth Steam Railway. The railway runs from Paignton to Kingswear, passing through some of the most beautiful scenery in the South West. Visitors can enjoy a relaxing journey on a vintage steam train and take in the stunning views of the River Dart and the surrounding countryside.
For animal lovers, the Dartmouth Zoo is a must-visit. The zoo is home to a wide variety of animals, including tigers, lions, monkeys, and penguins. Visitors can watch the animals being fed and learn about their habitats and behaviours.
Outdoor activities in Dartmouth
Dartmouth is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The town is surrounded by beautiful countryside and offers a variety of outdoor activities. One of the most popular activities is kayaking on the River Dart. Visitors can rent kayaks and explore the river at their own pace. The river offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside and is home to a variety of wildlife, including seals and otters.
Another popular outdoor activity in Dartmouth is hiking. The town is surrounded by beautiful countryside and offers a variety of hiking trails for all levels of fitness. One of the most popular trails is the Dart Valley Trail, which offers stunning views of the River Dart and the surrounding countryside.
For those who prefer more adventurous activities, Dartmouth offers a variety of water sports, including surfing, paddleboarding, and windsurfing. Visitors can rent equipment and take lessons from experienced instructors.
- Visit Dartmouth Castle
Perched on the hilltop overlooking the River Dart, Dartmouth Castle is a must-visit attraction for history buffs. Built in the 14th century, this iconic castle has played a vital role in the defence of the town throughout history. Visitors can explore the castle’s battlements, gunpowder store, and other historic features. The castle also hosts regular events throughout the year, including re-enactments, concerts and theatre performances. Don’t forget to stop for a cup of tea and scone in the castle’s tearoom, which offers stunning views of the river.
- Take a River Cruise
One of the best ways to experience Dartmouth is by taking a scenic river cruise. The town’s location on the River Dart makes it the perfect starting point for exploring the surrounding area by boat. There are several companies offering cruises, including the popular Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boat Company. Whether you’re looking for a short trip to nearby villages or a longer excursion to the sea, there’s a cruise to suit every taste and budget.
- Visit the Royal Naval College
Located on the banks of the River Dart, the Royal Naval College is a stunning example of Georgian architecture. It was used as a naval training establishment from 1863 until 1998 and is now open to the public. Visitors can take a guided tour of the college’s impressive buildings, including the famous chapel and the grand dining hall. The college also hosts regular events, including concerts and exhibitions, so be sure to check the schedule before you visit.
- Explore the South West Coast Path
Dartmouth is situated on the South West Coast Path, one of the UK’s most spectacular walking routes. The path covers over 600 miles of stunning coastline, and the section around Dartmouth is no exception. Visitors can enjoy breath-taking views of the sea and countryside as they walk along the well-marked path. There are many different routes to choose from, ranging from short walks to multi-day hikes. Don’t forget to pack a picnic and plenty of water for your journey.
- Visit the Greenway Estate
Greenway Estate is a beautiful National Trust property located just a short drive from Dartmouth. This historic house was once the holiday home of famous crime writer Agatha Christie and is now open to the public. Visitors can explore the house and gardens, which are full of fascinating artefacts and memorabilia. The estate also offers stunning views of the River Dart and the surrounding countryside.
- Take a Dip at Blackpool Sands
Blackpool Sands is one of the most beautiful beaches in the South West, and it’s just a short drive from Dartmouth. This sheltered bay boasts crystal-clear waters and soft golden sand. Visitors can swim, sunbathe or take a stroll along the shore. There’s also a beach café serving a range of delicious snacks and drinks.
- Visit the Dartmouth Museum
Located in the heart of Dartmouth, the town museum is a fascinating place to learn about the area’s history and heritage. The museum has a range of exhibits, including artefacts from Dartmouth’s maritime past and a collection of local art and ceramics. Visitors can also learn about the town’s role in the Second World War and explore the historic merchant’s house.
- Learn to Sail
Dartmouth is a world-renowned destination for sailing, and there are several sailing schools offering lessons for all levels. Whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced sailor, there’s something for everyone. Visitors can learn the basics of sailing or take an advanced course to improve their skills. There are also several regattas and sailing events throughout the year, which are well worth attending.
- Visit Sharpham Vineyard
Nestled in the rolling countryside just outside of Dartmouth, Sharpham Vineyard is a beautiful place to spend an afternoon. Visitors can take a tour of the vineyard and learn about the wine-making process. There’s also a shop selling a range of delicious wines and cheeses, which can be enjoyed in the vineyard’s picturesque surroundings.
- Visit the Agatha Christie Trail
Dartmouth is famous for being the hometown of Agatha Christie, and there are several places around the town that are associated with the famous crime writer. Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the Agatha Christie trail, which includes the sites of some of her most famous works, including Greenway Estate and the Royal Naval College.
- Take a Kayaking Trip
Kayaking is a great way to explore the River Dart and its surrounding creeks and estuaries. There are several kayaking companies offering guided tours and equipment hire. Visitors can paddle through some of the area’s most beautiful landscapes and spot local wildlife, including seals and otters. Kayaking is suitable for all levels, and there are tours available for families and solo travellers alike.
- Visit Coleton Fishacre
Coleton Fishacre is a stunning National Trust property located just a short drive from Dartmouth. The house and gardens were built in the 1920s and offer a glimpse into the glamorous world of the Jazz Age. Visitors can explore the house’s art deco interiors and relax in the beautiful gardens, which are full of exotic plants and sweeping views.
