When it comes to scenery, most of us associate South Devon with its unspoilt farmland and varied coastline incorporating...
The Dart Valley Trail is one of South Devon’s most favoured walking routes, and this comes as no surprise. Around 16 miles long, the picturesque ramble follows the wooded banks of the stunning River Dart from Totnes to Dartmouth (or can be undertaken in reverse), and navigates a route that is jam-packed with gems and jewels of history.
The River Dart itself passes through numerous picture perfect spots, from the heart of Dartmoor to peaceful South Hams villages such as Tuckenhay, Dittisham, and also the popular towns of Totnes and Dartmouth. The views are breathtaking, and on a clear day, you can see across to Dartmoor and the craggy outline of Haytor, and oppositely, views sweep towards Torbay. What’s more, the route is peppered with excellent eateries, so expect to feast on some of the best local produce South Devon has to offer. With a selection of waterside cafés, cosy pubs, and even a vineyard to choose from, you won’t be disappointed.
For those feeling energetic, the full route can be undertaken in a day (at a push!) but this will require a consistent, brisk pace, so be prepared. If you would rather complete the trail in smaller bitesize chunks, the Kingswear to Greenway section of the Dart Valley Trail is around 4.5 miles each way, the Dartmouth to Dittisham part is just shy of 3 miles, and the Dittisham to Totnes section 8.5 miles. At Coast & Country Cottages, we love The Dart Valley Trail, so much so, that we often undertake various sections of the route. So, we’ve compiled the finer navigational details of the walks for you to enjoy.
This section of The Dart Valley Trail is a six mile moderate round trip that starts from The Plains, Totnes, and passes close to Sharpham vineyard – the perfect spot to sample some of the region’s finest wine and cheese for the ultimate mid-point pit stop!
A 10-12 mile walk (depending on your chosen route), beginning at historic Dartmouth before crossing the river and exploring the Kingswear side of the Dart, passing by the National Trust property Greenways (the famed author Agatha Christie’s former holiday home), before heading back across the water and along the river bank to your starting point. This walk is both beautiful and fascinating in equal measure!
Aside from walking, there are many alternative ways you can enjoy the River Dart. Take to the water and try kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, or jump in for an invigorating wild swim. If land based activities are preferred, the steam train and paddle steamer are popular options. For further inspiration on exploring, read our article on the different ways to enjoy the River Dart.
At Coast & Country Cottages we have an enviable selection of holiday cottages that are perfectly located to enjoy the Dart Valley Trail. From beautiful riverside properties to chocolate box cottages nestled within sleepy South Hams villages, you can discover the Dart Valley Trail from your doorstep…
Sleeping up to four adults, Berry Cottage is the ultimate waterfront retreat, and boasts stunning, uninterrupted views across the River Dart. Situated on the Quay, the former 19th Century fisherman’s cottage has been sympathetically refurbished to create a luxurious holiday home split over three levels. One small, well behaved dog is also welcome.
A characterful property complete with a wood-burning stove, situated within a short walk of the waterside at Dittisham, this quaint cottage is the ideal base for up to four people. Settle on the fabulous window seat, and enjoy mesmerising views over the water from the comfort of this delightful cottage.
A property with exquisite, breathtaking views over the River Dart, Moorings provides superb accommodation for up to 8 people. Featuring a wonderful balcony, as well as a spacious, contemporary kitchen/dining area, this immaculate bolthole within easy reach of Dartmouth is a great option for walkers and families alike.
New ahead of the 2021 season, this period property boasts superb river views as well as parking and gardens. Sleeping up to four people, guests can enjoy a day of exploring The Dart Valley Trail, before returning for an al fresco meal on the sun terrace, which is complete with a barbecue and summer house fitted with an outdoor kitchen!
South Devon is the ideal holiday destination for those with a passion for walking. In addition to the Dart Valley Trail, it’s home to a myriad of stunning walking routes that crisscross the region. With miles of spectacular coastline, woodland trails, riverside rambles and rolling countryside, South Devon is a walker’s haven.