The Dart’s Big Guns
Dartmouth Castle is possibly one of the most stunningly situated fortresses in England. Now in the care of English Heritage, it is one of a pair of forts that have been guarding the entrance to the Dart Estuary and the bustling port of Dartmouth for over 600 years.
The most picturesque and quickest way to get to Dartmouth Castle from Galmpton is via the ferry. Weather permitting, catch the ferry from Greenway Quay to the Ferry Boat Inn and then enjoy the boat ride (available Easter – October) from South Embankment to Stumpy Steps, just below the castle and a few minutes walk from the castle entrance. Fares each way are £2 for adults and £1 for children. If driving it will take around three quarters of an hour and parking is very limited so be sure to arrive early!
The Castle has been adapted and changed over the years to suit the needs of the new military technology of the time. The Gun tower is said to be the earliest surviving English coastal fortress specifically built to carry guns and the Victorian “old battery”. With it’s re-mounted heavy guns, guardrooms and passages it was in military use throughout the first and second world wars.
Explore every aspect of the castle, the battery’s, canons, spiral, wooden and stone stairs, low doorways and tunnels which all add to the sense of history and adventure. You’ll find plenty of information about it’s history along with the “big gun” video presentation inside too and don’t forget to climb to the top of the battlements to enjoy the spectacular views across the River Dart.
The shop sells an interesting variety of gifts including books, toys, stationery, jams and guidebooks and the Riverside cafe offers a selection of light lunches or snacks. Or if you prefer, take a picnic and make use of the picnic tables on site.
The neighbouring church of St Petroc’s is well worth a visit and if you have any time left why not enjoy one of the fabulous coastal or woodland walks.
Admission times and prices for 2014 are detailed below.
English Heritage Member – free
Child (5-15) £3.30
2014 Opening Times
April – September: 10 – 6pm
1 October – 2 November: 10 – 5pm
3 November – 29 March: – weekends only, 10 – 4pm
Dartmouth Castle hosts various events throughout the year, particularly in the Summer months.Please visit their website for further details.
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