Dartmouth for Families
Dartmouth – steeped in history, backed by luscious countryside. A place where modern eateries, galleries and boutiques dwell within historic buildings, and boats bob on the river as people stroll by and marvel at the quirkiness of this historic town.
Narrow Elizabethan streets and stone stairways tangle around medieval buildings creating an air of Old-Worlde meets new. The secluded coves around Dartmouth are perfect for lazy days spent building sand castles and skimming stones, devouring local cream teas and tasty ice cream. It’s easy to see why tourists flock to this part of South Devon, and if the local cuisine, quaint harbour and pretty beaches aren’t enough of a draw, then its quirky charisma certainly is.
Occupying an enviable position over this historic town is our luxury property Phoenix House, a stunning architectural home sleeping 10-12 people over 5 elegant bedrooms. The house encapsulates the essence of life in Dartmouth, right down to the materials used in the build: an amalgamation of oak, limestone and granite come together in a reflection of the natural materials sourced in the area. The layout and internal design ensures panoramic views over the River Dart from every room to take in the ever-changing scenery. The large social living space flows out to the garden which benefits from sun loungers, external dining table and a hot tub. Movie days here are like no other, with the Art Deco inspired mini cinema being the place to kick back. But the real spotlight has got to be on the incredible views which span over the River Dart, to the Naval College and across to Kingswear.
If it’s possible tear yourself away from the sumptuous dwelling that the owners of Phoenix House have created, the picturesque town and surrounding areas provide endless days of exploring and activities. We’ve cherry picked our top 5 things to do with families and groups when visiting this beautiful part of the South Hams.
Sugary Cove and Dartmouth Castle
Park at Dartmouth Castle and walk up the old castle steps. Take a leisurely stroll heading south and you’ll pass Sugary Green; a delightful picnic area looking out to sea. After a few minutes, you’ll reach Sugary Cove which is a lovely little beach hidden from the main throng of tourists and perfect for spending the day relaxing. On your way back to the car, stop off at the Castle Tea Rooms for local cream tea and homemade cake!
Crabbing on Dartmouth Harbour
Dangling lines and dipping toes into the salty water, Dartmouth Harbour is a great place to spend the day, and catching crabs adds to the excitement. A sense of nostalgia is granted to parents and grandparents, and for little ones the hopes of catching a ten-legged friend creates an excited commotion.
Round Robin Excursion Day
An award winning excursion where you’ll get to travel by boat, bus and steam train and see some of the prettiest towns in south Devon. The Round Robin is a brilliant trip arranged by the Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boat Company that will keep all ages thrilled as you cruise past stunning scenery, and with commentary provided, you’ll learn about the local area and heritage of Totnes, Paignton and the places you pass by.
Kayaking and Pleasure Boats on the River Dart
Setting off from Dartmouth Harbour, you have the choice of heading off in one of two directions – out towards the sea and past Dartmouth Castle to explore the smuggler’s coves and hidden beaches, or discover the pretty inlets and lagoons along the Dart estuary. If you want a slower pace, take a river cruise on a pleasure boat, and head upriver stopping off at Dittisham for some fresh seafood and sparkling champagne. If your lucky enough, you’ll spot seals which often play in the clean waters of the River Dart. Either way, you’ll have a fantastic time exploring this stunning part of south Devon. Guided trips can be booked with Sea Kayak Devon and Greenway Ferry & River Boat Cruises.
Dart Music Festival
Now in its 20th year, this three day long music festival offers sounds from almost every genre including rock, classical, jazz, orchestral, blues and folk – so even the most eclectic musical connoisseur will be thoroughly entertained. Performances take place all over the town, from the harbour, the park bandstand and outside Dartmouth Castle to pubs, hotels and even inside churches. The festival is free to attend ensuring that its motto – “Music for All” – lives on.
12th-14th May 2017.
Owner’s Top Picks
- Skimming stones on Warfleet Creek and taking a stroll to Dartmouth Tea Rooms for ice cream and coffee.
- Hire a pleasure craft for the day to travel up river to Dittisham for mouthwatering fresh seafood at the Anchorstone Café on the quayside .
- Learning about the collections and artefacts of Dartmouth Museum. This building was built approximately 1640 and was once a merchant’s house.
- Wandering around the charming shops throughout the town.
- Visit Greenway House and Garden which was once Agatha Christie’s place of residence and is now looked after by the National Trust.
- Enjoy traditional fish’n’chips on a bench along Bayard’s Cove looking across the water and over to Kingswear.
Stay in the beautiful Phoenix House, which enjoys panoramic views over the river, town and Britannia Royal Naval College. Sleeping up to 12 guests across 5 stunning bedrooms. From £1930 for a short break, or £2130 for 7 nights: www.perfectstays.co.uk/property/phoenix-house/