Visit Dartmouth and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Dartmouth, Devon. The hillsides on the west side of this once so adventurous and prosperous port are covered in new housing, but within an easy walk of the Quay are several of the best Elizabethan house fronts and one of the most richly furnished old churches, St Saviour's, in Devon; while from the ruins of its main castle guarding the estuary mouth to the South, the town looks beautiful, even if the Royal Naval College, built in 1905, dominates it rather weightily.
The latter, since it originated aboard the H.M.S. Britannia in 1863, plus the charms of the Dart river, have largely kept the town alive. For it is short of industry and of all Devon's great ports Dartmouth's has declined the most. In the early Middle Ages it was one of Devon's, and one of England's, greatest. The fleets for the Second and Third Crusades were assembled in its estuary, and in 1346 it sent 31 ships, less only than Fowey and Yarmouth, to besiege Calais. It exported wool and cloth, and brought home wine from Bordeaux. It was later a leader in the Newfoundland fish trade. It then suffered, as did other Devon ports, from dying trade, and by 1900 had become no more than a yachtsman's paradise and a coaling station; and is now not even the latter. During the Second World War it was, however, briefly reminded of its former glory as a port when 485 American ships assembled off it before D-Day.
In a shed by Coronation Park is the first-ever effective steam-engine invented by the locally born Thomas Newcomen (1663—1729) to pump water from mines; and just South West in Duke Street is the renowned and extremely pretty arcade called The Butterwalk, built c. 1635 when dairy produce was sold in its shelter. A short walk further South West via Anzac Street is St Saviour's Church, with a magnificent l4th-century ironwork door, 17th-century gallery, l5th-century screen and painted stone pulpit, several good brasses, and, most unusual, an altar with large, carved and coloured evangelists (1588). All the flat part of the town was reclaimed from the river, mostly in c. 1600; water lapped, till 1567, against the churchyard's north wall. South from the church, steps lead up to particularly attractive old houses in Higher Street which was original dry land. About ¼ mile South of the Quay, Bayards Cove is the least altered part of the waterfront. It has a good group of 17th-century houses, and the remains of one of the castles built by Henry VIII along the Channel coast for defence against possible French invasion. Both this castle and the one mentioned earlier (built 1488—94) can be visited; as, near Bayards Cove, can the l5th-century but much restored Agincourt House.
South West Blackpool Sands is the nearest good beach and often not too crowded. From about ¾ mile further on there is a beautiful view over Slapton Ley and beach.
A car ferry connects Dartmouth with Kingswear and the Torbay area.
Nearby towns: Brixham, Kingsbridge, Paignton, Salcombe, Totnes
Nearby villages: Ashsprington, Berry Head, Berry Pomeroy, Blackawton, Broadhempston, Buckfastleigh, Chillington, Churston Ferrers, Cornworthy, Dartington, Dean Prior, Diptford, Dittisham, East Allington, East Portlemouth, Galmpton, Halwell, Harberton, Ipplepen, Kingswear, Loddiswell, Marldon, Moreleigh, Rattery, Sandquay, Slapton, South Pool, Staverton, Stoke Fleming, Stoke Gabriel, Stokenham, Torquay, West Alvington, West Prawle, Woodleigh
Have you decided to visit Dartmouth or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Dartmouth bed and breakfast (a Dartmouth B&B or Dartmouth b and b)
- a Dartmouth guesthouse
- a Dartmouth hotel (or motel)
- a Dartmouth self-catering establishment, or
- other Dartmouth accommodation