About Dartmouth

and The Local Area

Sails is located in the heart of Dartmouth overlooking the port and Coronation Park with views of the Royal Naval College. It is a landmark building with the design inspiration coming from the sails of a sailing clipper.

Dartmouth has a seafaring history dating back to the Crusades when it was the sailing point. It was a home of the Royal Navy from the reign of Edward 111 and was twice surprised and sacked during the Hundred Year’s War after which the mouth of the estuary was closed each night with a great chain and protected by two fortified castles. The port was also a major base for privateering in the Middle Ages.

The oldest street in Dartmouth is Smith Street recorded by name in the 13th Century. In 1373 Geoffrey Chaucer visited and among the pilgrims in his Canterbury Tales

“A schipman was ther, wonyng fer by weste;
For ought I wost, he was Dertemouthe.”

Dartmouth sent numerous ships to join the English fleet that attacked the Armada in 1588 and during the next century the Pilgrim Fathers put in to Dartmouth en route from Southampton to America. In the latter part of World War 11 the town was the base for American forces and one of the departure points for Utah beach in the D Day landings. Tradition continues to this day with the town being home to the Briannia Royal Naval College where all officers of the Royal Navy and many foreign naval officers are trained.

The harbour remains a hive of activity with three ferries criss crossing the estuary; fishing boats coming and going; tugs piloting cruise liners, pleasure boats and the mass of yachts that are moored in the harbour and the marina.

The town which is known as the “ jewel in Devon’s Crown” and contains many medieval and Elizabethan streetscapes and is a patchwork of narrow lanes and stone stairways leading to an array of boutique shops, art galleries and delicatessens. A cobbled market place features colourful stalls and a Farmers market supplying fresh local produce. Restaurants, cafes, shops and pubs make the most of what’s on offer from succulent meat, wholesome fruit and vegetables, tasty seafood and fresh dairy produce. It is no wonder that celebrity chefs from around the country have chosen Dartmouth for their business ventures.

Dartmouth is a thriving community with all sorts of activities throughout the year such as the Dartmouth Shakespeare Week with the most amazing natural stage on which to bring the characters to life; the Dart Music Festival with a wonderful selection of singers, groups, orchestras and choirs; the Dartmouth Festival of Food which showcases local produce and culinary skills; the Royal Regatta with the focus being on sailing, rowing and swimming but with a variety of other events leading to the Regatta being labelled the “ Best in the West” and  “Candlelit Dartmouth” where processions of beautiful handmade willow and paper lanterns wind through the streets with street stalls, carol singing, hot chestnuts and Father Christmas arriving by boat. There is also a wide variety of clubs within the town ranging from the Yacht club, badminton, rowing, angling, cricket, film, art society, NADFAS, petanque , choral and orchestral amongst a host of others catering for all interests.

There are activities for all. The Dartmouth Golf and Country Club offers two exceptional golf courses both built to USGA Championship specification. The Dart Marina Spa only a short walk from Sails offers a gym and a range of holistic and luxurious treatments and within the adjacent Coronation Park are tennis courts.

Dartmouth lies within an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty with soft rolling hills with Dartmoor within easy reach to the west. It is a great area for walkers with the South west Coast Path offering a variety of tough cliff walking to gentle hills and lanes with an abundance of bird and wildlife and the most fabulous views. The coast offers some of the most beautiful beaches in the country with a range of water activities including wildlife tours.