Tag Archives: Dartmouth

Wandering Around Dartmouth

Wandering Around Dartmouth

Continuing my tour of the South Hams, an area of South Devon where I lived before coming to Torbay, I would like to show you around Dartmouth – my favourite South Devon town – and you can follow the trail on the map opposite. How long it takes will obviously depend on how much time you spend in museums, pubs or on benches, but although it’s not a long walk by any means, I think you should allow at least half a day to really do it justice.

I covered some of Dartmouth’s history in Privateers, Castles, Sea Dogs and Pilgrims and a good place to start this walk is on the Embankment next to the Train Station with No Railway (No1 on the map).

Dartmouth’s Embankment is the riverside equivalent of a seaside promenade, where it’s possible to lose track of time just by watching the comings and goings along the river.

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A Train Station with No Railway

A Train Station with No Railway

Slap bang on Dartmouth’s riverside embankment is a former railway station which has since been converted to a restaurant. Nothing unusual about that you might think, but the station never had a railway in the first place – no tracks, nothing – so why was there a station here?

The simple answer is that it was used as a booking office to buy train tickets, but I suppose you’re now wondering why you would want to buy a train ticket at a booking office where there were no trains. Well, the answer to this is also quite simple, or at least up to a point.

Basically, Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s railway line to Torbay stopped at Torre, and the Dartmouth and Torbay Railway Company was formed to extend it to Dartmouth via Torquay, Paignton, Brixham Road (now Churston) and Kingswear, but the proposed bridge across the River Dart was beset by problems and so the railway line terminated at Kingswear.

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