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Campsites in Dartmouth, Devon

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87 bookable campsites within 40 miles of Dartmouth

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Why visit Dartmouth?

The river Dart 

With its shimmering mix of emerald, turquoise and dusky green waters, there’s no mistaking the river Dart. Dartmouth, as its name suggests, is where this spectacular watercourse widens and flows into the sea, passing as it does so through a gorgeous estuary that’s a haven for wildlife. 

A holiday to Dartmouth isn’t really complete until you’ve taken to the water in one way or another. Boat trips available here include catching the ferry to the picture-postcard village of Dittisham, booking onto a longer cruise (with guided commentary) down the river to Totnes or hiring a kayak or paddleboard and giving inland navigation your best shot. 

Castles by the coast

As a stroll around the streets of Dartmouth will tell you, this place punches above its weight in terms of history. Here, you can visit two excellent examples of English coastal fortifications, both of which have spectacular views over the tidal river Dart and a range of seagoing vessels leaving and entering port.

Dartmouth Castle has guarded this strategic point for over 600 years and has excellent views out to sea. The first buildings here were erected by a privateering local mayor in the 1300s, which later expanded to include a gun tower, a Victorian battery and a small church. 

By Tudor times, it was decided that Dartmouth was too important to go without a second line of defence, so Bayard's Cove Fort was built closer to the town centre at some point in the early 1500s. This remarkable building fell into disrepair by the 18th century, but was returned to active service in the Second World War when it was fitted with modern defensive technology. 

Dartmouth’s colourful town centre

With a range of independent shops plus regular artisanal and farmers’ markets, Dartmouth is an excellent spot to browse for clothes, gifts and culinary treats. 

Away from the shops, Dartmouth’s town centre is a very pleasant place to while away a few hours, whether you’re after a rest overlooking the harbour in Royal Avenue Gardens, a Shire horse-drawn carriage tour or a gentle amble full of history and heritage on the Dartmouth Mayflower Trail.

The best things to do in and around Dartmouth

In town 

  • Travel in style towards Totnes on the Dartmouth Steam Railway. 

  • Earmark a couple of hours to visit the RNLI Visitor Centre and learn about the critical work of Dartmouth’s dedicated lifeboat crew. 

  • Hire a kayak or paddleboard or try out coasteering and other adventurous activities with Sea Kayak Devon.

  • Take the South West Coast Path and explore neighbouring areas of the South Hams like Stoke Fleming or Brixham.

The best attractions within an hour’s drive of Dartmouth

  • Find fab foliage and space to think at Fast Rabbit Farm Gardens (10 minutes’ drive), a hidden gem just outside Dartmouth. 

  • Check out the mini zoo, big rides and fantastic falconry displays on offer at Woodlands Family Theme Park (10 minutes). 

  • Explore the haunted towers and turrets of Berry Pomeroy Castle, a grand 15th century Tudor-style building near Totnes (30 minutes). 

  • Get the ferry or drive to the Greenway Estate, Torquay-born writer Agatha Christie’s favourite holiday home (40 minutes).

  • Investigate the wildlife, sea views and Second World War history on display at Slapton Ley National Nature Reserve (20 minutes). 

Delve deeper

Britannia Royal Naval College

Since the 1800s, Dartmouth has been a major military centre, and today the town is home to the only remaining naval college in the country. Most visitors don’t know this, but the college’s archives, training grounds and iconic buildings can actually all be visited on regular guided tours, where you’ll hear stories of British and Commonwealth naval cadets from 150 years ago to the present day. 

Over the water to the Kingswear Peninsula

A visit to Dartmouth isn’t truly complete until you’ve also explored the east bank of the Dart and the gorgeous Kingswear Peninsula. Getting here from the town centre is simple enough, as a ferry shuttles back and forth between the quay and pretty Kingswear village in just a few minutes every day of the week (check in advance to make sure you don’t get stranded on the wrong side during the skipper’s lunch hour).

Once here, you might like to explore the spectacular Art Deco house at Coleton Fishacre, an opulent 1920s retreat with sweeping views of the sea. Equally, there’s much to see and do in the surrounding countryside – take the South West Coast Path and gaze out over the weatherbeaten Dragon’s Tail rocks offshore, or hike through the hinterland to see The Daymark, a 25-metre hilltop navigational tower built back in 1864.

The Newcomen Engine

Make tracks to the Dartmouth Visitor Centre in the town centre to see Newcomen’s Engine, the oldest preserved working steam engine in the world. Initially designed to pump water out of flooded coal mines, the engine was moved and repurposed several times, staying in service all the way up until 1913. In 1964, to mark 400 years since the birth of its inventor, it was returned to Newcomen’s native Dartmouth and preserved for posterity. 

Here’s how

Dreaming of a Dartmouth getaway? We’ve got a selection of Dartmouth campsites, glampsites and static caravan parks to suit a range of tastes and budgets, with everything from Dartmouth touring sites to exclusive lodges and pods in the South Hams countryside

If you already have features you’d like from your site in mind, use the tick-box filters and calendar on this page to find availability for your dates. Alternatively, you might want to take a look at some of our most popular options below:

Looking for somewhere right on the coast instead? Look east to other south Devon towns like Torquay, or carry on westwards until you reach the coves and sands of Cornwall