Dartmouth Castle and St Petrox Church
Experience More - Subscribe to Our Weekly Events Newsletter
If you are visiting Devon, history will surround you at Dartmouth Castle
and St Petrox Church.
The castle and church are more than worthy of an hour or two of your time.
Both places are suitable for all ages but an assistant companion is recommended for wheelchair users due to the number of steps and slopes in and around the castle. More information about access is available here.
For over 600 years, Dartmouth Castle has guarded the narrow entrance to the Dart Estuary. Its original job was to protect the town of Dartmouth. It's fascinating complex of defences begun in 1388 and the castle saw action right up until World War 2.
As you walk around the castle inside and out, you can read, watch and learn about its complete history. The displays are interesting, fun and interactive.
You can explore the almost dark passageways and rooms with the torches the castle supply (or use your mobile phone torch). Some of the passageways were really dark and with a little bit of imagination, your mind can start to play tricks on you! My 10 year old wouldn't leave my side!
In the Gun Tower, you will see where the original harbour chain was. The chain was a great medieval engineering feat. It spanned the 250 metre opening of the river and was raised and lowered to stop the ships mid-river, making them an easy target for gunfire from the castle.
Kids will love to try on the armour helmets and listening to the battles through speakers in some parts of the castle.
I was surprised by how much there was to see in such a small castle and how well the information was presented.
The views and scenery all around the castle are stunning and the staff are very helpful and friendly.
I loved the assortment of big heavy doors and the big thick walls throughout the historic building and with a little thought and help from the displays, you can imagine what life at the castle was really like throughout its long history.
Be sure to visit the shop before you leave where you will find English Heritage gifts for all price ranges and if you are feeling like a snack, light lunch or beverage, you will enjoy the refreshments and views from the tearoom.
Once you are finished at the castle, you must walk to the church; it is the oldest in the parish (the earliest documented mention is 1192). It's a couple of minutes walk and the path is enchanting.
We were all fascinated by the tombstones that line the pathway.
Once inside the church, there are lots of interesting treasures to look at, many of which are hundreds of years old and of course there are stained glass windows that tell their own story
It is pretty, quaint and inviting and both the castle and church have all the ingredients for an entertaining visit.
In fine weather, you can take a boat trip from Dartmouth Quay which lands just minutes walk from the castle entrance. The best views of the castle are from the river. If you want to drive to the castle, parking is very limited. You can walk from Dartmouth town; it is mainly uphill going (but will be downhill going back!).
Make a day of it and enjoy a coastal or woodland walk; you will be rewarded with stunning views and plenty of wildlife to spot.
There are benches around the site and a small lawn for picnicking if the weather is good.
Toilet facilities are available outside the castle before you reach the small car park and dogs are welcome on leads.
73169 - 2023-01-26 02:08:39