During my journey through southern England, I heard a loud squeaking and puffing at the station while walking around Paignton. I finally discovered the ancient and beautiful steam train that took passengers from Paignton to Dartmouth or Kingswear every day. Not only did the steam train look good from the outside, but it also had plush red sofas inside, just like in the old days. So it was clear to me: you absolutely have to take a ride on it! 😍 No sooner said than done – I booked a ticket and set off for the beautiful Dartmouth.
Impressive ride with the steam train to the River Dart 🚂
The journey with the Dartmouth Steam Railway was already a highlight for me on this day. You board the train at Paignton Station and travel along with the most beautiful parts of the South Devon coastline, through Dart Valley to the beautiful town of Kingswear right on the waterfront. 🌊 Kingswear is just opposite Dartmouth. The easiest way to reach the town is by ferry. This is already included in the ticket for the steam train. Alternatively, there is the so-called “Round Robin Ticket” which enables you to take the steam train, boat, and bus. This way you can also take a trip to the small and cozy town of Totnes, which I think is highly recommended if you want to discover as much as possible in a short time. 👍
Arrived at Dartmouth harbor ⚓
Dartmouth is located south of Torquay, where the River Dart enters the English Channel. The harbor city on the English Riviera offers a lovely setting characterized by picturesque pastel-colored houses and buildings from the 12th century. There are many twisting and pretty alleys filled with small stores, galleries, cafés, restaurants, and pubs. They radiate a lot of charm and invite you to stroll around. 🛍 Besides, Dartmouth is considered a Mecca for sailors, which is not difficult to recognize, because small sailing boats are spread all around. It is enjoyable to take the time and watch the sailors on the glittering water in the sunshine. In the background, you can see the pretty Kingswear from there. ⛵
Do you wonder what the kids on the pier are looking for? Crabs! 🦀 Crabbing is a classic seaside activity at Dartmouth and is particularly popular with children. There is even an annual Crab Festival. 😃 By the way, Dartmouth’s cuisine is said to be excellent, especially the seafood dishes. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to enjoy a meal at the restaurant, maybe next time.
Hike to Dartmouth Castle 🏰
Dartmouth Castle stands on the cliffs at the estuary. You can reach it after a walk of about half an hour along the coast. On the way, there are many beautiful viewpoints on the sea and I enjoyed it extremely. 💗 Dartmouth Castle is one of the most famous places in town and you should definitely visit it. In former times it was used for defense and as a lookout point. Today it is a museum and a popular starting point for hikes. Right next door is the small St. Petrox Church from the 12th century. The adjoining cemetery looks scary and makes the picture somehow perfect. By the way, you can see mermaids near the castle! 😯 Strictly speaking: Miranda, a little mermaid, named after the lady who once owned the house on this spot.
Excursion to quirky Totnes 🚌
Located in the heart of Devon you will find Totnes, a truly unique, quirky, and historic town. 😅 It is known for its bohemian lifestyle. You will find many cafes, stores, and boutiques on the main street, but they are by no means ordinary. These are vintage and fair trade stores that offer handmade clothes and goodies. If you are looking for a unique souvenir, you will certainly find it here. For example, how about a bag of fudge from Roly’s Fudge? 🍫
As you walk up the main road you will discover the Totnes Museum on your left in the pretty Elizabethan house, where you can learn a lot about the history of the city. Continue through the East Gate Arch, the city’s landmark, until you finally arrive at the imposing St Mary Church and Totnes Castle, or what is left of it. The castle looks more like a ruin but fits into the charming cityscape.
Dartmouth Summary 🌾
The trip to the lovely colorful Dartmouth totally convinced me from start to finish. The atmosphere is English charming and relaxed. The little town of Totnes right nearby made the day perfect. Next time I would like to take a little more time for an extensive walk by the sea and a subsequent visit to a restaurant. 🙂