Dartmouth, South Devon

Dartmouth, South Devon
  • Impressive estuary/coastal town lining the River Dart and Estuary. Along with nearby Salcombe, essential UK visiting
  • Great for boat trips
  • Town and local area packed with family visitor attractions
  • Top holiday destination for foodies
  • Superb estuary and coastal walks
  • Main photo: Dartmouth Castle (English Heritage) and a Dartmouth boat trip on the River Dart and Estuary. Photographed from South Embankment in Dartmouth


Top UK estuary/coastal town in a very special setting

If you're exploring the UK then Dartmouth, and nearby Salcombe, must be experienced. Lining the western side of the River Dart and Estuary, the town is stunning and packed with things to do. Dartmouth is essential UK visiting.


Why holiday or weekend break in Dartmouth?

To help you choose Dartmouth, we've listed some of the local attractions below.


Dart Estuary and Dartmouth

The River Dart rises in two places on Dartmoor's north moor. The East Dart River and West Dart River meet at Dartmeet and the River Dart powers through the stunning Dart Gorge on its way to the National Park border. From there, the River Dart flows to Totnes and then the South Devon coast at Dartmouth. Explore the River Dart and Estuary from Dartmouth.


Dartmouth boat trips and ferries

Round Robin on the Dartmouth Totnes River Cruise

The classic Dartmouth trip is the Round Robin provided by the Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boat Company.

Take the Dartmouth Kingswear Lower Ferry (see ferry section below) to Kingswear. Hop on the Dartmouth Steam Railway to Paignton Station. Ride on the bus to Totnes Steamer Quay. Follow the River Dart downriver on the Dartmouth Totnes River Cruise. Clearly, you can take the trip in the other direction.

Dartmouth Totnes River Cruise

If you only want the boat trip then book a return on the Dartmouth Totnes River Cruise. Head down to the embankment and pontoon by Dartmouth Harbour.

Dartmouth River Cruise

Try also the Dartmouth River Cruise. Head down to the embankment and pontoon by Dartmouth Harbour.

The Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boat Company provides a service. 'Take a wonderful circular boat trip (starts in and returns to Dartmouth) viewing Bayards Cove, Kingswear and Dartmouth Castles, Britannia Royal Naval College, Dittisham Village, Sir Walter Raleigh's Boathouse, Greenway Quay and The Estate of the late Dame Agatha Christie.' (The Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boat Company website)

Greenway & Dittisham Ferry River Boat Cruises provides a service. 'Enjoy a fabulous value for money special offer cruise viewing Kingswear, Britannia Royal Naval College, the quaint village of Dittisham, Sir Walter Raleigh's Boathouse, Greenway Quay and the Agatha Christie Estate of Greenway.' (Greenway & Dittisham Ferry River Boat Cruises website)

Dartmouth/Greenway Ferry

The ferry to Greenway Quay and the National Trust's Greenway is a super boat trip. Greenway was once Agatha Christie's home. Note that you can walk back to Kingswear on the Dart Valley Trail before taking a ferry across the water to Dartmouth.

Alternatively, take the ferry to Dittisham and walk back on the Dart Valley Trail.

Head down to the embankment and pontoon by Dartmouth Harbour.

Greenway/Dittisham Ferry

Note that a small ferry runs between Greenway and Dittisham. Ring the ferry bell when there.

Dartmouth Castle Ferry

For a short boat trip, use the ferry to get to Dartmouth Castle. Head down to the steps on the embankment south of the pontoon by Dartmouth Harbour.

Steamer Kingswear Castle

There are trips on the paddle steamer Kingswear Castle.

Special boat trips

Limited services run out to sea to explore the South Devon coast and wildlife.

You can also day trip to Salcombe. Look out for the Coastal Trip and Salcombe Voyager.

Day trips to Dartmouth from The English Riviera

Note that you can take trips from Torquay/Brixham to Dartmouth on the Dartmouth Day Cruise.

