PLACES TO GO
Heading up River you will soon arrive at Stoke Gabriel where, subject to the tides you can moor on the jetty. The historic Stoke Gabriel village is a truly stunning location, with breathtaking views of the creek and a perfect pitstop for a drink, food or just to take in the scenery and relax in a calm, quayside atmosphere.
Located approx 1 hour up River you will find the increasingly popular Sharpham Vineyard – a beautiful 500+ acre estate where award wining wines and cheeses are produced. The cheese dairy has viewing windows so visitors can see the process. There are a variety of tours, which include a scenic walk around the vineyard and along the river bank, followed by a tasting of a selection of the wines and cheese and you can purchase your favourites at the vineyard shop to take away with you – perfect for a picnic (check www.sharpham.com for more details). Sharpham is open from March 1st through to Christmas Eve, Monday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm. (Open 7 days a week during June, July, August & September). Mooring is also possible for small boats or canoes. Sharpham House is a short walk up from the quay.
Tuckenhay – The Malsters Arms
Hidden on the banks of Bow Creek is the gem – The Maltsters Arms – once owned by Keith Floyd serving fabulous breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. During the summer months there is an outdoor ‘Croc Bar’ with lots to keep this place buzzing with activity – music, boats mooring, kayaks launching and children crabbing and feeding the ducks. Be aware of the tides as Bow Creek dries out from the pub quay to the entrance of the River Dart and the pontoon rises and falls with the tide. There is about two and a half hours either side of high tide if you draw up to a metre. The channel at Bow Creek is clearly marked with buoys. Check the tides before making you way, but certainly well worth a visit.
At the top of the River and on a non-stop run in a motor boat about 1.5 hours away from Dittisham, you will arrive at Totnes. Mooring is available if you want to head to the town and soak up this gorgeous, characterful market town and centre of trade for the surrounding countryside. A full range of shopping and banking facilities can be found in its narrow streets. The shops are well known for their charm as many are independently owned. There is a tantalising array of cafes, restaurants, pubs, wine bars and takeaways to suit every taste and pocket, many of which pride themselves on the use of locally sourced seasonal ingredients and organic produce.
Heading south from Dittisham and taking in the stunning scenery on the way – keep a look out and you may see the delight of the steam train as it travels between Dartmouth and Kingswear, you’ll arrive in historic Dartmouth, with its castle, winding Elizabethan streets with independent shops, galleries and local market. There are gourmet restaurants, bistros and bars and superb fish and chip shops or many cosy cafes. Dartmouth has a bustling harbour, with people taking time out to enjoy the scenery and activities along river front and within the town there is an award winning tourist centre in the central gardens. Mooring up is easy on the visitors pontoon.
Just cruising the River…..
There are many places to stop along the way, but if you decide to stay on board your craft and simply cruise the River, you’ll take in the changing scenery as you travel north or south. Simply stunning natural foliage, rolling open fields serving as a backdrop for the unspoilt setting. You’ll spot beautiful boat houses tucked away, colourful cottages, breathtaking historic buildings and almost hidden amongst the riverside vines and greenery, a World War II landing craft and the remains of the original Kingswear Castle paddle steamer. The tranquility on the River will only be interrupted with the sound of the wildlife and possibly the sight of seals swimming alongside you. With so much to take in, explore and enjoy, as one reviewer of his time on River Dart quite simply said…..”Is there really a better place in the World?.”
We hope you have a memorable time and please do let us know if you find something we have missed so we can add it for others to experience and enjoy.