Dartmouth is a beautiful, thriving town which lives and breathes for the water. From the historic Britannia Royal Naval College on the approach, to the upper and lower ferries which ply their trade across the River Dart between Dartmouth and Kingswear on the opposite side of the riverbank, this is a place where boats are seen as the most important form of transport.
Full of charm and thus a popular spot for tourists, this is nonetheless a working town and pleasure seekers will share the water with those playing their trade. The various marinas alongside the shoreline are popular places for many to moor their craft and the riverfront is a magnet for those who want to watch the world go by or hop on a boat for a pleasant journey.
Dartmouth is a sheltered harbour at the entrance to the Dart estuary so also expect to see boats making their way further up the dreamily picturesque river all the way to eventually reach Totnes. The annual Dartmouth Regatta at the end of August is always a spectacular sight and activities go far beyond just being on the water.
What a property agent can purchase
£1m: A terraced house or apartment overlooking the estuary a few minutes’ walk from the town centre or a four-bedroom detached house further inland.
£3m: a brand new house with harbour views.
£5m: a waterfront house with a private mooring.
Best hotels in Dartmouth
The Royal Castle (www.royalcastle.co.uk) is an historic, landmark hotel sitting by the inner harbour which has been welcoming visitors for centuries. Browns Hotel (www.brownshoteldartmouth.co.uk) is a more modern hotel tucked away in a quiet spot away from the bustle of the town centre. The Dart Marina Hotel and Spa (www.dartmarina.com) offers modern, bright accommodation and fine dining in a picturesque riverside setting.
Best restaurants in Dartmouth
The Seahorse (www.seahorserestaurant.co.uk) is the jewel in the crown of legendary seafood chef Mitch Tonks’ burgeoning food empire. Taylors Restaurant (www.taylorsrestaurant.co.uk) has a good reputation for its use of local produce, while The Laughing Monk (www.thelaughingmonkdevon.co.uk) is slightly out of town at nearby Strete, but well worth making the trip.
Best school in Dartmouth
Stover School (www.stover.co.uk) has a justified reputation for both its academic excellence and the friendliness of the atmosphere among staff and pupils. Churston Ferrers Grammar School (www.churstongrammar.com) remains a popular spot for families to send their children for a complete education at the 11+ stage.
Buying Agent Fact
Agatha Christie’s home at Greenway is now owned and maintained by the National Trust (www.nationaltrust.org.uk) and is a fine memorial to one of the country’s most commercially successful writers. It is accessible by road but far better to catch one of the many return pleasure boats plying their trade there from Dartmouth quay. Another form of alternative transport well worth taking is the Dartmouth Steam railway (www.dartmouthrailriver.co.uk), a wonderfully evocative and stylish way in which to travel along the riverside.
How to get to Dartmouth from London
Train: Total 3 hours, 30 mins. Trains from London Paddington take just over 3 hours to Totnes. A taxi from Totnes to Dartmouth takes 30 minutes.
Car: Total 5 hours.
Plane: Total 2 hours, 15 mins. Planes from London City to Exeter Airport take just under an hour then Dartmouth is a 75-minute taxi journey from the a
Helicopter: 90 minutes from Battersea Heliport.