Being both a popular holiday destination and a historic harbour town with longstanding naval ties, it’s 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, there’s a wide range of inns in easy walking distance from the centre of town.
Our locally-based team members have put their heads together to compile this list of our favourite pubs in Dartmouth.
Happy to jump in the car in search of the perfect pub for your occasion? This article on five of the best pubs in South Devon has more suggestions from our team members.
1. The Floating Bridge
The Floating Bridge is located opposite the Lower Ferry on the edge of the Dart Marina development. This modern pub is very child-friendly, with 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 steam train on its way to and from Kingswear. Food is reasonably priced, 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!
2. The Dartmouth Arms
Between beautiful Bayard’s Cove and the rustic old Bayard’s Cove Inn, it’s easy to miss the Dartmouth Arms, 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, 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 characterised as tasty no nonsense ‘pub grub’, which is freshly prepared and reasonably priced. It’s something of a well-kept secret amongst residents, as well as the lucky holidaymakers who chance upon it.
3. The Royal Castle Hotel
Perhaps Dartmouth’s most iconic building, the imposing 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. Live acoustic acts perform 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. There is live jazz on most Sunday afternoons.
4. The Dolphin Inn
The witty signs around Dartmouth that lead the way to the Dolphin Inn tell you a little of what to expect from Jon the landlord and his lively pub. The Dolphin is certainly one of Dartmouth’s more bustling bars, 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 on Sundays.
There’s live music at the Dolphin on most weekends, so keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates.
5. The Cherub Inn
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, meaning you don’t need many customers to create a nice atmosphere on a weekend night. Occasional live music and a roaring fire in the winter 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.
You can download the full menu and find out more about the Cherub Inn here.
If you’re looking for a great place for a daytime meal, snack or just a quick coffee, how about one of these excellent Dartmouth cafés?
Explore more of South Devon’s best food and drink options on our Food and Drink blog pages.
Book a break in Dartmouth and spend a stress-free week exploring its picturesque streets, scenic walking trails and range of local attractions, from the historic Dartmouth Castle to the luxurious Dart Marina health spa.