12 fab things to do in Dartmouth
- Credit: Neville Stanikk/VisitDevon
KATE WILLIAMS chooses 12 great things to do on a visit to the delightful Devon town of Dartmouth:
1. Dartmouth town
Spending a day wandering around this picturesque town with its tall, historical buildings and meandering streets filled with shops and eateries, is an activity in itself. An idyllic place to relax and unwind, whether shop-hopping or walking along watching the boats bob on the beautiful River Dart, Dartmouth is a visitor’s dream.
2. Coleton Fishacre House and Garden
This National Trust property is a feast for the eyes inside and out. It is the 1920s home of the D'Oyly Carte family and imbued with Art Deco elegance. Music fills the rooms and visitors get an insight into the ‘upstairs and downstairs’ life of the era. The gardens are stunning and there is a fabulous cafe too.
3. Sea Kayak Devon
If it's the beautiful Devon coastline that draws you in, and if you’re up for it, a day on a kayak is a fantastic day out. Catering for families, groups and individuals, Sea Kayak Devon welcomes a range of ages with no experience necessary. Guided trips or courses are offered with excellent equipment for safety.
4. Weight N Sea
Just a short wander from Dartmouth’s quay, this beautifully decorated three-bedroom cottage is a perfect place for a stay in the town. Close to all the amenities of the famous naval area, Weight N Sea sleeps up to six, making it a great choice for families, with two double rooms and one with purpose-built bunk beds.
5. Dittisham Hideaway
For those who seek something different from the mainstream accommodation, Dittisham Hideaway is an enchanted holiday destination that has the wow factor in droves. Offering a collection of treehouses and shepherds huts, this ‘hideaway’ is also home to an original, beautifully restored American 1956 Airstream caravan.
6. Bayards Cove Inn
Bayards Cove Inn is one of Dartmouth’s oldest buildings, a 14th Century Tudor inn that’s now a café bar and restaurant with seven luxurious ensuite rooms, two of which are family suites — and all the rooms are pet-friendly. The building is full of history and gained Grade II listed status in 1949.
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7. Radius 7
When Radius 7 opened in 2015, the intention was to bring local produce, fresh from local suppliers, allotments, the harbour and the farm, to its customers. The relaxed and friendly atmosphere is refreshing whilst enabling diners to indulge in an impressive eating experience using top quality South Devon produce.
8. Dartmouth Castle Tea Rooms
With its unique location next to the English Heritage Dartmouth Castle on the entrance to the Dart Estuary, Dartmouth Castle Tea Rooms visitors can arrive by boat. During the summer months, the passenger ferry from Dartmouth Harbour is a great way to enjoy the water — and a spot of lunch or slice of cake too.
9. Dartmouth Ice Cream Company
Why would you not? In fact, it’s worth a visit to the town just for this ice cream treat. As one of the South West’s oldest ice cream companies, Dartmouth Ice Cream has been serving locals and visitors alike since 1928. Not only can one indulge in homemade ice cream, but homemade fudge is offered to tempt the tastebuds at this independent and family-run Lower Street business.
10. Dart Gallery
Housed in a beautiful 19th Century building on Lower Street, Dart Gallery is independent and offers a wide selection of work by established, contemporary British artists, with whom gallery staff have a direct relationship. A warm welcome will greet visitors, their families, friends and even dogs, for a leisurely browse.
11. Hip Hip Hooray Studio
Perfect for all craft lovers, this little shop is fairly new to Dartmouth, bringing a wealth of delightful fabrics, wools and beads. There is a whole host of creative project kits to choose from for beginners and children to more inept crafters. The studio also runs a variety of workshops including dressmaking, lino printing and jewellery making.
12. Dartmouth Old Market
It is a necessity to pay a visit to the Old Market on Victoria Street when in Dartmouth. With shops, cafes and stalls open all week, it is the perfect spot for a bit of retail therapy providing an eclectic mix of gifts, local food, children’s clothes, plants, soft furnishings, jewellery, vinyl records and dress fabric.