Dartmouth

Dartmouth is a wonderful historic town located in the South Hams region of Devon. With a well deserved reputation as the jewel in Devon's crown Dartmouth is a great place to use as base to explore the beautiful Dart Valley and the surrounding South Hams area. And, there is no better place to stay for luxury self catering holiday apartments than our Dart Marina house right by the Dart Ferry.

The South Hams is an area blessed with a mild climate, protected to the north by the rugged high ground of Dartmoor. It offers holiday makers and visitors a rich diversity of beautiful countryside, woodland, river scenery, seascapes, beaches and picturesque Devon villages.

The town of Dartmouth is one of Devon's finest attractions. Holiday visitors and locals delight in strolling along the main embankment that runs through the town from New Quay towards Bayard's Cove and around the narrow streets. The buildings and atmosphere of Dartmouth reflects the town's long and proud history.

Buildings

One of Dartmouth's most admired buildings is the 17th-century Butterwalk with its impressive restored timber-framed facade. The Butterwalk arcade was built in 1635-40 and forms an impressive facade.

Another favourite Dartmouth location is Bayard's Cove which looks much the same as it did in the 16th Century and has been a point of departure from the ancient harbour for hundreds of years. The cobbled Bayards Cove demonstrates just how a cobbled River Bank Quay used to look. At the southern end of Bayard's Cove is a small fortification. The Pilgrim Fathers, put into Dartmouth's Bayard's Cove, en-route from Southampton to the New World. The pilgrims rested for a time and then set off on their epic journey in the ships - The Mayflower and The Speedwell, on the 20 August 1620.

Dartmouth's oldest building is The Cherub Pub. Built around 1380 The Cherub is in Higher Street. Along with Agincourt House at Lower Ferry, the pub is a fine example of 14th century buildings that have survived in the town.

At the entrance to the River Dart and about a mile out of town is Dartmouth Castle. Built in 1481 this famous Devon landmark is a fortress constructed especially for artillery and for six centuries protected Dartmouth and its wealthy merchants from marauders. Along with Kingswear Castle, on the opposite bank of the river the Castle has maintained a guard at the mouth of the River Dart for centuries and afforded this deep water anchorage with even greater protection by having a heavy chain strung between the two castles in times of war - protecting the ships at anchor and the homes and warehouses of Dartmouth's merchant community.

Further along the River Dart and dominating the skyline is the Britannia Royal Naval College. Built in 1905 it is the training establishment for Royal Navy officers.

Waterside

Dartmouth is set in a picture book location, on the picturesque River Dart, with steep wooded hillsides on either side. Dartmouth's main Embankment runs along the length of the town, from the New Quay - built on reclaimed land towards the historic Bayard's Cove. The Embankment provides holiday visitors with a pleasant and relaxing promenade to stroll down - admiring the sights of the busy Dart estuary or to select from the many boat trips that depart from the quay for a riverboat ride to the ancient Devon port of Totnes.

For years Dartmouth has had a reputation with seafarers as a safe, deepwater port. And, arguably approaching the town from the sea is still the best way of experiencing the many vistas along the River Dart.

Over the years, sailors have set out all over the world from this ancient harbour. The Norman's used Dartmouth as a trading port with their homeland across the English Channel - and the Crusaders, led by Richard the Lionheart, set sail from Dartmouth. Both the second and Third crusades assembled and departed from Dartmouth's riverside quays.

Today passenger ferries leave and disembark from Dartmouth's quay over to Kingswear. The Higher Ferry which is located by Dart Marina carries cars and passengers wishing to avoid Kingswear whilst the Lower Ferry carries cars and passengers straight to the village.

Shops

Dartmouth has maintained its charm and historic character and retains the appealing feeling of a small attractive Devon town. Dartmouth's narrow streets and quaint buildings provide a wonderful backdrop for the many bistros, restaurants, art galleries, boutiques and specialist shops in the town. The many historic buildings house a variety of businesses combining familiar high street names with local independent outlets.

Independent shops within Dartmouth include: Wine Merchants, Delicatessens, Chandlers, Bookshops, Kitchen shops. Major retailers include: Marks and Spencers (Food), Boots and Sainsbury.

Dartmouth also has a market every Tuesday and Friday and there is Farmers' Market which takes place second Saturday of the month at The Old Market between 9am - 1pm.

Dart marina apartments for luxury self catering holidays in Dartmouth