Pilchard Inn (Burgh Island)
Built in 1336, The Pilchard Inn has been quenching the inhabitants of Devon’s thirst for over 700 years. First serving fishermen who lived on the island and surrounding mainland shores, then smugglers and wreckers who lured ships onto the western rocks, and now hotel guests and the public.
The Anchorstone Café
The Anchorstone Café is one of the South Hams’ few true river-side cafés, situated on the bank of the River Dart in the beautiful village of Dittisham. The Anchorstone Café offers a fantastic local menu, including seafood and great wines. Boasting an amazing panoramic view across the River Dart from our outside terrace or inside restaurant, we are open throughout the summer season and specialise in delicious seafood lunches – crab, lobster, mussels and oysters.
South Devon chilli farm
A good alternative to the usual Garden Centre mass offering. The South Devon Chilli Farm is set in the wonderful South Hams district of South Devon with stunning countryside views. They grow around 200 types of chilli.They have a farm shop and café open daily, all year round. The shop sells the sauces, preserves and chocolates that we produce from the chillies we grow on the farm; all are available for sampling, daily and make great gifts.
This independent cinema is unique. Totnes Cinema embraces the character and colour of this unique town, offering a cultural, educational, and entertaining experience in the heart of Totnes. Built around 1880, 27a High Street used to be the town’s Temperance Hall. It first became a cinema in 1946 when it was used by a travelling cinema for Thursday night screenings. Today, you access it through a small alleyway between two shops on the Totnes high street into what will seem like another world. (The Harry Potter vibes are strong here…) Then you can relax on the comfy leather sofas with drinks from the bar while you enjoy the movie and reflect on a day well spent in beautiful Devon.
Bayard’s Cove Fort
On a rocky terrace at a narrow point in the Dart there is a 16th-century artillery blockhouse protecting the entrance to the harbour.
Bayard’s Cove Fort was begun some time during the early years of Henry VIII’s reign to prepare for an attack from France or Spain.
This was intended as a last line of defence against any ships that had got past the Dartmouth and Kingswear Castles further down the estuary.
After hundreds of years of decline the fort found a new defensive role as a machine gun post in the Second World War.
When we wrote this article in 2018 English Heritage was conducting conservation work.
Once this is complete, you’ll be able to put yourself in the shoes of a Tudor soldier, peering through the 11 gun ports and picking up titbits about the fort’s architecture and firepower.
The upper floor of Dartmouth Parish Church
Though most churches in Devon are free to visit (with the exception of particularly prominent ecclesiastical buildings such as Exeter Cathedral), what’s unique about the Parish church of Dartmouth is that you can actually head up the wooden steps and explore the church’s top floor!
Dartmouth Old Barometer, Holset House
If you’re looking for a quirky piece of history which is to be found quite literally on the side of the street, then the Old Barometer in the town centre is it. Tucked away in a little corner and unnoticed by many visitors walking past, the Dartmouth Old Barometer is fixed to the North wall of Holset House. The weather meter was presented to the mariners of Dartmouth in 1860 and still looks as good as new on the side of the historic building!
Royal Avenue Gardens, Dartmouth
A place to take in the full splendour of the Dart and its high banks, Royal Avenue Gardens sits on reclaimed land.
This had been a sandbank until a wall was built on the riverside to give extra space for the port’s ships to moor.
Because of the sandy ground the area was never used for construction and became somewhere to hold public events, eventually becoming a true park when it was landscaped in 1887. Queen Victoria had landed at this spot when she came to Dartmouth 1856, which explains the royal name.
The newly reconfigured borders and flowerbeds are very pretty in summer, and due to Devon’s mild climate the Antipodean garden, Japanese garden and Mediterranean garden have exotic species like olive trees, gingko, palms and New Zealand ferns.
Dartmouth Community Bookshop
If you’re already a fan of independent shopping, then you need to look no further than the Dartmouth Community Bookshop, which even has links to A.A. Milne and Winnie the Pooh! You see, the Dartmouth Community Bookshop was founded as a a not-for-profit community benefit society following the closure of the Harbour Bookshop in 2011.
Previously on-site, the Harbour Bookshop was run by Christopher Milne (son of A.A. Milne) together with his wife after they left their lives behind in London in search of a more tranquil life by the sea. Today, the Community Bookshop sells everything from memoirs to children’s literature to non-fiction tomes. The shop also sells greeting cards and CDs, as well as a small selection of other things for sale.
One of the most prominent places to see in Dartmouth is Dartmouth Castle. It actually is more a fort than a castle and was used as an outlook and a defence post. It dates back to the late 14th century and was extended a century later.
Nowadays, it is a museum and its prominent St Lawrence Tower has been repurposed as a café. A few of the outer walls are still standing.
There is a local ferry operating from Dartmouth Harbour between April and October. (There are no buses.) One-way costs 2.50 GBP and there is no schedule. It sets out when there’s someone wanting to hop on.
If you have a keen eye (actually, it’s not that hard to spot), you may spot a little mermaid on the rocks near Dartmouth Castle. That’s Miranda and she was created in the image of the lady who owned the house where she’s sitting. She wanted to be remembered. That’s a pretty cool way to do it, if you ask me.