Dittisham – Explore a Village Ensconced in Beauty and History
Dittisham (Ditsum to the locals) is a small village in South Hams on the west bank of the River Dart opposite Greenway. Just 25 minutes walk from Galmpton, this beautiful and unspoiled village is home to less than five hundred residents, and is a farming area with rolling hills and river valleys galore.
Soaked in history, the name is said to have come from a Saxon chief, Deedas (who settled in the area in the 7th Century) and was listed in the Domesday Survey in 1085-85 as ‘Didashim’, which translates as the homestead of Deedas.
Located near Torquay, Brixham and Paignton, Dittisham has a mild climate, primarily due to it’s location in a valley where it’s protected from the wind as it is near to the Gulf Stream. The area is famous for it’s relaxing holidays and there is a strong tourist community as the area prides itself in treating visitors exceptionally well.
Ideal for a day trip, Dittisham offers a delightful peek into Village life. At the centre of the Village is Shinners Meadow, with a Football Club & it’s own pitch. Down by the River Dart is ‘The Ham’ where you can sit and watch the river flow by, chat with your friends & family or take the dog for a walk and the village orchards produce the popular Dittisham plum.
St. George’s Church still stands, having been reconstructed and restored between 1328 and 1333. The components of the church cover a wide range of history with the Wineglass Pulpit dating back to the 15th Century. The painted figures that grace the walls are thought to be of the saints, and were damaged by Cromwell’s men before being restored centuries later in the mid 1950s. These are but a couple of the examples of the history of the church,
If you want to grab a bite to eat there is the ‘Ferry Boat Inn’ (known amongst the locals as the ‘FBI’) which is great for a pub lunch. For some fresh, local seafood, the ‘Anchorstone Café’ is delightful and massively popular (so book in advance). The Village Hall sits at the top of the hill and was originally built as a school in 1843.
The uncommon beauty and tranquillity of Dittisham takes the visitor back to a younger, slower-moving world where relaxation is a fine pastime. There are public footpaths, bye-roads, and green lanes for people who enjoy a leisurely walk, or you can walk through parish which is about three miles round. If you are interested in a more vigorous walk, you can walk to other villages in the area easily.
To get to Dittisham from Galmpton, you can get a ferry from Greenway Quay which is just over a mile’s walk from Galmpton. The fares each way are very reasonable, with an adult costing £2.00 and a child (0-14 years) at £1.50. For Cyclist and a bike it’s £3.50 and to bring your dog along for the day it costs 50p.
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