A local’s guide to Dartmouth holiday cottages

A local’s guide to Dartmouth

Dartmouth is a traditional seaside resort in South Devon situated on the banks of the River Dart. Found close to the estuary, as the river meets the sea after snaking down from its source on Dartmoor, the River Dart is a focal point for the town where visitors and locals enjoy water sports, sailing, fishing and swimming. There are some impressive beaches close by and lots of appealing visitor attractions to discover on your holiday to the Dartmouth and surrounding area of Devon too.

About the town:

Dartmouth town

Discover Dartmouth’s narrow Elizabethan-era streets, where you’ll encounter its busy markets, galleries and a good mixture of independent and handy shops and takeaways. Some of Devon’s best cafes and restaurants, many of which specialise in fresh, landed fish and shellfish are found in the town centre and outlying area. With some great festivals and events, exhibitions and markets taking place throughout the year there is always something going on in this popular and lively Devon harbour town. Dartmouth is also home to an interesting castle which is a popular draw for visitors so be sure to spend an afternoon exploring its secrets.

The beaches:

Dartmouth beaches

Dartmouth is close to no less than 10 excellent beaches, each one different from the last, whether you like sea kayaking, swimming, rockpooling, sunbathing, building sandcastles or enjoying leisurely coastal walks. There are two lovely cove beaches within short walking distance of the town centre: Castle Cove and Sugary Cove. Both beaches are near to the classic Dartmouth Castle with stunning views of the estuary. These coves are the perfect place to enjoy some well-earned relaxation or dine on a light lunch at Castle Tea Rooms. There are many dog-friendly beaches in Dartmouth; however, a couple of beaches do have restrictions during the summer. 

Just 4 miles from the town, the stunning Dartmouth beach of Blackpool Sands, is one of the UK’s most beautiful, sun worshippers and sandcastle builders should spend at least one fine weather day of your stay here. Perfect for families, this beach offers sports equipment for hire, lifeguard cover during the summer and a café.

The accommodation:

Dart Marina Hotel & Spa

This luxury hotel and spa is situated at the centre of Dartmouth; offering guests a choice of river view rooms or apartments. The on-site restaurant, The River Restaurant, is well-loved in the area for its relaxed atmosphere and fine food. Enhance your stay with time in the Elemis Health Spa, where you can embark on a course of heavenly treatments. Pure bliss. Read more…

Woodlands Grove Caravan & Camping Park

Woodlands Grove Caravan & Camping Park

Based at the 100-acre Woodlands Family Theme Park, this holiday resort is a superb choice for growing families to stay at. With entrance to the park included for all guests, Woodlands Grove is great value; the park offers fantastic facilities including a clubhouse, shop, laundrette, takeaways and more. There is also a mini zoo and farm as well as a falconry centre which are big hits with children. There’s so much for your family to enjoy and get involved with at Woodlands Grove. Read more…

We also have a range of holiday accommodation in Dartmouth and across the wider area of South Devon. Visit our collection to find out more. 

The food and drink:

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If you love good food, Dartmouth has a great reputation for seafood restaurants, fine dining establishments, and takeaways. Often with great views of the sea or the river, there is a wide choice of eateries to suit all tastes and budgets.

The Grill Room at the Royal Castle Hotel is a light and modern first-floor restaurant that serves delicious dishes made from locally sourced produce, specialising in seafood and steaks. At another Dartmouth favourite, The Station Restaurant, guests can expect good food at reasonable prices and a pleasant family atmosphere. One of the area’s most respected fine dining restaurants is The River Restaurant situated at the elegant Dart Marina. The menu is for serious diners, full of culinary wonders concocted to give everyone an experience to remember.

If you want to find out more, check out our Devon Food and Drink guide and find out more about some of the best eateries in the county!

The history:

Dartmouth Castle

Dartmouth has been populated for thousands of years because of its natural, deep water harbour. The 15th century Dartmouth Castle is, without doubt, one of the town’s most striking landmarks. The location of this imposing fortress is truly spectacular, overlooking the River Dart estuary as it narrows before reaching the town. Climb up to the dramatic gun tower to enjoy great views. There is also the Britannia Naval College at the top of the town, which makes quite an impression. Head to Slapton Sands, a stretch of lovely sandy beach and a superb spot for windsurfing, fishing and sailing. Slapton Beach was the location of the 1944 Exercise Tiger, a historically revered practice run for D-Day. Slapton Ley Nature Reserve lies behind the beach and is a great place for wild walks and birdwatching.

The sights:

Dartmouth evenings

The Dartmouth Steam Railway is heaven for vintage train enthusiasts. Climb aboard a steam train as it meanders along the 7-mile route that cuts through some of the most beautiful Devonshire scenery. The attractive fishing village of Brixham is well worth a look too for its busy harbour, nature reserve, beaches, seafood restaurants and associations with the famous author, Agatha Christie. A little further afield is Dartmoor, a wild and windswept land where you can hike, wildlife-watch and enjoy some of the region’s most panoramic landscapes. Don’t miss the English Riviera, and head to Torquay, Paignton and beyond to get an even bolder South Devon experience. Dartmouth also has a tourist information centre that can provide you with up-to-the-minute information about local events and opening times of visitor attractions in the area.

The shopping:

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Dartmouth’s main shopping area centres around the Market Square and Foss Street. The town is a brilliant place to buy mementoes or gifts for your family and friends. There are bespoke gift emporiums, galleries and many handy stores for restocking your food and drink. There is also an artisan’s market on the fourth Saturday of every month. Head to Torquay for a wide range of High Street favourites and out of town shopping centres if you would like a serious shopping trip by the sea.

With spectacular rural retreats and barn conversions on farmland with a fine choice of beautiful walks and quality eateries, our holiday cottages offer the chance to enjoy everything Dartmouth and the wider Dartmoor area have to offer. 

Whether you’re a couple with a four-legged friend or a larger group or family, we have self-catering accommodation to suit everyone’s needs. Browse our collection today to feel inspired.

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