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changes the riverside port has experienced over the centuries.


Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boat Company’s Round Robin trip is right on our doorstep. The circular route consists of a combination ofjourneys from a river boat voyage from Dartmouth to Totnes, an open top bus ride to Paignton, and a scenic trip on the historic steam railway from Paignton to Kingswear, which passes along the spectacular Geopark coastline of the English Riviera and through the glorious wooded slopes of the Dart Estuary.


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With its eagle-eyed position, Britannia Royal Naval College has an imposing presence in the town. For an up-close view of the UK’s premier RN officer initial training establishment book in for a two-hour historical tour where the Britannia guides will show off the extensive college grounds, its beautiful chapels, splendid Quarterdeck and impressive gilded ceiling in the Senior Gunroom as well as the college’s parade ground, Britannia Museum and gift shop. Public tours take place from Easter to the end of October. For information phone Dartmouth Visitor Information Centre on 01803 834224. Private tours are available all year. To book phone 01803 677787.


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Dartmouth Castle is one of the most picturesquely-sited fortresses in England. It has guarded the narrow entrance to the Dart Estuary and the busy, vibrant port of Dartmouth for more than 600 years. Unusually incorporating the fine church of St Petrox, the castle saw action during the Civil War, and continued in service right up until World War II. Successive up-dating


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Described by the Sunday Times in 2010 as the best day out in the UK, luckily for us The


included the Victorian Old Battery with its remounted heavy guns, guardrooms and maze of passages to explore. Here a dramatic film- sequence recreates a Victorian gun-firing, and throughout the fortress displays retell the six centuries of castle history. For more information and opening times visit www.english- heritage.org.uk.


Blackpool Gardens is accessed through a small green door opposite Blackpool Sands. Nestled on a sloping site between the villages of Stoke Fleming and Strete, the forgotten world of a 19th century subtropical plantsman’s garden has been brought back to life thanks to an extensive restoration project. This secret garden provides an unexpected sub-tropical scene in a sensational South Hams setting.


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Start Point Lighthouse, which has guided vessels


along the English Channel for more than 150 years, is situated on one of the most exposed peninsulas on the English Coast. To get the most from this special location, climb the tower to take in the views and let the local guides recount tales of life ‘in the round’ on Devon’s most southerly peninsula. For more information visit www.trinityhouse.co.uk.


Woodlands Family Theme Park just near Blackawton is


the biggest of its kind in the South West and boasts 11 action-packed Playzones which house electrifying watercoasters, a 500m toboggan run, a Wild West Village, dinosaur farm and indoor fun factories with soft play centres for tiny tots. The park also has an 18-hole safari adventure golf course, plus is home to cuddly creatures, exotic animals, birds and insects in its Zoo-Farm as well as a


selection of owls and hawks in its falconry centre. A great family day out come rain or shine.


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If you have never visited Sharpham Vineyard, give it a whirl. The


beautiful 550 acre estate on the banks of the River Dart contains 12,000 vines on its south facing slopes and a herd of 80 Jersey cows grazing the grassland, whose milk is used for a range of handmade soft cheeses. The cheese dairy has viewing windows so visitors can view the process. Sharpham Vineyard offers a range of tours and wines and cheese tastings. The vineyard shop sells its range of wine and cheese and during spring and summer The Vineyard Cafe sells excellent food made from local produce. For more information phone 01803 732203 or visit www. sharpham.com.


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Make 2013 the year you explore the stunning River Dart and it’s wildlife


in a leisurely fashion with Canoe Adventures. Based at Tuckenhay, the company offers trips for all ages and abilities and trips last for up to five hours and include shore picnic stops. Moonlight trips are also on offer, giving canoeists the chance to dine ashore in one of the nearby riverside villages. The trips are ideal for families, friends, birthdays, hen and stag parties, work, team and club outings. For more information phone 01803 865301 or email canoe@ canoeadventures.co.uk.


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Check out the oldest surviving working steam engine designed by


one of Dartmouth’s most famous sons – Thomas Newcomen. Born in the town in 1663, Newcomen’s pumping heralded the industrial revolution of the 18th century. The Dartmouth engine, displayed next


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