Dartmouth is a town immersed in maritime history, with evidence all around: from the remains of the early 16th Century Bayard's Cove Fort to Dartmouth Castle perched precariously, protecting the town at the mouth of the River Dart. Its link to the salty water is still as clear as ever, with the grand Britannia Royal Naval College looming high above the town, continuing to act as home to the next generation of officers.
Theres a real buzz all year round in Dartmouth, with its plethora of independent shops, cafes and galleries plus events including the regatta, crab festival and Candlelit Dartmouth meaning theres never any shortage of entertainment. Simply exploring the Elizabethan streets is a real delight, but do make sure you look up occasionally to admire the intricate carvings adorning many of the buildings.
For those with children, crabbing is a popular pastime on the quayside, and from here you can take ferries out around the coast or up the River Dart. We love visiting Dartmouth Castle, Greenway (which once belonged to the famous author, Agatha Christie) and the eccentric nearby town of Totnes.
Looking across to the opposite bank of the river is the attractive village of Kingswear. You can catch the steam railway from here for some good old fashioned fun; the perfect way to enjoy the surrounding coast and countryside. You might also enjoy walking the footpaths on either side of the river which join up with the famous South West Coast Path.
There's certainly plenty to keep anyone busy in delightful Dartmouth, but for those wanting a break at the beach, it's only a short drive to the family friendly Blackpool Sands, or dog friendly Strete Gate beach, where you can find plenty of space to have a splash about.