The charming town of Dartmouth, South Devon, is a great eyecatcher of a location for both holidays and a permanent residency. Nestled right among the mouth of the River Dart, Dartmouth is steeped in history, boasts a bustling culture, and has a wealth of unspoilt countryside – perfect for those who like the best of both worlds.
If you are thinking about making the move to this area of the world, then make sure to get in touch with the experts at Marchand Petit, who will offer their help and advice to make sure it is all smooth sailing.
The History of the Area
Dartmouth is home to a history that is rich and vibrant. While it is currently a thriving town filled with delectable eateries, galleries, stunning marinas and, of course, the River Dart, it was once a place of preparation and defence. The harbour has been used for centuries in different capacities and was formally a battleground for the Celts and Saxons who created settlements to protect the village from Viking attacks.
A little later, Dartmouth became a Britannia Royal Naval hub. Well known for the Britannia Royal Naval College, which is still thriving to this day, Dartmouth has been a place of Royal Navy Officer training since 1863. The River Dart served as a base for the training and was an integral part of the cadets.
Some famous names also made a home in Dartmouth, such as Thomas Newcomen, who designed and created the first ever steam engine. This innovation impressively powered over 2000 engines after originally being used to pump water out of coal mines! For those who are interested in steam engines, you can visit the oldest preserved steam engine in the world at the Dartmouth Visitor Centre.
What Can You Do in Dartmouth?
Dartmouth is undoubtedly a place that will make even the most active of residents feel at home. There are a plethora of activities such as sailing, fishing, and water sports that can be enjoyed on the River Dart. And those who like to stay firmly on land can enjoy watching exciting Regattas from a safe distance, dance away at the prestigious Dart Music Festival, take pleasure in a traditional steam train ride which will take you on a scenic route through South Devon’s beautiful countryside, or visit the stunning Dartmouth Castle.
The Dartmouth Castle is an impressive piece of history, located at the entrance to the Dart Estuary. Both a fantastic combination of historic architecture and the serene views of the estuary that stretch right out into the expanse of the vast sea. If you are feeling particularly brave, you can take a climb right up to the top of the battlement, which will offer you breathtaking views all across Dartmouth Town.
Feeling the sand in between your toes can be a simple pleasure in life, and luckily, Dartmouth is not too far from some of the UK’s best beaches. Choose from the soft, golden sands of Blackpool Sands or exciting rocky ground such as Sugary Cove Beach to relax or explore. There are many well-kept beaches which are just a short ten-minute drive away from the town centre.
If grass between the toes is more of your thing, then a trip to the Royal Avenue Gardens is a must. This beautiful park is covered with blooms, herbs, and exotic garden beds, and is the ideal place to enjoy an ice cream in the sun.
Food and Drink in Dartmouth
Dartmouth has an impressive selection of delicious cuisine to choose from and is a haven for those who love fresh seafood. If you are feeling peckish and are in the mood for some tasty light bites or a solid hearty lunch, look no further than The Royal Castle Hotel. Moules Frites, fresh fish and chips, and a selection of inspired deep filled sandwiches are just a few of the options you have to sample while basking in the gorgeous harbour views.
The ultimate fine dining experience can also be found in Dartmouth, especially in the notable Michelin starred The Angel – Taste of Devon. This restaurant offers outstanding quality food such as cured bream, crab risotto, beef short rib, or cornfed chicken, in a modern, stylish building that sits right next to the River Dart.
And, what is going to a seaside town without indulging in a cream tea? For those who have a sweet tooth, head over to The Singing Kettle, a sweet little black and white café that provides a wide variety of baked, sweet goods fresh out of the oven. The little touches such as serving tea in fine bone china in a building that has kept all of its character make the experience all the more special.
Insider tip: Modern European cuisine spot Andria has become one of Dartmouth’s most coveted dinner bookings and a Michelin Gourmand has done nothing to make getting a table any easier. But worry not – Andria founder Luca Berardino recently opened a second restaurant just around the corner – Rosa is already becoming a hot ticket and the Prix Fixe lunch is exceptionally good value.