With a trio of coves close to the centre of town, Castle Cove, Sugary Cove and Compass Cove are perfect spots for an invigorating wild swim in crystal clear waters. Feel refreshed and rejuvenated after immersing yourself in the big blue and keep your eyes peeled for marine life as you float, paddle and dive. Take care when descending to these coves as they are reached via steep steps which only add to the adventure but must be treated with caution.
Some of Dartmouth’s beaches boast perfect conditions for water sports including kayaking, stand up paddleboarding and surfing. Hire equipment or bring your own and make a splash in the sea for a fun-filled day and a different perspective of the gorgeous coastline. BIackpool Sands Beach has kayak and paddleboard hire on the beach making it a great destination to dive on in.
If you fancy exploring on foot, follow the 6km-long Diamond Jubilee Trail or the South West Coast Path which winds its way for 630 miles between Poole and Minehead. Take to the well-trodden coastal trail and take in the spectacular ocean views and vistas which reach over dramatic headlands and rugged cliffs. Almost 12 miles away is one of the most exposed peninsulas on the English Coast, Start Point, where you’ll see the majestic Start Point Lighthouse standing tall above the glittering ocean and awe-inspiring cliffs. Book on a tour of the lighthouse and bring your four-legged friend along too, and if you don’t fancy the hike from Dartmouth, there is a car park so you can hop in the car and enjoy a shorter walk along this breathtaking stretch of coastline. For easier waterside wanders close to home, there are an array of loops which take in the spectacular South West Coast Path which you can discover here.
A 45-minute drive from Dartmouth, Berry Head National Nature Reserve is a great spot for filling your days with walks. Surrounded by water on three sides, the area is not only a National Nature Reserve, but is also a Special Area of Conservation, Site of Special Scientific Interest and Scheduled Ancient Monument with its colony of guillemots protected by the only Area of Special Protection in the UK. Fuel your adventures in the café before visiting the visitor centre and heading out on foot to explore over 170 acres of land dotted with wildlife, history and spectacular scenery. Dogs are welcomed though may need to be kept on leads in certain areas, and there is disabled access with two mobility scooters available to hire in advance.