Exploring on foot in and around Dartmouth is one of the most rewarding experiences.
Exploring on Foot
The choices of walks in and around Dartmouth are varied, providing you with some of the most picturesque scenery in the South West.
Dartmouth’s Mayflower Heritage Trails – The Town Trail:
Dartmouth’s Mayflower Heritage Trail tells a local story of the town’s relationship with the voyage undertaken by the Pilgrim Fathers. The Town Trail paints a picture of 17th Century Dartmouth, as it was when the Pilgrims sailed into the harbour in August 1620. Dartmouth’s Trail is linked to the National Mayflower Trail that charts the story of the Pilgrims from their birthplaces to their settlement in the New World.
This historic walk begins at the Visitor Centre then visits the following areas: The Quay and Fairfax Place, The Butterwalk, The Old Market, Brown’s Hill Steps, Foss Street, St.Saviour’s Church, Smith Street and Higher Street, Chapel Lane, Bayard’s Cove Inn, Bayard’s Cove, the South and North Embankments and Coronation Park. The Emankment and Coronation Park. The visitor centre has a leaflet with a map for this Heritage Trail.
Dartmouth’s Mayflower Heritage Trails – The Packhorse Trail:
This trail begins at the Park & Ride and follows the ancient packhorse routes into Dartmouth to discover a thousand years of history. This trail visits the following areas: Deadman’s Cross, St. Clement’s Church, Church Road, Mount Boone, Townstal Hill, Clarence Hill, top of Brown Hill Steps, bottom of Mount Boone Hill, top of Broadstone, Zion Place, Bandstand, Royal Avenue Gardens and Coronation Park. The visitor centre has a leaflet with a map for this Heritage Trail.
Dartmouth’s Mayflower Heritage Trails – The Castle Trail:
Follow the trail from Bayard’s Cove to Dartmouth Castle to discover more about Dartmouth in 1620. This trail visits the following areas: Bayard’s Cove, top of Castle Steps in Southtown, The viewpoint across to Kingswear at Southtown, Gramercy Tower, Southtown, Paradise Point, Warfleet, Warfleet Beach, Gunfield House, St.Petrox Church and Dartmouth Castle. The visitor centre has a leaflet with a map for this Heritage Trail.
A short climb above Dartmouth Castle lies, Gallants Bower – a medieval fort built during the English Civil War, (1642-1651) with stunning views of the countryside, river and out to sea. In May the whole area is transformed into a carpet of blue as the Bluebells dominate the landscape.
Dartmouth Town to Dartmouth Castle:
Enjoy a scenic walk to Dartmouth Castle at the mouth of the beautiful river Dart. Nestled alongside Dartmouth Castle is St. Petrox Church which first appeared in the history books in 1192 and today is a favoured place of worship and weddings. Whilst visiting Dartmouth Castle why not climb the hill above and enjoy the amazing view on Gallants Bower.
Dart Valley Walk – Dartmouth to Totnes:
A perfect day out for active families offering glorious views of the river Dart along ancient lanes, water meadow marshland and quiet woods. The Dart Valley Trail, on the other hand, is a walking route from Dartmouth to Totnes of approximately 9 miles (14.5 km).
Walk to Start Point Lighthouse:
This iconic lighthouse originally built in 1836 is situated on one of the most exposed peninsulas on the English coast, situated on the south side of Start Bay between Kingsbridge and Dartmouth. Parking is available at the top of a mile long access path down to the lighthouse. On the walk down there are stunning views out to the east, looking across Start Bay towards Dartmouth. Travelling by car from Dartmouth, follow the A379 coast road to Torcross and then head inland towards Kingsbridge. After less than 2 miles when you arrive at the roundabout at Carehouse Cross, Stokenchurch, turn left and follow the signs to Start Point.
The South West Coast Path – Dartmouth to Torcross:
The South West Coast Path runs through an area of outstanding national beauty (AONB) and the walk to Torcross from Dartmouth is 10.3 miles and considered challenging, but it is blessed by some truly stunning scenery. You can enjoy this walk by joining it in either direction at convenient points at Little Dartmouth, Strete and Strete Gate Beach.
Diamond Jubilee Way Walk:
Created to commemorate the 60th anniversary in 2012 of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne. This 3.7miles ( 6 km) way-marked circular walk, in the shape of a diamond, takes you through some of the most glorious coastal countryside in the West Country. A short guide and map are available in the Visitor Centre.
You can start this fabulous walk from Dartmouth and proceed towards the castle and then up Weeke Hill, turning left at the crossroads at the top of the hill. If you prefer something a little easier, why not drive to the National Trust car park at the entrance to Little Dartmouth public footpath. There you can walk down and enjoy the cliff top views.
Around Slapton Ley:
Slapton Ley is the largest natural freshwater lake in the South West of England and is a sanctuary for many species of wildlife and birds. Walking around the Ley is a peaceful and tranquil experience and car parking is available at the War Memorial car park, which is pay and display.