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Overview

The coast of Devon is dotted with historic naval ports, but Dartmouth has weathered the centuries better than most. The old parts of town look much the same today as they did when the Pilgrim Fathers stopped here in 1620 en route to America. Straddling the mouth of the river Dart, the city has a seafaring pedigree dating back to the time of the Crusades. Fleets of warships gathered offshore throughout the medieval period, before setting sail for the battlefields of Europe. Dartmouth also grew rich from the proceeds of piracy - at one time, even the town mayor was a pirate in the service of the king of England. Things are a bit more civilized ...

The coast of Devon is dotted with historic naval ports, but Dartmouth has weathered the centuries better than most. The old parts of town look much the same today as they did when the Pilgrim Fathers stopped here in 1620 en route to America. Straddling the mouth of the river Dart, the city has a seafaring pedigree dating back to the time of the Crusades. Fleets of warships gathered offshore throughout the medieval period, before setting sail for the battlefields of Europe. Dartmouth also grew rich from the proceeds of piracy - at one time, even the town mayor was a pirate in the service of the king of England. Things are a bit more civilized today; modern Dartmouth is a popular tourist town, with a famous naval college and a postcard-perfect fishing wharf at Bayard's Cove. But this is the seaside with a classy edge - the streets are dotted with gourmet eateries and chic boutiques. Topping the list of attractions is Dartmouth Castle, but be sure to take a stroll along the Butterwalk, constructed using timbers from captured enemy ships.

Joe Bindloss
About the Expert

Joe Bindloss has written more than 30 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, Time Out and other publishers, with a focus on Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and island nations.

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Joe Bindloss for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Dartmouth is a port town in the county of Devon, in South west England.
  • Language: English
  • Currency: Pound Sterling
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    April to October offer the best weather; winters bring dramatic skies and stormy seas.