- Go Crabbing
Crabbing is a fun and popular activity for families visiting Dartmouth. All you need is a bucket, a line and some bait, and you’re ready to catch some crabs! The town’s harbour is a great place to try your luck, and there are several shops selling crabbing equipment and bait. Don’t forget to release the crabs back into the water once you’re finished.
- Visit the Flavel Arts Centre
Located in the heart of Dartmouth, the Flavel Arts Centre is a vibrant cultural hub that hosts a range of events and performances throughout the year. Visitors can enjoy music, theatre, cinema and art exhibitions in the centre’s modern facilities. The Flavel also has a café and bar, making it the perfect place to relax and soak up the town’s creative atmosphere.
- Take a Fishing Trip
Dartmouth is a popular destination for anglers, with a range of fishing trips available throughout the year. Visitors can fish for a range of species, including mackerel, bass and plaice. Fishing trips are suitable for all levels, and there are tours available for families and solo travellers alike. Don’t forget to pack a camera to capture your catch of the day!
- Explore Dartmouth’s Old Town
Dartmouth’s old town is a charming and historic area that is well worth exploring. Visitors can wander along the town’s cobbled streets and admire the colourful houses and quaint shops. There are several historic landmarks to discover, including the Butterwalk, which dates back to the 17th century. The old town is also home to several cafes and restaurants serving delicious local cuisine.
- Visit the Dart Valley Trail
The Dart Valley Trail is a beautiful walking route that follows the River Dart from Dartmouth to Totnes. The trail covers over 16 miles of stunning countryside and offers breath-taking views of the river and surrounding landscape. Visitors can walk the entire trail or choose a shorter section to suit their abilities. The trail is well-marked and suitable for all levels.
- Take a Gin Tour
Dartmouth is home to several gin distilleries, making it the perfect place to take a gin tour. Visitors can learn about the history of gin and the distillation process before sampling some of the area’s finest gins. There are several distilleries to choose from, including Salcombe Gin and Dartmouth Gin.
- Visit Blackawton’s Pig’s Nose Inn
Located in the nearby village of Blackawton, the Pig’s Nose Inn is a traditional English pub serving delicious food and drink. The pub has a cosy interior and a beautiful beer garden, making it the perfect place to relax after a day of exploring. The menu features a range of classic dishes, including fish and chips, steak and ale pie and Sunday roast.
- Attend the Dartmouth Food Festival
The Dartmouth Food Festival is an annual event that celebrates the town’s rich culinary heritage. The festival takes place in October and features a range of food and drink stalls, chef demonstrations, and events. Visitors can sample a range of local produce, including seafood, cheese, wine and gin. The festival is a must-visit for foodies visiting Dartmouth.
Dartmouth’s nightlife scene
Dartmouth offers a variety of bars and pubs that are perfect for a night out. One of the most popular bars in Dartmouth is the Dartmouth Arms. The bar offers a variety of cocktails, beers, and wines and has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
Another popular bar in Dartmouth is the Cherub Inn. The pub is located in an historic building and offers a variety of real ales and ciders. The pub has a cosy and traditional atmosphere and is perfect for a night out with friends.
For those who prefer live music, the Bayards Cove Inn is a must-visit. The pub offers live music every weekend and has a lively and energetic atmosphere.
Shopping in Dartmouth
Dartmouth offers a variety of shops and boutiques that sell unique and locally made products. One of the most popular shops in Dartmouth is the Dartmouth Pottery. The pottery sells handmade ceramics that are inspired by the town’s maritime history.
Another popular shop in Dartmouth is the Dartmouth Chocolate Shop. The shop sells a variety of handmade chocolates and truffles that are made using the finest ingredients. The shop also offers chocolate-making workshops for those who want to learn how to make their own chocolates.
For those who are looking for souvenirs, the Dartmouth Gift Shop is a must-visit. The shop sells a variety of gifts and souvenirs that are inspired by the town’s history and culture.
Events and festivals in Dartmouth
Dartmouth hosts a variety of events and festivals throughout the year. One of the most popular events is the Dartmouth Food Festival. The festival takes place every October and celebrates the town’s delicious seafood and local produce.
Another popular event in Dartmouth is the Dart Music Festival. The festival takes place every May and offers a variety of live music performances from local and national artists.
For those who are interested in history, the Dartmouth Regatta is a must-visit. The regatta takes place every August and celebrates the town’s maritime history with a variety of water sports, live music, and fireworks.
Tips for visiting Dartmouth
If you’re planning a trip to Dartmouth, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your visit:
- Book your accommodations in advance, especially during peak season.
- Wear comfortable shoes, as there are many hills and uneven paths in the town.
- Try the local seafood, it’s some of the best in the country!
- Take a boat trip on the River Dart, it offers stunning views of the town and the surrounding countryside.
- Visit the tourist information centre for maps and information about the town’s attractions and events.
Dartmouth is a beautiful and historic town that offers a range of exciting activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or simply in search of a relaxing getaway, there’s something for everyone in this picturesque destination. From exploring the medieval castle to taking a scenic river cruise, there are plenty of things to see and do in Dartmouth. So, if you’re planning a trip to Dartmouth and want to make the most of your visit, be sure to check out some of these top activities and insider recommendations!