Dartmouth is one of the most popular and picturesque tourist destinations in Devon, as it’s not only close to the sea, but it’s also situated on the River Dart. Its location on the river means it has historical importance and was the former home of the Royal Navy. It was also the sailing point for the Crusades in the 12th century.
Now a popular tourist destination set on the banks of the River Dart - with a tidal river running inland as far as Totnes and beyond. It lies in the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and South Hams District and has a small resident population of just 5,500 inhabitants.
The town’s main attractions are mainly laid out along the waterfront and it has a very long history dating back to the 1100s. The narrow mouth of the Dart river was protected from attack from the sea by two castles - Dartmouth and Kingswear. Dartmouth is the older of the castles having been built by John Hawley in 1388, while Kingswear was built between 1491 and 1502 as a coastal artillery tower for use with heavy cannon. Dartmouth is owned by English Heritage and is open to the public, where Kingswear Castle is in the possession of the Landmark Trust and is not generally accessible to everyone.
Nowadays, Dartmouth has a busy town centre with many attractions for tourists, including its shops, restaurants and galleries. Within a short distance from the town, you can visit two fortified castles, Kingswear and Dartmouth, the latter being open to the public. Also nearby are various beaches and areas of natural beauty, such as the coves along the coast and the expansive Dartmoor National Park.
Dartmouth is the location of many local events, such as the annual Dart Music Festival and the Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta. Whenever you visit, you will have the opportunity to get involved with a variety of activities organised by the friendly town community.