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Being both a popular holiday destination and a historic harbour town with longstanding naval ties, it comes as no surprise that Dartmouth has a great range of traditional pubs, many of which carry a nautical theme. From lively locals’ bars to food-oriented family pubs, you will find a wide range of inns all of which are within easy walking distance from the centre of town. There are few things more quintessentially British than an age old pub steeped in history, so to help you find the cream of the crop we’ve handpicked some of our favourite pubs in Dartmouth, chosen for both their atmosphere, quality of cuisine and views. Whether you want to bunker down in front of a roaring fire, enjoy a tipple or two overlooking the River Dart, or bask in the South Devon sunshine in a sheltered beer garden, these pubs all offer something special!
Perhaps Dartmouth’s most iconic building, The Royal Castle Hotel faces the boat float from the centre of the Quay. There are two bars on the ground floor, each of which has its own unique décor and atmosphere. The Harbour bar is contemporarily-styled and ideal for light lunches and daytime coffees as well as a sociable drink in the evening, with live acoustic acts performing on most Thursday nights. The larger Galleon bar has a more traditional family-friendly pub feel, and this is where most people choose to order evening meals – they enjoy live jazz on most Sunday afternoons.
The Dartmouth Arms is nestled between beautiful Bayard’s Cove and the rustic old Bayard’s Cove Inn, and as such, it’s easy to miss, especially given its unassuming frontage and the eye-catching scenery all around. But, The Dartmouth Arms is a great place to stop for a drink and reputed as being one of the best pubs in Dartmouth, especially given that the benches along Bayard’s Cove double as an enticing beer garden with stunning unbroken views of Kingswear. The food at this friendly locals’ inn is best described as delicious no nonsense ‘pub grub’, which is both freshly prepared and reasonably priced. This watering hole is something of a well-kept secret amongst residents, as well as the lucky holidaymakers who chance upon it!
Recently refurbished, The George and Dragon pub is one of the most popular pubs in Dartmouth, especially with those who enjoy an alfresco beverage, because this is the only pub in Dartmouth that enjoys a beer garden (also boasting a seasonal Garden Bar)! What’s more, inside the George and Dragon you will find a large main bar, a separate coffee and cake shop and also the Boat Room Restaurant. The decor is a blend of old and new, with many of the original features retained, and hand drawn wall paintings detailing Dartmouth’s thriving maritime history. The pub not only has an extensive and reasonably priced menu, but well behaved children and dogs are also welcome, making it one of Dartmouth’s most family friendly pubs.
The Cherub Inn is housed in Dartmouth’s oldest building on Higher Street, just off the beaten track on a road that runs parallel to Fairfax Place (where the Co-op is located). Visitors often stop to take a photo of this 14th century landmark, with its uneven beams and pretty flower display, before popping inside for a closer look.
The Cherub Inn is gloriously cosy inside, and it doesn’t take many customers to create a nice atmosphere on a weekend night. Occasional live music and a roaring fire in the colder months add to the appeal of this rustic Dartmouth pub, which also has a restaurant area on the first floor. The menu offers the pub classics you’d expect and a range of daily specials announced on its chalkboards too.
The Floating Bridge is located opposite the Lower Ferry on the edge of the Dart Marina development. This modern pub is very child-friendly, boasting a spacious restaurant area, cosy bar and a couple of outdoor seating areas where you can take in the riverside views. As well as watching the ferry going back and forth and the boats pass by, every so often you’ll catch the Dartmouth Steam Railway train on its way to and from Kingswear. The food is reasonably priced, extremely tasty and comes in generous portions, especially the famous fish and chips! The Floating Bridge is a 10-minute walk from the centre of Dartmouth, although if you order the large fish and chips we’d add a couple more minutes for the journey back!
The witty signs around Dartmouth that lead the way to The Dolphin Inn hint a little about what to expect from Jon the landlord and his lively pub. The Dolphin Inn is certainly one of the most ‘bustling’ of the pubs in Dartmouth, and is located near the centre by Market Square. It tends to be fairly busy all year round, including many weekday evenings – this makes it a first port-of-call for those looking for a fun night out, but it’s also a popular place to sit down for a meal, especially for a Sunday roast! There’s live music at The Dolphin Inn on most weekends, so do keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates.
Dartmouth is the perfect holiday destination for those with a passion for sumptuous food. Not only are the pubs in Dartmouth second to none, it’s also home to some of the best seafood restaurants in South Devon. If you’re looking for a great place for a daytime meal, snack or just a quick coffee, check out the excellent Dartmouth cafés. For those who want to explore further afield, read our article on five of the best pubs in South Devon, or head to our food and drink pages in our South Devon Guide. In addition to a varied collection of top eateries, you will also find organic producers such as Riverford, renowned chefs life Mitch Tonks and Jane Baxter, and fantastic farm shops, fishmongers and deli’s. Put simply, South Devon is a food lover’s heaven.
Our Dartmouth holiday homes are ideally located to provide quick and easy access to not only the food mecca of Dartmouth itself, but also the rest of South Devon. Our Dartmouth holiday cottages are ideally located to provide quick and easy access to both the coast and countryside. From luxury sea and river view properties to country escapes and even properties with swimming pools, you really are spoilt for choice. We have properties to suit all requirements, be it a romantic break, a larger family holiday or a dog friendly cottage in Dartmouth.