Getting to and from Dartmouth

Getting to Dartmouth

Getting to and from Dartmouth


We issue full directions to our guests before arrival, but in case you wish to plan your route to Dartmouth, or explore ways of getting around while you are there, here are a few suggestions.

By Road

For most people, the simplest way to Dartmouth is by road. For anyone who doesn’t use SatNav, the most straightforward route is to travel to Totnes, either via the A38 and A385 through Dartington, or else the A380 and A381 through Newton Abbot. From Totnes you can take the A381 towards Kingsbridge and then turn to Dartmouth at Halwell – it should take about 20-25 mins from Totnes.

The other road routes to Dartmouth involve taking to the water. One option is to take the A380 through Newton Abbot, all the way round the Torbay ring-road and then the A379 to Kingswear, again ending at the Kingswear to Dartmouth Ferry. The other route to the ferry is to drive to Totnes, as above, then take the A385 to Paignton, joining the Torbay ring-road there.

All these routes can be equally busy at certain times, and the ferry routes are best avoided at the height of summer. Taking the back roads can help considerably, but can also find you face-to-face with an over-ambitious mobile home in a narrow lane – be prepared for some reversing!


There is actually more than one ferry plying across the River Dart from Kingswear, two for cars, plus another passenger ferry. The “upper” ferry is larger, costs £4.70 per car per trip and is a little quicker to get to. The Lower ferry starts from Kingswear itself (as does the passenger ferry) it is much smaller and slower, but I think it provides the nicer view of Dartmouth as you arrive – arriving in Dartmouth by boat always seems appropriate to me. The Lower ferry is also slightly cheaper at £4.50 per trip.

By Rail

There is a choice of trains too. If you are arriving from the north, the railway takes a lovely route along the estuary of the river Exe, follows the cliffs to Teignmouth, then along the river Teign to Newton Abbot – picturesque in summer, and quite exhilarating in a winter storm! You can catch mainline trains to either Totnes or Paignton, though there are more direct trains to Totnes. However, from Paignton, you can transfer to the Steam railway and arrive at Kingswear, right by the ferry (see above)


There is a bus service between Dartmouth and Totnes, the X81 taking around 50 mins, which stops at Totnes railway station. Busses also run from Kingswear to Torbay, though you need to get to Kingswear by ferry first. For all public transport enquiries in the South West see Travel Line South West or call 0871 2002233.

By Air

In the interests of completeness, I should mention the airports at Exeter and Plymouth, of which Exeter has the more extensive links in the UK and Europe.

By boat

That is a subject for another blog!

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