If you or a loved one is a dab hand at sailing, you won't want to visit Dartmouth without taking the opportunity to cruise along the scenic River Dart in your own boat or a hired vessel.
Enjoying drinks by the Dart is a similarly appealing prospect – and luckily, there are many wonderful waterfront watering holes here. (For safety's sake, keep in mind that it's important to be particularly careful around waterways and the person in charge of your boat needs to stick to soft drinks.)
Below you'll find our pick of the best riverside pubs around Dartmouth. Why not sail to some of them with family and friends for a delightful Devon adventure?
It's almost 400 years since America's Pilgrim Fathers sailed to Dartmouth and dropped anchor at Bayard's Cove. They'd almost certainly still recognise the quayside today. Where better to begin your boat tour than here, the home of the welcoming Dartmouth Arms?
In keeping with its historic setting, this is a traditional pub serving plenty of beers, wines and spirits. If you're partial to a G&T, don't miss the Distinctly Dartmouth gin.
Sip your drink as you enjoy stunning views from a bench by the water's edge. See if you can spot the plaque commemorating the Pilgrim Fathers' arrival.
Soak up the atmosphere in The Dartmouth Arms' neighbour, Bayard's Cove Inn. With its Tudor frontage, this hostelry is steeped in old-world charm.
The cosy bar is well-stocked with Devon ales and ciders. If you're peckish, you could order a famous Bayard's Burger and enjoy your meal in the fresh air.
The pub is only a two-minute walk from another Tudor gem, Bayard's Cove Fort. Long ago, this distinctive, curved building protected the town from invaders. Now it offers an excellent vantage point from which visitors can view the river in all its glory.
Look out across the Dart from Bayard's Cove and the picturesque village of Kingswear will greet your eyes. The area's seafaring heritage has inspired The Steam Packet Inn's name and nautical décor. Newly renovated, the pub looks as good as the scenery!
Devon's fishermen ensure The Steam Packet Inn has a plentiful supply of delicious, hand-dived scallops. They taste even better when paired with Stumble Bee from South Hams Brewery, one of the pub's speciality ales.
Let's turn our attention back to Dartmouth, where The Crab & Bucket awaits! The pub occupies an enviable position on the South Embankment. A lively watering hole, it's perfect for sports fans.
If you can tear yourself away from the sporting memorabilia on display (Muhammad Ali's signed boxing gloves are a highlight), drink in the brilliant riverside views. The Crab & Bucket's seafood is as fresh as the breeze.
A stone's throw from The Crab & Bucket is a Dartmouth landmark dating from the 17th century. At The Royal Castle Hotel on The Quay, there are two terrific taprooms: the Galleon Bar, with a ‘hunting lodge' feel, and modern Harbour Bar.
A glass of Dart Valley Reserve, a white wine produced nearby on the Sharpham Estate, is the ideal accompaniment to the stunning scenery. Many of the guest rooms boast views of the Dart too, making this iconic hotel a wonderful place for an overnight stopover.
Dartmouth's former railway station is unique: it has always been reached by river, not track! This Grade II listed building now enjoys a new lease of life as the Platform 1 Champagne Bar & Restaurant. The vintage exterior pays tribute to the golden age of steam travel, while the bar itself is chic.
As you enjoy panoramic views and a sophisticated tipple, look out for pretty Waterhead Creek on the opposite side of the river.
Sail upriver past Coronation Park to reach The Floating Bridge, another waterfront marvel. The pub is bright and airy, thanks to large windows. But to make the most of the views, make a beeline for the roof terrace.
As you tuck into beer-battered cod & chips, you can bask in the sunshine. Relax as vessels come and go, most notably the ferry that inspired this hostelry's name, the Dartmouth-Kingswear Floating Bridge.
Fancy travelling a couple of miles further up the Dart, revelling in the scenery and making one more stop? You won't want to miss the riverside Ferry Boat Inn in Dittisham. In fact, this characterful pub is almost impossible to miss – its exterior is bright pink!
The Ferry Boat Inn's atmosphere is as cheerful as the paintwork, which is why the pub is popular with everyone from residents to visiting yacht owners. Round-off your boat trip by sampling the Fisherman's Platter or enjoying live music on the shore.
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