Narrow lanes (some of which have to be carefully navigated by car) and the lack of a high street, lend a quaintness Kingswear’s atmosphere and stays here are made even more special by the sound of the Dartmouth steam train as it chugs into the station below. Visitors will be able to hop on board the regular foot ferry that sails to Dartmouth and back for a spot of shopping, or catch the car ferry over for a drive to the South Hams beaches at Blackpool Sands and Torcross.
Kingswear holidays are family-friendly too. Spend a day out at Paignton Zoo where the kids will relish encounters with exotic animals like giraffes, tigers and Red Pandas, or meander its many pushchair-friendly paths past tropical birds and monkeys while enjoying an ice cream. Older children and adults can play a round of adventure golf on Paignton seafront or head to the beach at Goodrington Sands (perfect for dog-owners too as the north side is dog-friendly all year round), before lunching at Churston Farm shop which also has a lovely outdoor play area.
You won’t need to travel far from your Kingswear cottage to discover adventure and history. An abundance of National Trust sites in the area like Coleton Fishacre and Agatha Christie’s Greenway provide plenty of opportunity to glimpse into times past while taking in magnificent gardens and stunning period homes.
And, as if rising from the water itself, Kingswear Castle perches like a sentry at the mouth of the Dart Estuary showcasing an extraordinarily well-preserved remnant of the modern military advancement of its day. That being all the way back to the late 15th Century! On the opposite side of the river lies its counterpart at Dartmouth Castle and here visitors will be able to wander through the ruins while taking in the most extraordinary river views (you’ll even be able to don some of the medieval attire from the day).
For guests wishing to slow down completely, The Paignton and Dartmouth Steam train will do all the hard work while you sit back and enjoy the ride. On this 1 hour journey (30 minutes to Paignton and 30 minutes return) you’ll be able to take in the spectacular coastal and countryside scenery while passing through the picturesque locations of Churston, Broadsands and Goodrington. The company also runs its ferry trips across to Dartmouth so if you fancy making a day of it, you’ll be able to book a Round Robin ticket and do both train and ferry in one hit.
Just a few short miles away lies the fishing town of Brixham where, with a vibrant harbour at its heart, there are a plethora of wonderful restaurants and eateries available to sample the best of its daily seafood hauls. Our favourites are Rockfish which sits right on the town’s famous fishing quay, and Alberos which, as part of its stunning Italian-inspired menu, serves incredibly delicious wood-fired pizzas. For lunch on the go you’ll be able to grab some of the crispiest fish and chips from Simply Fish or David’s Fish n Chips shop and wander along the promenade past Brixham’s tranquil marina and on to the end of its breakwater.
Of course, just a ferry hop away are the delights of Dartmouth’s foodie scene. Here you’ll discover Michelin Guide restaurants like The Angel, Andria and The Seahorse Restaurant. For a slightly more casual bite to eat we recommend The Floating Bridge Inn which sits right at the ferry terminal and boasts a truly desirable spot on the water front, or Beth’s Bistro whose bacon and egg bagels are a favourite among the locals.
Backed by sweeping Devonshire countryside that spans areas of both the coast and the surrounding landscape, Kingswear sports fantastic walks in and around the village. Varying in distance as well as in difficulty, there’s a route to suit almost anyone, however even the more challenging of routes can be cut down or tweaked to suit families with younger children in tow.
Totalling approximately 10km, the Kingswear circular walk to Froward Point is one of the area’s best known and is usually the first choice for many hoping to explore the area. Starting from the bottom of Higher Contour Road the route leads to a footpath which then joins the South West Coast Path (SWCP) on Castle road. En route, walkers will get to see The Daymark which stands at 24metres high and was built in 1864 as a guide for mariners to find their way to Dartmouth harbour.
At just 5km long, the very easy walk (albeit with one single steep climb) around Waterhead Creek is a must for families. A combination of riverside paths and woodland make it an idyllic setting for a quiet stroll, with an abundance of local birdlife to spot.
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