Views of Dartmouth

One of this year’s birthday trips was a day at Dartmouth. We began with a hot chocolate and cinnamon toast at Alf’resco, then meandered gently along the narrow streets.

stopping to see the Lower Ferry,

and enjoy the view to Kingswear, via a very pretty garden, then on along the waterfront.

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The next stop is at Bayard’s Cove Fort, a single storey artillery fort built in the 1530’s as an extra defence against any invaders making it past the castle.

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The path climbs a little now, but that means nice views.

over on the bend

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Around the creek we continue towards the castle, which I think I showed you a few weeks ago.

I’ve never been inside, but I did get told off for peeping around the door in the picture below, it’s English Heritage and a man thought I was trying to sneak in without paying.
But we were hot and in need of ice cream, not dungeons! No photos I’m afraid, but mine was toffee fudge. We retraced our steps to summon the little ferry, turning the board around so that the ferryman could see he had passengers from the other side of the river.I rarely go on a boat, so it’s always a delight to see the view from one.

Lot’s of interesting and very expensive properties on both sides.

and there’s Bayard’s Cove Fort again.

Nearly back to town. Just ten minutes or so on the water, and it feels like a different world.

They’re still crabbing, I’d be a bit nervous if my child was sitting there. We’ve missed lunch, so we stroll towards the little harbour to see what we can find. No lunch, just a pasty and some new sunglasses for me!

It takes less than an hour to walk from the town to the castle, even taking lots of photos and view stops. Even though it’s short, I know that Jo will like it, for the boats if nothing else. She likes to walk on Mondays, or with her lovely daughter, last week they went to Rufford Abbey near Nottingham

 

An Officer and a Gentleman

Britannia Royal Naval College, the initial officer training establishment of the Royal Navy, sits high on a hill overlooking Dartmouth in England. Royal Naval officer training has taken place in Dartmouth since 1863, but the buildings we see today were only finished in 1905, previous students lived in two wooden hulks moored in the River Dart. The foundation stone for the current building was laid down by King Edward V11 in March 1902. Sir Aston Webb designed the shore-based college at Dartmouth, which was built by Higgs and Hill and practically completed in 1905. The first term of cadets entered at the R.N. College Osborne were transferred to Dartmouth in September 1905.

King George V and King George V1 were naval cadets at Dartmouth, as were the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York. It is said that the Duke of Edinburgh met the then Princess Elizabeth at Dartmouth. Prince William spent a brief period at the College after leaving Sandhurst as part of his training with all three of Britain’s Armed Forces. Sheikh Mubarak Ali Yousuf Suoud Al-Sabah, a member of the Royal Family of Kuwait, attended the Royal Navy Young Officer Course at Britannia Royal Naval College in 2002.

BRNC is widely considered one of the most prestigious officer training establishments in the world, their website says that they are

Delivering learning that is inspiring, challenging and relevant to meet Fleet operational capability. It has been at the forefront of the education and development of world-class Naval Officers in Dartmouth since 1863.

Fourteen years ago my son joined the Navy and since then he has risen the ranks as a submariner to Chief Petty Officer. On Thursday I went to see him ‘Pass out’ as Sub-Lieutenant at Dartmouth. A very proud day as you can imagine. Here is a slide show of the day.

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Ailsa’s Travel Theme

Transportation is Ailsa’s Travel Theme this week, click the link to join in.

The current Higher Ferry from Dartmouth has been operating since 2009, but it has a history reaching back to the 14th century. In the 1920’s it became  a car ferry and now operates for 16 hours each day, and apart from the queue it takes 5 minutes, saving a 26 mile drive that takes 50 minutes. A beautiful leisure drive but tedious if it separates home from work etc, connecting the South Hams with Torbay on the A379.

This was a very grey day back in June, but it’s a nice little jaunt in the sunshine!

Agatha Christie’s Greenway

Agatha Christie, perhaps the most famous crime writer ever, was born twenty miles away in Torquay. After her first marriage failed (she discovered her husband was having an affair) she met and married Max Mallowan and moved to Greenway in 1938. The gardens are now part of the National Trust, and because of the lack of parking space they encourage you to arrive there by public transport. With a choice of the bus or a ferry up the river Dart from Dartmouth, you can guess what I did on a glorious summer day!

The ferry calls at Dittisham on the west side of the river, a pretty little village in itself, and like Dartmouth, home to many wealthy yachty types. When you disembark at Greenway, you walk up towards the house with the view of the river unfolding, and I’m sure it must have been the most perfect place for Dame Agatha to write. She used several Devon locations in her books, including Burgh Island, for Ten ittle Indians. They have murder mystery weekends there in the 1930’s art deco hotel, just a few miles down the coast.

The house at Greenway is still in the family, and is not open to the public, her daughter lives there. I was there for the garden and was a little disappointed, it was high summer but it isn’t a flower garden. It may have changed now, as the National Trust have been involved a bit longer. The beauty lies in the view, the journey, and of course if you are a fan, the knowledge that you walk in Agatha’s footsteps.

Click any picture for a slide show.