Dartmouth Devon with its narrow streets, half timbered houses and deepwater natural harbour a haven for yachtsmen and visiting tourists alike. As early as the 14th century the town was already a busy trading port- so important it supplied Edward III with 31 vessels for the Siege of Calais during the Hundred Years War. Nowadays offering fine restaurants, cafes, galleries, marinas, antique shops and fine places to stay such as The Royal Castle Dartmouth Hotel
Stroll along the Embankment, sit and watch the boats and yachts go by, on summer evenings may be a chance to listen to the Band playing in the bandstand. In season the chance to take a boat trip either up river to Totnes or along the Coast to Brixham and Tor Bay.
The majority of Dartmouth's half timbered houses date from Elizabethan times. One such, now the towns' Museum is a merchants house dating from 1640, contains a comprehensive collection of material covering the towns maritime history. One of the oldest remaining half timbered houses is The Cherub, dating from the 14th Century, recently restored. Now an Inn, one of several delightful half-timbered buildings on Higher Street. The 17th Century Butterwalk built in 1635-40 with its intricate wooden carvings and a frontage supported on granite columns forming an arcade.
Dartmouth Castle Reached by a 1 mile walk from the Town Centre towards the mouth of the Dart is the well preserved Castle with its distinctive round and square tower in a most imposing position on a rocky promontory. Constructed largely in the 15th century, one of the first castles to be designed to take artillery- in use until the end of World War II Kingswear Castle on the opposite bank of the River. With superb views from the battlements across the River, visiting yachts passing upriver below you- a popular picnic spot. Nearby is St. Petrox Church.
Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway From Kingswear take the South Devon Railway to Paignton with superb views of the Coast on the steam train journey harking back to the days of Great Western or up the wooded Dart Valley. Take a pleasure boat cruises and trips up and down the tranquil River Dart to Totnes, trips run all year. In summer take a wildlife cruise along the South Devon Coast. Hire a self-drive motor boat to explore the Upper Reaches of the River. Take a day afloat with a sailing school?
A mile upriver from Kingswear is the Greenway Estate , once home to Agatha Christie, the gardens, farm and woodland and river frontage were given the National Trust. In 2002 the Gardens were opened to the Public for the first time. Beautiful walled gardens, arboretum a fernery, and woodland walks overlooking the Dart. Species include rhododendrons,camellias magnolias, and azaleas as well as a profusion of wildflowers in Spring- particularly bluebells. Some consider Greenway the "most beautiful garden in Britain" Open from March to Sept.
In late summer don't miss the Annual Royal Regatta offering everything from aerobatics, to rowing events to races to fireworks displays. Yacht race classes offered range from IRC to Old Gaffer to Dinghy. High above the Town is the World renown Britannia Royal Naval College-training Officers since 1905.
Coleton Fishacre a few miles along the coast from Brixham, reachable from Dartmouth by Car Ferry to Kingswear is this real gem of a gentlemen's residence with a real sun trap of a garden. suntrap of garden.
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Greenway reachable by foot ferry from Dartmouth to Dittisham hence across the River. A often steeply sloping woodland garden, once home to the authoress Agatha Christie. Tantalising views of the Dart, particularly delightful in early spring when the camellias are out, or during the golden colours of autumn. A stiff but rewarding walk along the Dart Trail from Kingswear.
Follow the A379 road westwards along the South Devon Coast, passing the privately owned Blackpool Sands Beach, a particularly sheltered cove, almost with a Mediterranean feel, onwards past Start Point to delightful Slapton and its Ley to the yachtsman's haven that is Salcombe.
The town rivals Bideford as the venue to see in the New Year | Christmas. Thousands of revellers, nearly all in fancy dress crowd the narrow streets and Embankment waiting expectantly for the Church bells to sound midnight and the start of another year. Restaurants, hotels and bed and breakfast are usually fully booked months ahead.
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