Discover amazing beaches, plan exciting activities and eat & drink at the best places!

A whole host of amazing and diverse attractions and things to do await you in beautiful Dartmouth and the wonderful, immediate surrounding area. The Old Wash House is on the doorstep of English Heritage's Dartmouth Castle, together with both National Trust properties of Coleton Fishacre and Agatha Christie's Greenway House, and of the course the South Devon Steam Railway. Make sure that you check these links out for seasonal events throughout the year and don't miss out! The annual Train of Lights by Dartmouth Steam Railway really cannot be missed - a real burst of vibrant colour on a dark winter's evening from end November until end December. 
River Dart boat trips are plentiful from the pontoon along Dartmouth's embankment, less than a 10 minute stroll from The Old Wash House. Of course, you can also try boat trips launching from Totnes, Dittisham, Kingsbridge and Salcombe. We love The Fizz Boat Dartmouth - a truly exclusive way to enjoy the Dart in style! Or how spotting dolphins with Dolphin Watch UK?
Children will love Woodlands Family Theme Park, animal fun at Pennywell Farm, Totnes Rare Breeds Farm and Dartmoor Otters & Buckfast Butterflies. Again, be sure to check their events calendars - there is always something happening. If you want to try something really different, try Dartmoor Llama Walks - they even have alpacas, too!
You might enjoy golf and be interested in playing at Dartmouth Golf & Country Club, or be in the mood for a relaxing treat at Dart Marina's Spa.
What about afternoon tea at Dart Marina, where you can enjoy fabulous views of the river, or enjoy cocktails by the water at Cloud 9 on The Waterfront?
You can visit Sharpham Vineyard for Wine & Cheese Tasting Tours, or head to Salcombe's Island Street to go to Gin School at Salcombe Gin Distillery & Bar. You can even distill your very own, unique blend! Please ensure you know whether pre-booking is required - you don't want to be disappointed.
South Devon is about sailing and being on the water, and a wealth of options are at your fingertips, from boat hire, Stand Up Paddle Boarding, sea kayaking and surf school.  And if speed is your thing, definitely try the Raptor - the fastest commercial RIB ride in the UK, operating in Torbay out of Torquay Marina. Absolutely takes your breath away! And if you can't agree on what to do first, second, third or even last, below are some additional ideas to help you enjoy a truly memorable holiday with us at The Old Wash House!
Please open the hyperlinks to check opening times and any restrictions in light of Covid 19 measures.

BEACHES in Devon's South Hams offer golden sands, rock pools, hidden coves, castles, swimming, surfing, water's edge dining and beautiful sunsets. Which will you visit?

Arymer Cove

Remote and sandy with rock pools. No facilities


Sandy, popular, ideal for surfing, rockpooling with dunes and large car park. Dogs allowed with restrictions.


A mile long, shingle beach backed by fields and a lake. Ideal for children and dogs.

Bigbury on Sea

Large sandy beach with tidal causeway or sea tractor from Bigbury on Sea to Burgh Island. Bodyboarding, surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing. Dogs allowed with restrictions.

Blackpool Sands

Privately managed fine shingle "Blue Flag" beach surrounded by fields and pines. One of the most popular beaches in the region. Dogs allowed with restrictions.

Brixham Breakwater Beach

A stretch of lovely shingle and stone beach right by Brixham Breakwater, with parking and the most fabulous bistro which makes great food and often has cool summer evening music in high season


Small beach with amenities and safe bathing. No dogs during summer months.

East Portlemouth/Mill Bay

Sheltered sandy beaches in Salcombe Harbour with access across the estuary by passenger ferry to Salcombe town. Ideal for watching sailing. Quiet beaches.  Rockpools at low tide.

Gara Beach

Sandy beach with views of Gara Rock

Hope Cove

Large, sandy and sheltered beaches which are perfect for children with rockpooling and safe swimming. Dogs allowed with restrictions.


Sand and shingle with rock formations.  Quiet, family beach. Shallow rock pools at low tide.


Serene and unspoilt sandy beach with rock formations to explore. No facilities. 


Private, quiet and sandy beach. Open Wednesdays and weekends. Dogs allowed with restrictions.

Salcombe North Sands

Large, flat and sandy with rockpools. Beach is totally submerged at high tide. Dogs allowed year round. Large car park.

Salcombe South Sands

Sandy beach at the mouth of Salcombe Harbour. Also accessible by ferry from Salcombe. Dogs allowed with restrictions. 

Soar Mill Cove

Accessible only on foot. Rockpooling and family beach fun.

Slapton Sands/Torcross

Used during World War II by the Americans to practise their D-Day landings. A road runs between the shingle bank on the sea side and the freshwater lake inland. Plenty of car parking.

South Milton Sands

Large, sandy beach protected by a reef of rocks - ideal for rockpooling. Family and dog friendly. The well known Thurlestone rock stands in the centre of the bay.


Dining, enjoying a cheeky drink or shopping for picnics offers a huge range of possibilities to suit the most conservative or adventurous eater in Dartmouth and the surrounding South Hams.

This is Britain's Seafood Coast, and is famous for its crab, which is exported all over Europe, and the seafood is considered to rival the best in the world. Add to this a range of artisan food producers, craft gin and local cheese makers, and you know that you will be in for a treat. Be sure to visit Wild Food Devon in the Old Market (a short walk from our cottage on the way to the River Dart and the town's shops) to buy fresh fish such as John Dory, Brill, Hake, Monkfish and of course local Crab.

Eating out in Dartmouth offers something for every price range, from fish and chips at one of the many restaurants and takeaways in the town centre, to fine dining, international cuisine, tapas and gastropubs. Eating out for breakfast continues to grow in popularity, and Dartmouth will not disappoint, offering cool venues and traditional, quiet locations to savour a leisurely start to your day with fantastic food on your table. The Seahorse was voted Number 40 in the UK's best restaurants in 2018, and can be found in the 2019 Michelin Guide. The Angel has recently reopened in 2018 and is lead by Head Chef Elly Wentworth, finalist of BBC MasterChef the Professionals, who will show you why she impressed judges Marcus Wearing and Monica Galletti.

Why not check out these links?


The Seahorse

The Angel Darmouth

Floating Bridge

Brown's Hotel & Wine Bar

Cafe Alf Resco

The Cherub Inn

plus our own favourites


Anzac Street Bistro

There are a range of coffee shops, delicatessens, tea rooms, bakeries, pasty shops and sandwich makers. A Devon Cream tea is a must at the Singing Kettle, but how about a truly impressive Afternoon Tea at Dart Marina? Finally, you may chose to have a drink at one of the traditional old english pubs or new stylish wine bars in the town. There is the Champagne Bar at Platform 1 by the Boat Float (a 5 minute stroll away from us), the Cloud Nine Pop Up Bar at Dart Marina, as well as the Fizz Boat!

Live music is frequently happening at The Dolphin between Foss Street and the Market Sqaure, too.

Food shopping is also convenient in Dartmouth, where there are numerous supermarkets including; Marks & Spencer, Spar, Lidl, Sainsbury's and the Co-op. You can also browse the stalls in the Old Market Square on Victoria Road.

The Old Wash House keeps a guide at the property, reflecting the best places to eat and drink in Dartmouth and surrounding area which are our own personal recommendations based on our family experiences of dining out.