Our guide to holidays in Kingswear
Perched on the banks of the shimmering river Dart, Kingswear sits opposite the historic port of Dartmouth, and it’s one of our favourites. Home to the landmark that’s Kingswear Castle, this friendly village has the kind of charm that makes you feel as though you’re really in Devon.
If you fancy travelling to Torbay in style, you can hop aboard the Dartmouth Steam Railway and Riverboat Company steam train and make your merry way to the English Riviera. Or, for those days when you feel like following the cobbled streets of Dartmouth just across the Dart, you can make the most of the regular ferry service that takes passengers across the water.
Things to do in Kingswear
There’s great news if you’re something of an Agatha Christie fan, as you’ll find Greenway House - the Devon family home she spent her summers in – just a short drive away in the village of Galmpton. It’s easy to see why Dame Agatha loved her time away from the public eye at Greenway, as it sits hidden from view by woodland high above the Dart below. Owned by the National Trust, the house still contains many of the family’s belongings, so visitors can capture a glimpse into the private life of the world’s most successful author.
And then there’s Coleton Fishacre…also owned by the National Trust and open to visitors throughout the year, this rather elegant country retreat was once home to the D’Oyly family. With a design and décor that tells the tale of the home’s place in Art Deco history and the jazz era, Coleton is the perfect example of the Upstairs, Downstairs lifestyle of the 1920s. Make sure you take time to wander the gardens that slope their way gently down to the sea, and you can pick up the South West Coast Path if you fancy seeing some more of the coastline.
Ok, so we mentioned the Dartmouth Steam Railway and Riverboat Company, and it’s one of our favourite Kingswear attractions. Chat to anyone who’s holidayed in South Devon and the chances are they’ll recommend the Round Robin tour, the perfect way to explore the region and feel as though you’re on an adventure. The tour takes its passengers to Paignton, Dartmouth and Totnes via steam train, river boat and open top bus, so it’s perfect for that family day out while you’re in Kingswear.
So close to Kingswear that you can see its historic buildings from across the river Dart, the historic town of Dartmouth is one of those towns that draws its visitors back time and again. Foot and car ferries take passengers across the water regularly, so you’ll never be more than a short journey from the town during your stay in Kingswear. Whether you follow your feet and wander the winding streets lined with boutiques and antique shops, or you cosy up in one of the historic pubs for an afternoon and just enjoy the views, Dartmouth’s beautiful at any time of year.
The Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta isn’t just a big event in Dartmouth and Kingswear, it’s one of the biggest events in the region. Held every summer, the regatta sees bunting flutter high above the streets, ships and yachts from all over the world dock in the historic harbour and a whole programme of events take place across the town. Regatta week takes place every August, and the whole port transforms as the activity on the water unfolds.
For the foodies, it’s all about the Dartmouth Food Festival, which takes place every October. The festival’s the perfect event for those of you who love to sample local produce and stock up while you’re in Devon, and it’s always packed with local suppliers keen to showcase their tastes and flavours. You’ll find cookery demonstrations from celebrity and local chefs (Mitch Tonks usually makes an appearance), and there’s always a fantastic atmosphere that makes the event a great one for families.