Photo of Dartmouth

About Dartmouth

Dartmouth in South Devon is best known as a naval town and it still houses Britain's largest Naval College. Nowadays it has become much more of a seaside escape for city dwellers: some have dubbed it "Knightsbridge by the sea" and certainly, in the height of summer, it is full of fancy yachts moored in the harbour and immaculately turned out lunching ladies. With such a discerning clientele it has ensured that the best places to stay in Dartmouth and the surrounding area just get better and better. There is a wide choice of properties for all budgets and plenty to satisfy most tastes from those who prefer their hotels traditional, to those who like something a bit more hip.

The influx of the smart holiday crowd has ensured that the town has not languished on its laurels either. There are now plenty of chic shops and boutiques, plus a great selection of upmarket restaurants and cafes. It also boasts a smart arts centre which puts on small theatrical productions, live music, films and much more including hosting the annual comedy festival. As for history buffs, there is much to get excited about too. Visit Dartmouth Castle, which dates back to the 14th century, pop into the Museum where you will find all you want to know about the town's past, and explore the Butterwalk, a street of 17th century houses with a gorgeous timber framed original arcade. Or simply jump on the steam train for a spot of nostalgia and a great day out.

Beach wise there are plenty of sandy spots for everyone. In Dartmouth itself, there is nothing beachy to speak of, but venture slightly further afield and you’ll discover the delights of Blackpool Sands, Bigbury on Sea, Thurlestone Beach and South Milton Sands to name but a few. If an active break is more your thing, then Dartmouth can tick pretty much all the boxes. A sailor’s paradise, there are fantastic walks too (get to know the South West Coast Path), plus sea or river kayaking, surfing and much more. Just don't forget to book well ahead, the best places to stay in Dartmouth are booked months in advance during the peak holiday season and school holidays.

What Not to miss

  • Go kayaking or sailing on the River Dart.
  • Visit the 15th century remains of Dartmouth Castle.
  • Visit Greenway, the holiday home of Agatha Christie.
  • Go for a stroll along the South West Coast Path.
  • Enjoy a Shakespeare performance at Dartmouth Castle in July.
  • Check out the Food Festival in October.
  • Be sure to check out Foss Street, which teems with boutiques, cute cafes and art galleries.

This quaint seaside town is perfect for a relaxing seaside holiday. Check out our collection of the best places to stay in Dartmouth to start planning your trip.

The best places to stay in Dartmouth

For a central location

  • The Royal Castle Hotel enjoys a plum location overlooking the town's harbour. Rooms are elegant and individually designed, and the Grill Room restaurant has been awarded one AA Rosette.
  • Bayards Cove Inn is a gorgeous period property right in the heart of town with just seven rooms (two of which can accommodate families). All are smartly decked out and boast period features. The bar and restaurant are a definite highlight - popular with locals and guests alike.

Charming B&Bs

  • Kaywana Hall is a modernist designer house situated above the river Dart. The owners have filled it with art and for the style conscious there is slate and glass everywhere. The three bedrooms each have their own front doors, private terraces, fluffy robes, iPod docking stations; in fact most of the accoutrements you would expect from a luxury hotel. On a sunny day you can simply kick back by the outdoor pool and imagine you’re in California.
  • Strete Barton House is another excellent B&B. A much more traditional proposition than Kaywana, but very special too. Think Egyptian cotton bed linen, super-comfy beds, stunning panoramic views across Start Bay and delicious breakfast.

Family friendly

  • A great family pick is the Dittisham Hideaway. It's a charming collection of treehouses, shepherd's huts and a vintage American airstream caravan set amid gorgeous countryside. The Treehouses are perfect for families as they can easily accommodate two adults and up to 3 children, and they've the added bonus of a spoiling outdoor wood-fired hot tub. Oh, and you can bring the dog too!

Riverside romance

  • The Dart Marina Hotel occupies a prime position overlooking Dartmouth's harbour, and it's the place to book if you're looking for a spot of luxury and pampering. There are 49 chic rooms, plus a luxury spa and an AA Rosette winning restaurant.

The Best Dog Friendly Hotels in Dartmouth

  • In Dartmouth we recommend the Royal Castle Hotel to anyone looking for a pet friendly Devon hotel. It’s in a fabulous spot overlooking the River Dart, it’s got 24 traditional style rooms with elegant antiques and chandeliers, and an atmospheric gastro pub/restaurant, which is also pet-friendly.

Prefer an apartment or cottage?

