A destination for keen sailors, fishermen and artists alike, the tranquil location of Dittisham is hard to beat. This attractive riverside village nestles on the banks of the serene River Dart, and benefits from a couple of pubs and the wonderful waterside Anchor Stone Café.
The pontoon is a popular place for kids and families to relax and have a go at crabbing. This favourite holiday activity inevitably results in shrieks of delight as the cranky crustaceans are admired and compared whilst their captors try not to get nipped! Our top tip for crabbing success is to bait your line with little bits of bacon which crabs seem to find irresistible.
Directly opposite Dittisham, and just a short ferry ride across the river is Greenway House, once the holiday home of the famous crime author, Agatha Christie. The house along with its stunning river bank gardens are open to the public, and definitely worth a visit. Dogs are very welcome too, in the gardens on a short lead. This stretch of river has seen plenty of historic vessels pass by over the centuries, with tales from Viking long boats exploring the waters to American landing craft rolling past during the 2nd World War.
A variety of locally grown sweet plum, the 'Ditsum plum' was named after the village. You might spot some in the orchards over the summer months, or if you are lucky you might even get to taste some. They are sweet eating plums particularly good in jam – perfect for a Dittisham twist on a Devon cream tea!
The market town of Totnes and the waterfront town of Dartmouth are close to Dittisham, both with plentiful shops, pubs, cafés and restaurants. The towns also have supermarkets, handy for stocking up on your weekly shop.
There are also numerous beaches close to Dittisham. We recommend driving the breathtaking coast road from Dartmouth towards Torcross and stop off at Blackpool Sands and Slapton Sands on your way. You can also hire boats and have sailing lessons from the Dittisham’s pontoon, so whether you’re a complete beginner or an established sea dog you’re sure to be tempted onto the water during your holidays.
A holiday cottage in Dittisham makes a great base for exploring the beautiful River Dart and the stunning stretch of coastline around Dartmouth.
If you like messing about in boats Dittisham Boats have lots to choose from. Operating from the pontoon by the Ferry Boat Inn in Dittisham they offer a range of easy to operate motor boats and sailing boats as well as kayaks and paddleboards. Whether you venture upriver to Totnes or downriver to Dartmouth, this is a particularly beautiful stretch of the River Dart and a day out on the water will be a highlight of your holiday.
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Excellent and dogs welcomed into the garden as well. Beautiful house and gardens and location stunning. Enjoyed by all ages.
One of the best NT houses we have visited. Absence of roped of areas in the rooms made it possible to immerse oneself in Agatha Christie's world
What better way to explore the beautiful river Dart than by kayak. Totnes Kayaks gives you the chance to enjoy the peace and quiet of the river, experiencing nature and wildlife close up. All equipment is rigourously safety checked, all gear is provided and no previous experience is necessary. The friendly team also monitor tidal conditions to ensure your safety and offer friendly guidance on where to go and things to spot.
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Very helpful staff - both friendly and informative. A very pleasant afternoon spent - wish we'd had time to do it again.
Boat-hire company in the centre of Dartmouth offering a range of rigorously maintained small motor boats and launches, perfect for a day messing about on the river. Boats are available to hire by the hour or by the day with all safety equipment included.
Dartmouth Boat Hire N Embankment, Dartmouth TQ6 9SW (T: 07850 118920)
Enjoy 10% off the full price of a boat trip with your Toad Hall Cottages discount card
Operating from the pontoon at Dartmouth, a trip out on the Picnic Boat is a great way to experience the beautiful scenery of the River Dart and enjoy some delicious food along the way. No soggy sandwiches here, guests can choose from a delicious menu of locally caught seafood; a huge array of salads, cheese and cooked meats; cream teas, breakfasts and lots more. The Picnic Boat is also fully licensed with a selection of wines, champagne and other drinks on offer.
A traditional pub in the heart of the village. Real Ales from Dorset and from the more local Dartmoor Brewery are available all year round, with additional guest ales in the summer months. Locally, seasonally sourced food is served where possible.
The Red Lion Inn The Level, Dittisham TQ6 0ES (T: 01803 722235)
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Very friendly and helpful staff. Has the advantage of an outside eating/drinking area. Reasonably well stocked shop/Post Office. Thoroughly recommend.
Brilliant pub - has everything you could need in the shop, great little cafe and wonderful restaurant. Great for kids too.
Down to earth hub of the village Service always with a smile Don't expect luxury but it is amazing as not only a decent pub but post office and shop ad well As long as the pub is open it seems the shop is as well and it sells everything from newspapers & fresh croissants to cooked meats and household items
Fabulous, quirky, friendly all that a village pub and stores should be!
Very good home-cooked food. Pleasant and attentive hosts.
lovely pub, lovely people, fantastic views
Affectionately known as the FBI, this is a lively pub on the shore of the River Dart with panoramic river views. The fantastic setting, live bands, locally sourced menu and wide selection of real ales creates a great atmosphere.
The Ferry Boat Inn Manor St, Dittisham, Dartmouth, Devon TQ6 0EX (T: 01803 722368)
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Lovely old pub with great views but the drinks are pricey and we couldn't book for a meal.
Have always enjoyed visiting the FBI - very friendly staff and the food is amazing. Great selection of beers and what a view from the window!
Great location right on quayside Buzzy and full of character serving locals and holidaymakers needs Good food unpretentous menu reasonably priced. We ate there twice during the week and enjoyed on each occasion
Simply brilliant! Food is hearty and delicious but booking advisable due to the limited number of tables. The beer and cider on offer go down a treat and Thursday's quiz night is great fun! Alternatively just sit outside with a good pint and watch the world go by! Dog and child friendly too !
