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Home | Recommendations and Tips | Easy day trips from Dartmouth in Devon

Easy day trips from Dartmouth in Devon

You’ll not be short of things to do in Dartmouth during your Devon cottage holiday, but if you do fancy venturing further afield then we have some top suggestions for you. Here are some easy day trips from Dartmouth and how to do them.

We’ve included how long it will take by car and alternative transport, plus we’ve given you some suggested routes to make for the easiest journeys.

Why not also take a look at our favourite things to do in Dartmouth while you’re here?

Paignton and Torquay

Things to do

Paignton and neighbouring Torquay are South Devon’s traditional seaside towns. Plan a beach day and visit Paignton Pier. Or for a really wild day say hello to the residents of Paignton Zoo.

If you want to make the most of the sea views go for a ride on The English Riviera Wheel. If history is more your thing then head to Kents Cavern or the Bygones museum. For a relaxing country walk Cockington Village and Country Park will not disappoint.

How to get to Paignton from Dartmouth

Drive time: 50 minutes (including Dartmouth Higher Ferry)

Alternative transport: take the passenger ferry from The Embankment to Kingswear and catch the Dartmouth Steam Railway to Paignton. Allow up to an hour for your journey.

If you are using public transport you will need to catch a connecting bus between Paignton and Torquay.

Top tip: if you are going to use the Higher or Lower Ferries more than a few times during your stay in Dartmouth purchase a multi-trip card and make savings. For example, on the Higher Ferry, multi-trip card prices start at £23 for 10 crossings in a car, compared to £11.50 for a day return ticket (prices correct summer 2019).

Check prices for Dartmouth Higher Ferry 

Check prices for Dartmouth Lower Ferry.


Things to do

Devon’s ocean city is home to the UK’s largest aquarium – The National Marine Aquarium – the iconic Smeaton’s Tower on Plymouth Hoe, and the Drakes Circus shopping centre with all the big high street names.

Along The Hoe, The Barbican and in Royal William Yard you’ll find plenty of bars and cafes where you can stop and take in the views. This is also where you’ll find all-year-round events including Pirates Week in May, The British Firework Championships in August, and the Seafood Festival in September. Find out what’s on in Plymouth when you visit. Plymouth is also a focal point for Mayflower 400 commemorative events in 2019 and 2020.

Find out what’s happening for Mayflower 400 in Dartmouth.

How to get to Plymouth from Dartmouth

Drive time: 1 hour

Alternative transport: catch the bus to Totnes and the train to Plymouth or the bus to Plymouth (connection at Kingsbridge). Allow 2.5 hours each way.


Things to do in Exeter

Explore Devon’s history and art at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM) and be amazed by the beauty of the medieval Exeter Cathedral. Go paddling in canoes on the River Exe, which runs though the city, or if you are looking for something more thrilling visit Crealy Theme Park & Resort.

Exeter is also a great place for a spot of retail therapy with two shopping centres and plenty of boutique stores in the medieval city side streets.

How to get to Exeter from Dartmouth

Drive time: 1 hour

Alternative transport: catch the bus to Totnes and then the train to Exeter, or the bus to Exeter (connection at Totnes). Allow two hours each way.


Things to do

Dartmouth is the largest area of open countryside in southern England with tors to conquer and beautiful places to explore. Head to the Dartmoor National Park Visitor Centre in Princetown to find out about the history of Dartmoor and the various ways to explore it on foot, by bike or even on horse back.

To see more of the natural and man-made beauty of Dartmoor go for a walk at Becky Falls or Canonteign Falls.

Top places to visit for history lovers include Buckland Abbey, which was once home to Sir Francis Drake, and the Benedictine monastery of Buckfast Abbey. Families should add River Dart Country Park,Pennywell Farm, and Dartmoor Zoo to their holiday bucket list.

How to get to Dartmoor from Dartmouth

Drive time: 1 hour to Princetown

We’d recommend driving to Dartmoor to make there most of your visit.


Things to do

Totnes is South Devon’s bohemian capital with hippy shops, artisan eateries and eclectic markets nestled between the picturesque River Dart and a Norman moat and bailey castle.

Visit Totnes Rare Breeds Farm, take a boat ride down the River Dart to Agatha Christie’s Greenway, and visit the China Blue pottery painting workshop.

If you enjoy stream train rides then South Devon Railway runs along the old GWR branch line from Totnes to Buckfastleigh. The route through the Dart Valley is incredibly pretty and at the other end you can explore Buckfast Butterfly Farm and Dartmoor Otter Sanctuary.

Here’s some more ideas for things to do in Totnes.

How to get to Totnes from Dartmouth

Drive time: 25 minutes

Alternative transport: catch the bus to Totnes. Allow 45 minutes each way.

Dartmouth buses

Plan your bus journeys from Dartmouth on the Stage Coach website.

Trains from Totnes

Plan your train journeys on the National Rail website.

Where to stay in Dartmouth

If we’ve persuaded you what a brilliant UK staycation destination Dartmouth is then let us make some recommendations on places to stay too.

Get in touch with us to chat through our holiday cottages in South Devon, from dog-friendly holiday homes to cottages for larger families, and Dartmouth accommodation with parking. Or search our Devon self-catering accommodation for yourself.

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