While this pretty English gem began as an important deep-water port, it is now a favorite coastal escape for city dwellers. The home of the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth is steeped in military history, strategically located on the banks of the river Dart, and was once the sailing point of the Crusades of 1147 and 1190. It’s hard to miss the fortified castles perched at the mouth of the Dart—the Dartmouth and the Kingswear—with the small Tudor Bayard’s Cove Fort tucked behind as the town’s third line of defense. Visit Greenway, the summer home of author Agatha Christie, or stroll down the “Butterwalk”, a row of classic Tudor merchants’ houses built in 1635-40, now home to shops and the Dartmouth Museum. Arguably one of the most picturesque towns in England, Dartmouth’s medieval and Elizabethan streetscapes, smart boutiques, streetside cafes and gourmet restaurants continue to charm.
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