Dartmouth

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About Dartmouth

Historic and picturesque, Dartmouth is an old naval town in a wonderful spot at the mouth of the River Dart. It’s still a working town, with Britain’s largest naval college and all sorts of boating activity going on, but it’s pleasantly stuck in a time warp of steam trains, chintzy cafes, and pretty flower boxes, which are all to please the town’s numerous visitors. The fancy yachts in the harbour yield up immaculately dressed luncheon guests, and you can expect ice creams in all sorts of dairy-free configurations, as well as a myriad of flavours and colours. The best places to stay in Dartmouth are as varied as the visitors ranging from postcard-perfect stone cottage B&Bs, to top of the range spa hotels.

Dartmouth’s smart holiday crowds ensure the pretty cobbled streets are lined with interesting shops, and the market place is regularly stocked with local produce — including local wines, gins and ales. The town also has a number of very nice restaurants and a small arts centre. It’s also ideal for a family holiday. There’s a beautiful sandy beach, Blackpool Sands, just a short drive along the coastline; the wonderful Dartmouth Steam Railway; the atmospheric ruins of Dartmouth Castle and fort; the Naval College Museum; the boat trips and ferries; and a number of National Trust properties, including Agatha Christie’s house, Greenway, at Brixham.

The best places to stay in Dartmouth may also make a great base if you’re exploring further afield. As well as Blackpool Sands there are beaches at Bigbury on Sea, Thurlestone Beach and South Milton Sands, and easy access to the South Coast Path for lovely walking. It's heaven for sailors here, but there’s plenty for kayakers and surfers too.

The Best Places to Stay in Dartmouth

For Waterviews

  • The Dart Marina Hotel is right on Dartmouth’s buzzing river harbour, with great views of the water and all the comings and goings on it. As well as the rooms in the hotel there are self-catering apartments, which are ideal for families, and there are designated family-friendly hours in the excellent pool. The spa menu is impressive, and there’s a sauna and steam room.
  • The Royal Castle Hotel enjoys a plum location overlooking the harbour, across the boats and ferries to Kingswear. This is a charmingly traditional hotel, with 24 rooms and suites decorated with antique furniture, chandeliers, and patterned fabrics and wallpapers. The pub is warm and welcoming, the cafe cheerful, and The Grill Room restaurant boasts an AA Rosette.

For Families

  • The Dittisham Hideaway Treehouses and Shepherd’s Lodges is a magical collection of unusual accommodation options in a quiet, leafy spot just five minutes from the River Dart. All in all there are five treehouses, five Shepherd’s lodges, and an original Airstream caravan. Each has been well thought out, with the right blend of comfort and luxury — as well as wood-burning stoves, some of the treehouses have outdoor wood fired hot tubs. All have an outdoor deck with a hammock, plus a collection of games and other entertainments. Some of the treehouses and shepherd’s lodges are dog friendly.
  • Small and historic, with Tudor beams inside and out, Bayards Cove Inn is a great pick for families who want to stay in Dartmouth proper. Two of the seven rooms are set up for families, with plenty of space and beds for four. The hotel also does a great turn at a children’s menu in its restaurant and cafe, and they’ve a good collection of toys and games to share.

Best B&Bs

  • Kaywana Hall is a modernist, architect-designed house built above the river Dart. 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.

Prefer a Private Apartment or Cottage?

  • If you'd prefer the privacy of a self-catering option then browse through the wide variety available online with our partner, Booking.com.

Travel Information

  • If you’re trying to get to Dartmouth via plane the closest airport is Bristol Airport, which is about two hours away by car or taxi, or about three hours by public transport. If you’re travelling via London by train the trains depart from Paddington, then it’s a two and three quarter hour journey to Totnes. Dartmouth’s beautiful old station is just for the steam trains these days!
  • If you want to hire a car we recommend you visit our online partner, Rentalcars.
  • Dartmouth, like the rest of Devon, is busiest in the spring and summer months, when people are more inclined to feel drawn towards the coastline. But there’s plenty to do in Dartmouth year round, with the steam railway running through the school holidays, and the numerous National Trust properties. Whenever you plan to visit there’s a decent chance you’ll see some rain — with more wet days in autumn and winter — so it’s definitely worth packing your waterproof gear, even if you’re visiting in the height of summer. The Dartmouth Royal Regatta takes place over three days at the end of August, and that’s when the town is at its busiest.

Still not sure where to stay?

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Best Hotels in Dartmouth

  • Dittisham Hideaway Treehouses & Shepherds Lodges Dartmouth from $250

    Exclusive offer  -  Foodie weekends in June
    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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  • Bayards Cove Inn Dartmouth 7 rooms from $186

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

    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 49 rooms from $205

    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 $218

    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 (Devon) 24 rooms from $231

    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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