A lovely atmosphere here and very friendly staff. We did not eat here although the food did look very good and not over-priced: best to book tables in advance. Fun to sit outside on the tables or the pontoon and just chat to visitors and locals.
Open for the summer season only from mid-March until the end of September this riverside café is a real gem, but hugely popular so make sure you book ahead. Delicious seafood lunches including crab, lobster, mussels and oysters are the speciality, all in a beautiful setting.
The Anchorstone Café Manor Street, Dittisham TQ6 0EX (T: 01803 722365)
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What an absolute gem this is. Lovely coffee and cakes and wonderful seafood lunches. Great for kids & you can take dogs in the outside area.
Love love love this place food amazing, hosting and service excellent and very friendly, location is just beautiful. We travel miles out of our way to visit the Anchor stone Cafe. Frequent diners.
Best food. .5 stars. You will always return there, cooking is fantastic.
Brilliant situation overlooking the water.. Food was a delight. Good coffee.Will certainly re-visit. Need to book. Very popular.
We were very lucky in that we did not have to wait too long for a table: I would advise you to make a reservation in advance though as it is so popular. The food and service were excellent and one would be hard-pressed to find fault. We had a lovely table on the outside balcony so were able to enjoy the lovely views. I can thoroughly recommend this restaurant is you have a liking for freshly-caught fish: the burger apparently is excellent too!
we have been every year for 7 years! we love the food, it never fails to please. staff polite and have the courtesy to tell you if there is a wait. it is always worth booking if you can but they only take bookings for 12.00, they wont guarantee anything after that
Great food, good friendly local feel, thoroughly enjoyed the times we visited and had good.
Lovely traditional pub, with good basic, home cooked pub food.
Love the Church House Inn, great folk, good food. Really worth a visit.
Ok, but we ordered simple sandwiches and 2 portions of chips. Came as toasties with 1 chips.
A homely eatery serving consistently good food including all day breakfasts, sandwiches, cream teas, coffees and delicious local meat, fish and seafood dishes. Children welcome with smaller portions available, unlicensed but diners are welcome to bring a bottle.
Emmas Paignton Road, Stoke Gabriel TQ9 6RD (T: 01803 782697)
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Delicious menu, packed with local ingredients. Only open Weds - Saturday and best to book as tiny.
Amazing food and gave us an anniversary card too.
In between Brixham and Paignton, this long, sandy beach is a popular spot with families, thanks to its sheltered waters, year-round facilities and easy parking. The Blue Flag beach is perfect for making sandcastles and searching for wildlife in the rockpools. There are toilets, and two places to get ice creams, coffees and soft drinks. What’s more, the car park is right by the beach, so there’s no need to lug your provisions a long way. Behind the pretty row of colourful beach huts, there’s a large grassy area, so don’t forget to pack a ball or rounders bat to keep the whole family entertained. Broadsands Beach is a popular dog walking spot throughout autumn and winter, but there is a seasonal dog ban during the summer months (1st May - 30th September).
Far from the bustling crowds of Paignton and Brixham’s bigger beaches, this small pebbly cove is a truly relaxing spot. The calm waters are great for swimming and are said to have been one of Agatha Christie’s favourite bathing spots. Elberry Cove even features in one of her crime thriller novels, The ABC Murders. This picture-perfect cove, surrounded by sloping wooded hillsides and crystal clear water, can only be accessed by the coast path, with the nearest carpark at Broadsands Beach. From here, it is only a 10 - 15 minute walk, but make sure to pack a picnic or grab a bite to eat at Broadsands Beach before you set off, as there aren’t any facilities at here. Dogs are welcome on the beach throughout the year.
If you’re willing to venture off the beaten track, you’ll discover one of Brixham’s hidden gems, Churston Cove. Surrounded by sloping wooded hillsides, this beautiful little cove isn’t the easiest to get to, which makes it an idyllic, peaceful place to while away the day. The crystal clear water is safe for kids to paddle and play in, and is a popular swimming spot. Parking is available at Freshwater carpark, a 15-minute walk away. There are no toilet facilities or cafes, and the beach is accessed via a long, steep path, which is uneven in places, but this beautiful little cove is worth the effort. Churston Cove is dog-friendly all year round.
Take the coast path from Brixham and escape the crowds at Fishcombe Cove, a peaceful shingle cove, protected on all sides by tall red cliffs. Access to this little cove isn’t easy, via a steep path from Freshwater carpark, but it is definitely worth the effort. The clear, blue sea is sheltered and calm, making it a favourite with swimmers and kayakers. Fishcombe Cove is also a popular place for boats and yachts to moor up and make the most of the beautiful water. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a seal popping its head up to say hello. There is a café and toilets here, but both are only open during the summer months. Fishcombe Cove is dog-friendly all year round.
The decent to St Mary’s Bay is one of the bet views in Brixham, with panoramic views of the English Riviera. This beautiful, unspoilt beach has a carpark nearby, but we recommend walking there to make the most of the stunning surroundings. The sandy and shingle beach is sheltered by steep cliffs on either side, which means the decent to the beach isn’t easy, especially for those with mobility disabilities. There are no facilities at the beach, but visitors can take the coast path north to Berry Head Nature Reserve, where there is a great café and toilets, as well as stunning coastal views. Dogs are welcome all year, making St Mary’s Bay a great place to take a well-earned rest on your dog walk.