If you’re familiar with Finest Stays you’ll know how much we love Dartmouth. Not only is the location stunning, the walking exhilarating and the nearby coves and beaches beautiful, but it’s also a town for all seasons with locals and holidaymakers enjoying a packed calendar of events. From Royal Regattas and music festivals to stand-up paddle challenges and food festivals, there’s something for everyone.
So, to help you plan your holiday in South Devon, here’s our rundown of what’s on in Dartmouth in 2023.
Dartmouth Farmers’ Market
Where: The Old Market Square, Market Street, Dartmouth
When: 2nd Saturday in the month, 9am– 2pm
Top of the list and not to be missed is the monthly Farmers’ bringing together the best local produce from local producers and farmers including meats, locally made drinks, savoury and sweet pastries, breads and cakes, local honey, flowers and plants plus many more.
What’s on in Dartmouth in 2023
Largest stand-up paddle event in the UK – Head of The Dart SUP Challenge
Where: Start Totnes – Finish Dartmouth
When: 29th April
This annual event attracts 250 + paddlers from far and wide which makes it the largest stand up paddle event in the UK! This beautiful 14 km course winds its way along the meandering River Dart between Totnes to Dartmouth (direction alternates each year). Paddlers can choose to enter individually or as part of a fleet with prizes awarded for both classes. If paddleboarding doesn’t float your boat it’s well worth checking out this amazing sight as an onlooker. More about the Head of the Dart SUP Challenge 2023 here.
Dart Music Festival
Where: The main stage, Bandstand and throughout the town
When: 19th, 20th & 21st May
An exciting toe tapping weekend for all the family. This free annual event has the town rocking with a lineup of artists. This year’s festival brings together the best emerging and established musicians in the south west performing at various venues throughout the town.
Dart the Dart Foodie Fun Run
Where: Totnes – Dartmouth along the banks of the River Dart. From Totnes Steamer Quay TQ9 5AL to Dartmouth Coronation Park
When: 20th May 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
Grab your running shoes and fancy dress clobber and join in the fun. This 13 mile fun run takes place along the banks of the River Dart from Totnes to Dartmouth. It’s by no means a race, stop and sample culinary delights and drinks along the way… and burn off the calories as you go for guilt free experience!. Profits from the fun run go towards supporting the annual Dartmouth Food Festival. Head to the Food Festival website for more info.
Where: Start Blackpool Sands
When: 11th June from 7.30am
Join the swimmers at Blackpool Sands for the start of the Dartmouth Triathlon, dip into the clear waters along this stunning coast for your first of the challenge. Then jump on your bike for a ride down to the iconic Slapton Sands and finally, race along the Blackpool Valley road and back. A real test of stamina and endurance. So if you’re up for the challenge, register for the race here.
Where: Powderham Castle EX6 8JQ
When: Fri 16th June to Sun 18th June
If you’re a dog mad household, check out Woofstock, which used to be an annual Dartmouth event, but this year it’s being held at Powderham Castle. This award winning family friendly festival is all about dogs with plenty of fun thrown in including live music, food stalls and dog show, agility, police dogs and obedience demonstrations.
Dartmouth Shakespeare Week Production – ‘The Merchant of Venice’
Where: Dartmouth Castle, Castle Road, Dartmouth
When: 18th – 22nd July, from 7.30pm
Pack up a picnic and immerse yourself in 16th century Venice. This is the 21st Annual Dartmouth Shakespeare Week production which this year tells a tale of love, revenge, justice and jealousy, beautifully brought to this open air stage by The Inn Theatre Company. You can buy your tickets here.
If you’re staying in Dartmouth in August, there is a packed waterbourne itinerary waiting for you…
Where: The Quay, Dittisham
When: 12th August
This annual regatta is a great day out for all the family with whaler, sculling and rowing races. Just hop on the passenger ferry and join in the fun!
178th Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta
Where: Dartmouth river and town
When: 23rd to 26th August
Don’t miss Dartmouth’s main event! In fact, this is a great reason to book your Dartmouth holiday home to coincide with a weekend of fun activities on the water. Sailing and rowing are the heart of regatta week when the town becomes a thriving hub of festivities including photo competition, family fun, games on the water, river parade and raft race and an amazing firework display. Forget walking on water, fancy a fire walk? If you’ve ever had a burning desire to walk on hot embers you can! From 18.30 on the 22nd August by the Boat Float you can walk on burning embers under the watchful eye of Scott Bell, the 2 x Guinness World Record Holder for the longest distance walked across fire! More about the Royal Regatta events here.
Devon Open Studios
Where: Locations across Devon
When: 9th – 14th September
Devon artists open up their studios and workshops to visitors. A great opportunity to see the artists at work and purchase a painting or sculpture to take home,
Agatha Christie Festival
Where: Torre Abbey, The Kings Drive, Torquay
When: 9th – 17th September
We couldn’t leave out this literary festival. Greenway House on the banks of the River Dart was Christie’s former holiday home where she spent many hours with pen in hand, no doubt inspired by the iconic boat house and her surroundings. The Festival is a week-long celebration of her works through films, workshops, cultural talks and performances. Get your tickets here.
Dartmouth Food Festival
Where: The Embankment and throughout the town
When: 20th – 22nd October
One of the mainstays in the Dartmouth calendar… The Food Festival is a must! This lively, family friendly event is FREE. A gastronomic fusion of fine food and drink, celebrity chefs, parties, tastings and demos plus over 100 exhibitors bringing you the very best local food and drinks. This has to be the #1 food festival in the South West! The perfect way to liven up an October weekend. More festival fun facts here.
This gives you an idea of what’s on in Dartmouth in 2023. So if you’d like to join us for a weekend or perhaps linger longer, browse our collection of Finest Stays or get in touch with one of our team, tell us what you’re looking for, and we’ll do the leg work for you.