In and Around Dartmouth

A stroll around Dartmouth

Our naval town is steeped in history with an intricate web of narrow lanes, cobbled streets, steps,  corridors and winding paths to explore, and a deep water harbour that.

Keep your eyes peeled for blue and other commemorative plaques. The history in Dartmouth leaves you breathless — it seeps out of every brick, every alcove, from every street corner.

And remember as you leave Dartmouth, that the cobbles on the quay are from 1665, the Onedin Line was filmed here in the seventies, and somewhere in the town there is a mermaid called Miranda.

Bayards Cove Fort

Turn out of our front door, turn right, and walk along the harbour wall to the fort.

It dates back to the times of Henry VIII. Take a moment.  Stop and stare out to sea, and imagine days gone by, when the town was protected by heavy cannons (there is still a Crimean cannon to be found). Think of the thousands of ships that have sailed out of the harbour, and what they achieved, and those that were lost.

There are buildings in Dartmouth where the previous Prince of Wales entertained the infamous Lily Langtree; where bank notes were once printed, pottery made, beer brewed, and even where the second and third Crusades sailed from in the 12th Century.

St. Petrox Church

After a trip to Dartmouth Castle, stop a while to remember the fallen in St Petrox Church, which sits at the mouth of the river. This is the oldest of the three parish churches dating back to 1192. It’s a beautiful place, and so poignant too. Then jump on the ferry for the trip back to town.

The Dartmouth Newcomen Engine

The engine is the oldest preserved working steam engine in the world, built in around 1720 and used to pump out the Griff Colliery in Staffordshire. It can be seen in full working order at the Dartmouth Visitor Centre.

Britannia Royal Naval College

This tour is an absolute must! Lasting just over two hours, you’ll be given lots of fascinating facts and stories about the college and Royal Navy history allowing you to appreciate the rich history, role and relevance of the building and the naval training conducted here today. Public tours start from a convenient pick-up point in Dartmouth.

Dartmouth Museum

Dartmouth Museum is small and fascinating, offering an insight into Dartmouth’s intriguing history. Housed in the historic Butterwalk building, the collections are wide ranging with everything from the maritime history of Dartmouth, to its physical development throughout the years. Learn about the three famous sons of Dartmouth, Thomas Newcomen, William Henley and Theodore Veale.

Markets in Dartmouth

Dartmouth’s markets are perfect for finding unique products and gifts. Every Tuesday and Friday morning, market days are held in the Old Market Square where the Artisan Market is held every fourth Saturday of the month.

For the sake of art

Dartmouth and art go hand in hand with work by local and nationally acclaimed artists providing flashes of colour and inspiration that make you want to rush back and redecorate your home to accommodate your chosen piece.

From Dartmouth seascapes to sculptures of hares and scenes of Dartmoor in her many moods to Yvonne Coomber’s spectacular paintings that explore the beauty of meadows, there’s something for every taste.

A trip to Dartmouth wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the gallery of Simon Drew. With his idiosyncratic view of the world, this is a must for the list and the briefest of visits will have you guffawing in mirth.

Lower Ferry

You can’t come to Dartmouth and not take a ferry across to Kingswear. It’s all part of the holiday experience, and you’ll see a beautiful view of Dartmouth from the middle of the river. Once in Kingswear, take a walk to the stunning landmark known as the Daymark. The hollow, octagonal tower is built of limestone and rises to 80ft (24m) on tall arched legs. It was built as a guide for mariners to show them the position of the harbour entrance.

Dartmouth Walks

Whatever the time of year, Dartmouth is a wonderful place to explore, uncovering some of its secrets and the pleasures it has to offer — and there are many.

If you love the great outdoors, and you have little ones on board, follow The Dartmouth Town Trail. It’s a perfect walk, about 1.2 miles, to take either before or after brunch or lunch — with us here at Bayards Cove Inn of course.

Follow the adventures of pirates and merchants, kings and fisherman through the historical routes of Dartmouth. Its great for kids, and for adults too!

If you want to make more of a trek of it, you can pull on your hiking boots and walk the South West Coast Path, which will take you to some beautiful sea vistas and amazing Devon scenery. Our favourite starts at Little Dartmouth and takes in Dartmouth Castle, Warfleet Cove and Gallants Bower.

Further Afield

Coleton Fishacre

One of the Westcountry’s best kept secrets, this fantastic National Trust-owned arts and crafts art deco house sits perfectly in its beautiful gardens with its network of pathways leading through the woods and down to the sea.


The National Trust’s Greenway, the former holiday home of Agatha Christie, is described as the loveliest places in the world, its award winning gardens are renowned, there’s a shop filled with gift ideas for Christmas and delicious food is served in the barn café or Tack Room. The ferry service from Dartmouth is available until the end of October. You can reach Greenway by car, ferry, steam train, on the river, or on foot.

Woodlands Family Theme Park

One of the largest family theme park in the South West, just outside Dartmouth, Woodlands offers the best variety of family rides and attractions in the most beautiful setting. There are 11 play – 8 – zones set in 100 acres including a huge indoor venture centre with mega rides, slides and play equipment.