Famous for its annual Royal Regatta and the Britannia Royal Naval College, a yacht charter from Plymouth wouldn’t be complete without a visit to historical Dartmouth.
Local area and Approaches – DSE recommends…
The approach and entrance to Dartmouth is straight forward as everything is clearly buoyed and the water is deep. Your main concerns are the traffic, in particular, the ferries (lower and higher). They, of course, have priority due to their restricted ability to maneuver. The lower ferries operate just after the first right hand bend: you’ll see the small trots that belong to the yacht club. Be aware that 2 ferries operate here and the one which maybe loading on the Kingswear side is difficult to spot.
There is a single higher ferry which is a chain ferry. It is easy to spot and should be given a wide clearance – always go behind of course.
Of course, as always, we recommend you check the Almanac for details.
Moorings – DSE recommends…
Town moorings are on the left side of the river as you approach – they are short and usually crowded. We would advise using the deep water moorings further up the river on the right and use the excellent water taxi services.
Eating and Drinking – DSE recommends…
The Floating Bridge is a 5 minute walk from the town centre positioned near the higher ferry. It is a traditional pub with a roof terrace overlooking the River Dart. A lovely spot to enjoy a pint and watch the world go by. I fully recommend the beer-battered fish and chips!
Travel further up the river to the Ferry Boat Inn, Dittisham. A great location any time of year but obviously gets busy during the summer months. It is so refreshing to sit outside along the jetty with a pint. I love the way this pub attracts a mixture of locals and holiday-makers.
Directly opposite is The Anchorstone Café with its delicious, locally sourced food which can be enjoyed on it riverside terrace overlooking the Dart. It closes for the season from November, so don’t get caught out (like we did!) if you are sailing during the off-peak season. Another fabulous location.
Things to do – DSE recommends…
Book a tour of the Britannia Royal Naval College. The iconic building standing above the River Dart is a sight to admire and steeped in history. We have only visited on open days, but I am told that the private and public tours are well worth booking up.
Amble around the patchwork of narrow lanes and admire the Medieval and Elizabethan historic, listed buildings. Dartmouth Castle is a short, scenic stroll from the town centre.
Take a ride on the Dartmouth Steam Railway from Kingsbridge to Paignton. I love sitting on the yacht moored on the River Dart watching the steam train travelling alongside the river. The route it takes has got to be the most beautiful one I know of.
Dartmouth Royal Regatta is an annual event held at the end of August. With live music, an air display by the Red Arrows and spectacular fireworks, it is definitely worth a visit. However, the river is hectic at this particular time of year, making it potentially dangerous for inexperienced sailors. If we sail here during the regatta, we just moor up in Dartmouth and stay put for a few days! Sometimes, there is no choice when you are rafted 5 to a can! There is a fabulous atmosphere, so we just stay and enjoy it.