I’m not sure what my favourite bit of a family holiday is. Discovering busy little streets, fantastic little coffee shops, hidden away coves or simply choosing delicious foods at the local shops to cook in the holiday house over a glass of wine. They’re all parts of the jigsaw that go to make somewhere a favourite place for a family holiday.
Most places we go, we find somewhere or something that rewards us on some of those.
Maybe the reason I fell in love with Dartmouth is because I think it can offer all of that and more.
We have been to Dartmouth for a summer holiday five times now. Each time I wonder ‘will it have lost its shine this year? ; so far it hasn’t.
Each year we find something new, a different favourite cafe or coffee spot maybe, but we always succeed in finding somewhere we can relax and unwind.
Dartmouth seems to have lots of things we like and not much of the stuff we don’t!
It’s got enough little streets and shops to be interesting to wander around, without being packed with shopping tourists.
There is a good handful of decent cafes, bistros and coffee shops, some great parks for the kids to run off all their energy, and of course there’s lots to do on, in, and around the river!
The water and boats are hypnotic, even on a cloudy, drizzly day, they emit a magical something that draws you back again and again.
Early morning down on the quayside will often reward you with beautiful views of the river, calmly flowing by and bathed in the glow of morning sunlight, watching as life on the river starts over for another day, before heading off for coffee and breakfast at Alf Resco, or a walk to the cafe in the park perhaps.
The days are filled with exploring, playing in the parks (we found a new one last year), tennis, swimming, and many other free or very cheap activities such as crabbing, visiting Dartmouth Castle and the coves nearby,
Later, as evening approaches, you can sit back with a drink in Bayard’s Cove, watching the ferries, boats, canoes and all the other activity on the river while the kids dangle their crabbing lines over the edge of the quay, or collect shells from the small shingle beach below.
As adults, we love it. There’s enough happening without it being “in your face”. It caters for tourists but it’s not artificial. There’s enough for the kids to do to keep them happy and occupied, although if you’re after amusement arcades and adventure parks, Dartmouth is probably not for you.
Every year when we ask the kids if they want to go back to Dartmouth ‘again’, the answer is always a resounding yes. It’s definitely become our favourite place for a family holiday!