  • Our partner Booking.com has a wide range of cottages and apartments in the nearby area.

Travel information

  • The best time to go is during the summer when the temperature ranges between 13 and 20 degrees.
  • Fly to London, get a train to Totnes, from where you can get a bus to Dartmouth.
  • If you want to rent a car we recommed contacting our partner Rentalcars.

Still not sure?


Monthly Weather in Dartmouth

Best Hotels in Dartmouth

  • Dittisham Hideaway Treehouses & Shepherds Lodges Dartmouth from £195

    Exclusive offer  -  Book 3 Pay for 2 offer is valid until 22nd December
    Families  -  Kids love the treehouses (complete with games and hot tubs) and there's acres of space to mess around in
    Hideaway  -  The name says it all! Dittisham Hideaways is the one to book if you want to escape the crowds
    Self catering to rent  -  All units come with fully equipped kitchens or you can book a private chef!
    Back to Nature  -  Quirky accommodation in a wooded valley offers a truly back to nature vibe
    GardenPet friendlyViews

    A charming collection of shepherd's lodges, treehouses and an original American Airstream just five minutes from the River Dart. All offer quirky, unusual accommodation in a stunning location. Interiors are contemporary with a rustic vibe; treehouses come with hot tubs. Great fun for all the family. See More

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  • Strete Barton House nr Dartmouth, Devon 6 rooms from £105

    Views  -  Panoramic views across Start Bay from Start Point light-house to the mouth of the river Dart
    Sea Views  -  Beautiful views from the garden and terrace
    Great walks  -  Just off the south west coast path
    Restrictions on children  -  No children under 8 years

    This top-notch B&B is a 16th century cottage set in a picturesque village close to the beach. High standards of interior decor - contemporary with exotic touches. Sleigh beds and striking colour schemes. Relaxing and comfortable, with a beautiful garden and terrace overlooking the sea. See More

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  • Bayards Cove Inn Dartmouth (South Devon) 7 rooms from £115

    Great walks  -  Go for lovely walks on the nearby beaches such as Blackpool Sands.
    Sights nearby  -  Ten minutes walk from the magnificent Dartmouth Castle.
    Fishing  -  Sea fishing trips can be organised by the hotel.
    Restaurant  -  Recommended.

    Set a beautiful historic townhouse, Bayards Cove Inn is a classy establishment in Dartmouth. Its modus operandi is to do the simple things well and the hotel staff make good on this. Excellent restaurant, comfortable rooms and a beautiful setting overlooking the Dartmouth estuary all help of course. See More

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  • Dart Marina Hotel Dartmouth (South Devon) 49 rooms from £160

    Sailing  -  This hotel is places perfectly for sailing enthusiasts of all abilities.
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor heated pool with dedicated hours for family friendly swimming.
    Sights nearby  -  Dartmouth and Kingswear Castle are both nearby and a great day out!
    Spa  -  Offering a wide range of holistic and luxury treatments.
    SpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenPet friendlyDisabled accessViewsParking
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide

    This property, in Dartmouth's buzzing harbour has a luxury spa and an AA Rosette awarded restaurant. Chic rooms in pale palettes are bright with large windows overlooking the River Dart. There are also self-contained apartments. This property is perfectly located to explore Dartmoor. See More

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  • Kaywana Hall Dartmouth, Devon 4 rooms from £170

    Great walks  -  Down to the river Dart or through the valley
    Cooking classes  -  Next door at Manna from Devon
    Restrictions on children  -  Adults only
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    Swimming PoolGardenParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Sawdays

    Modern design, Californian style boutique B+B with a pool, close to the River Dart. Rooms have their own entrances and sit out terraces, so ideal if you don't want to be disturbed. See More

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  • Royal Castle Hotel Dartmouth (South Devon) 24 rooms from £180

    Local exploring  -  Perfectly placed in the heart of Dartmouth with many of its attractions within walking distance.
    Great walks  -  Find glorious walks in the surrounding countryside with trails suitable for gentle walks or more challenging hikes.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the imposing Dartmouth Castle, just a short stroll from the property.
    Sailing  -  Take a cruise along the river on a coal-fired paddle steamer.
    RestaurantPet friendlyViewsParking

    A traditional hotel boasting a fabulous location overlooking the River Dart and just steps from the castle. Elegant rooms are traditionally dressed with antique furniture, patterned wallpaper and chandeliers. An atmospheric fire lit restaurant specialises in grills. A charming stay. See More

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