Dartmouth Higher Ferry

Higher Ferry is the main River Dart crossing point for vehicles. It's at the north end of town by the Dart Marina Yacht Harbour.

Dartmouth/Kingswear Lower Ferry

Lower Ferry runs between Dartmouth and Kingswear. This runs from Lower Street near Bayard's Cove Fort towards the centre of town.

Dartmouth RIB rides

Marine Xped 'operates out of Dartmouth and use the beautiful Start Bay as our playground.  We also run trips up and down the river Dart and can arrange a variety of pick up and drop off points'. Refer to their website for detail.


Dartmouth Steam Railway

Take a steam railway trip from Kingswear/Dartmouth to Paignton on the Dartmouth Steam Railway.


Dartmouth Castle

Dartmouth has a rich maritime history. Visit Dartmouth Castle (English Heritage). Take the Dartmouth Castle Ferry or walk the South West Coast Path to Dartmouth Castle.

We'd also recommend discovering Dartmouth Bayard's Cove Fort, Bayard's Cove and the Pilgrim Fathers.


Dartmouth Museum

If history and culture are of interest, explore Dartmouth Museum in Dartmouth The Butterwalk.

Pop into nearby Dartmouth St Saviour Church. 'Of particular interest is the large memorial brass to John Hawley, believed to be Chaucer's 'Shipman' in the Canterbury Tales as well as the major donor of funds to construct the building and (in)famous local politician.' (St Saviour's Church website)


Dartmouth South West Coast Path

The Dartmouth area provides amazing coastal walking. See our Dartmouth/Kingswear South West Coast Path Walk listing for more information.


Other Dartmouth walking

Walkers should also try the Dart Valley Trail.

Take the Dartmouth Totnes River Cruise and walk back on the Dart Valley Trail on the western side of the River Dart and Estuary.

Alternatively, take the Dartmouth/Greenway Ferry and walk back on the Dart Valley Trail on the eastern side of the River Dart and Estuary to Kingswear. Return to Dartmouth on one of the ferries that cross the water.


Dartmouth watersports

Try Sea Kayak Devon and Dartmouth Boat Hire.

There's also Canoe Adventures (Tuckenhay/Stoke Gabriel) and Venus Riders Watersports (Blackpool Sands).


Dartmouth food and drink

Dartmouth is one of Devon's top food and drink destinations.


The Seahorse and Rockfish are both located on South Embankment overlooking the River Dart and Estuary.


Dartmouth The Cherub Inn is the oldest building in Dartmouth.

Dartmouth Arms is located by Dartmouth/Kingswear Lower Ferry.

The Crab & Bucket is situated on South Embankment overlooking the River Dart and Estuary.


Dartmouth Castle Tea Rooms are in a superb location at Dartmouth Castle (English Heritage).

Note that The Venus Cafe just down the road at Blackpool Sands is in an awesome location.

Fish & chips

Rockfish Takeaway is situated by Dartmouth/Kingswear Lower Ferry.

Ice cream

Buy ice cream from Platform 1 Champagne Bar & Restaurant by Dartmouth Harbour.


Time your trip for the Dartmouth Food Festival and Dartmouth Crab Festival.


Blackpool Sands and beaches near Dartmouth

South Devon is famous for its beaches. Blackpool Sands (Beach) is just down the road from Dartmouth.

If you're willing to travel, we'd very much recommend day trips to Bantham Beach and Bigbury-on-Sea Beach.


Coleton Fishacre and National Trust properties near Dartmouth

Discover South Devon's many National Trust properties.

Coleton Fishacre (National Trust) is arguably the best in the area.

Try also Greenway (National Trust) (once home to Agatha Christie).

Overbeck's Garden and Museum (National Trust) is down on the Salcombe Kingsbridge Estuary.


Dartmouth and Woodlands Park

If you have kids then spend a day at Woodlands Park.


The English Riviera

Dartmouth is just south of The English Riviera. Take a ferry across the Dart Estuary and visit Brixham, Paignton, Torquay and Babbacombe.