Dartmouth Today

Dartmouth is situated within a designated area of outstanding natural beauty, approximately 34 miles from Exeter, 25 miles from Plymouth, 13 miles from Totnes and 3 miles from Brixham in Torbay.

To the North, the land rises to the granite heights of Dartmoor. To the East and South of the town, flows the River Dart, which is navigable 8 miles to Totnes.


Dartmouth Today


Looking south towards the mouth of the Dart. Kingswear is on the left hand side of the picture. You can just see Dartmouth Castle at the end of the headland on the right.

The climate is mild, being close to the southernmost point of the county.

Grapes flourish in the warm climate and are commercially grown in the area. The town is fiercely proud of its history and traditions and works very hard, as it has down the centuries, to welcome visitors and make them feel at home.

This isn't always easy as the care and conservation of the town has to be reconciled with the needs of tourism, business and industry.

A view of the South Embankment on a peaceful Sunday morning in autumn.

The population of Dartmouth showed little fluctuation between the 1971/91 census. The 1971 census indicated a population of 5,700: in 1981 it was 5,250 - a decrease of 8%. The census in 1991 showed the population increasing again to 5,650 – an increase of about 8%. Overall, then, between 1971 and 1991 there was a 1% decrease in population, but, in 1996, the estimated population of Dartmouth was 5,744. The 2001 census confirmed that there has been very little population growth in the market town area. The current figures (2004) show a total population of 5704 in the Dartmouth parish. There were 2,493 households in Dartmouth and of these: 65% were owner occupied, 13% privately rented while the remainder were either Housing Association or Local Authority.

The Cherub Restaurant and pub which can be traced back to the 14th century. It is a good example of an ancient building still being used for meeting and pleasure. The economy of Dartmouth is dependent upon a variety of sectors, the service industries, tourism, fishing and agriculture being the most dominant. Manufacturing and small industrial employment units are situated on the outskirts of the town, avoiding town centre congestion and having better access to both road and rail communications.

According to the 1991 census, there were 2,443 economically active members of the community. Of these: 1,233 were in full time employment, 437 in part time occupations and a significant 550 people were in self-employment.

Fairfax Place. Modern buildings! This block was built in 1880 after road widening and replaced houses which dated from the 16th century.

Dartmouth has an attractive, compact shopping centre. During the summer months the Park and Ride initiative (situated at Norton) provides an efficient and effective means of parking for shopping, sightseeing etc. while at the same time reducing town centre congestion. The town is served by two primary schools and a thriving Community College providing education for all.

History really is all around you in Dartmouth. You will find all sorts of things in odd corners, like this sign. The double yellow lines came later.

Dartmouth people are proud of their town and its traditions and work hard to preserve its character both for themselves and others to enjoy.

Page 3 of 3 pages  < 1 2 3