Looking across the River Dart in Dartmouth UK
Standing in Dartmouth UK, the view across the River Dart is gorgeous at sunset.

Is Dartmouth UK worth visiting?

A resounding yes from me! Here’s why you need to visit Dartmouth and my ideas for what to do in Dartmouth UK.

My husband and I love to visit small towns wherever we travel. On a recent trip to the UK, we found charming small towns we could have stayed in for weeks. Of course, we went to London – and loved every minute of it. But the small towns hold enchantment the big cities just can’t top.

One of our favorite small towns was Dartmouth, in the southwest corner of England, where the Dart River empties into the Atlantic. It is a medieval town with a castle, cobblestone streets, quaint inns and restaurants and the most gorgeous views of the water. Here are my favorite ideas for what to do in Dartmouth UK.

What to do in Dartmouth UK
Shops line the cobblestone streets of Dartmouth UK.

What to do in Dartmouth UK

The Dartmouth area is steeped in history, from its medieval castle fortress to Agatha Christie’s beloved home, Greenway House. Here are suggestions for what to do in Dartmouth UK.

Agatha Christie's Greenway House near Dartmouth UK
Agatha Christie’s Greenway House was fascinating, and the grounds were gorgeous.

Agatha Christie’s Greenway House

We’re fans of Agatha Christie, so the idea of a ferry ride to Greenway House, her cherished summer home, was at the top of our list of what to do in Dartmouth UK. Three of Christie’s famous books were inspired by the home and its setting, “Dead Man’s Folly,” “Five Little Pigs” and “Ordeal by Innocence.”

The ferry ride itself is amazing. We saw seals sunning themselves on piers as we cruised along the deep green waters of the Dart River. Lush greenery lined the hills on either side. When you get off the ferry, you walk up a steep winding pathway to get to the house (my calves were burning just a little!).

The pet cemetery at Agatha Christie's home near Dartmouth UK
My favorite part of Agatha Christie’s home was the pet cemetery, where her beloved pets were buried.

Inside you’ll find the house much as Christie left it, including her games and even cookbooks lined on the shelf. My favorite thing about the home was the beautiful courtyard where Christie and her family buried their beloved pets. The pet cemetery says so much about the kind of person Christie was and what this home meant to her.

The Ferry along the Dart River in Dartmouth UK
Taking the ferry allowed us to see the incredibly lush scenery and even seals basking in the autumn sun.

Dartmouth Castle: What to do in Dartmouth UK

Dartmouth Castle in Dartmouth uk
Dartmouth Castle at the mouth of the Dart River has protected the town of Dartmouth for centuries.

For more than 600 years, Dartmouth Castle has served as a fortress to protect the city of Dartmouth and the country of England. From the castle, the views of the ocean, the river and the charming town of Dartmouth are breathtaking.

Steep winding staircases take you through the solid rock castle, exploring what life would have been like hundreds of years ago and how the role the castle played in war and protection.

Dartmouth Castle
Steep stairs wind through the floors of the Dartmouth Castle in Dartmouth UK.

More ideas for what to do in Dartmouth UK:

  • Kingswear: Across the river from Dartmouth is Kingswear, another charming medieval city with winding streets to explore. The ferry takes you across the Dart River from Dartmouth to Kingswear.
  • Britannia Royal Naval College: Dartmouth has a long history of naval protection and warfare, so it’s no surprise it’s the home of the Britannia Royal Naval College. It’s the UK’s premier naval training academy and is also where Queen Elizabeth met Prince Phillip.
  • Dartmouth Steam Railway: Steam trains from the Dartmouth Steam Railway travel seven miles along the Devon coast and Dart River basin.
View of the Dart River at Dartmouth
The view of the city of Dartmouth and the Dart River at sunset is breathtaking.

Places to stay and eat in Dartmouth

If you’re looking for what to do in Dartmouth UK and you want to spend a night or two, you should definitely consider Bayards Cove Inn. This incredibly charming inn dates to 1360. The rooms are luxurious with fireplaces and plush beds, yet it still has the original timbered ceilings.

Bayards Cove Inn in Dartmouth UK
Bayer’s Cove Inn in Dartmouth UK dates to 1360 yet features modern luxuries.
Bayards Cove Inn in Dartmouth UK
Bayards Cove Inn was charming and welcoming with a wonderful restaurant and bar.

What to do in Dartmouth UK: Places to eat

The Bayards Cove Inn provided wonderful meals in its cozy stone dining room. We ate dinner there one night and ordered the Full English Breakfast every morning during our stay. It was all delicious. We also stopped by the Cherub Inn, which is the oldest pub in Dartmouth. We had to have a pie and a pint, and it was hardy pub fare. Other restaurants feature seafood and face the river.

Breakfast at Bayards Cove Inn in Dartmouth UK
The full English breakfast (vegetarian version) at the Bayards Cove Inn was spectacular.

More small-town travel

You can find more small-town travel ideas — in the U.S. and abroad — in the travel section of my blog.