Enjoy a virtual tour of Dittisham an un-spoilt picturesque village nestled on the River Dart that has a calm, laid-back vibe of river life.
Dittisham is a small quaint village hidden away from the masses. It’s not easy to get to especially via car as you have to come through narrow lanes. Coming via boat is the easiest option, park up on Galmpton Quay then ring the bell for the ferry to come.
There are a number of walks in the area, some circular others not. The river shore offers particularly interesting walks but care should be taken with the tides. The Dart Valley Trail, Totnes to Dartmouth runs past and at Dittisham it splits so you could follow either side of the River Dart to Dartmouth or Kingswear. The stretch of path on the east side between Greenway (National Trust) and Kingswear is probably the better of the two.
The circular walks vary distance, you can walk up through the fields to Capton and then back down to Mill Creek or the challenging 10-12 mile Dittisham – Dartmouth – Kingswear – Greenway – Dittisham.
If you’re here in August then you have to try a Dittisham Ploughman Plum grown only in the village. With a very short season, lasting no more than 10 days from early to mid August. With them being so highly localised and in demand they are rarely experienced outside of Dittisham.
- Dittisham has given its name to the Dittisham Ploughman Plum, a dessert variety only grown in the village and has a very short maximum of a 10 day season.
- Situated at the widest part of the River Dart, where at high tide the water stretches for over a mile to Galmpton on the far shore.
- The fictitious Lady Dittisham is one of the main characters In Agatha Christie’s, Five Little Pigs.
- The village is believed to be named after ‘Deedas’, a Saxon chief, who probably settled here soon after the Saxon invasion of Devon, in about 660 A.D.
- The Domesday survey carried out in 1085-86 records the village as ‘Didashim’, meaning homestead of Deedas.
- In February and April of 1894 Albert Liwentaal, a Swiss born engineer who lived at Snail Cottage became airborne on the slopes above Dittisham Mill Creek in a machine he designed and constructed himself. One of the earliest pioneers of the heavier than air flying machines in the UK, second only to Sir George Cayley the Englishman accredited as the “father of the aeroplane”.
With the coming of the Elizabethan era, three famous men who lived here by the Dart were to influence history. Sir Humphrey Gilbert was born at Greenway House, just across the river. His father died when he was only eight and his mother, Katherine Champerdowne of Modbury, married Raleigh of Hayes Barton, near Exmouth. They had a son named Walter, who spent much of his time at Greenway with his half brother Humphrey. Just north of Dittisham, across the river at Sandridge, the boys had a younger friend called John Davis.
- Sir Humphrey Gilbert led an expedition which founded the colony of Newfoundland, while searching for the Northwest Passage.
- Sir Humphrey’s half brother, Sir Walter Raleigh became one of the first explorers of Virginia and established the first English colony in North America.
- John Davis became a navigator and Arctic explorer. He carried out an expedition in search of the Northwest Passage – discovered and gave his name in 1587 to the Davis Strait, between Greenland and Canada. In 1592 he left on an expedition to the South Atlantic and discovered the Falkland Islands.
- In the middle of the river, near Vipers Quay, is the ‘Anchor Stone’ or ‘Scold Stone’ as some of the old books call it. Legend has it that the unfaithful wives of the village were tied to this as a ‘punishment for their sins’. In bygone days Dittisham men used to sell their wives – presumably the unfaithful ones! The last recorded sale was in the middle of the 19th century.
- Dittisham Regatta
- Totnes to Dittisham 10K Swim
- Dart Valley Trail
- Eat a Dittisham Ploughman Plum
- Fire Beacon Hill
- Greenway House
- The Ham
- Mill Creek
- Paddle boarding
- St George’s Church
- The Ferry Boat Inn
- The Anchorstone Café
- The Red Lion
There is a footpath connecting The Ham and Manor Street via the lane which is 90 yards up behind the Ferry Boat Inn – this is relatively level and gives access via foot in about 4 minutes.
- There is no timetable for the Greenway crossing, instead a bell can be found on the quay where you can summon the ferry.
- Walking further afield to Capton or Dartmouth is challenging in places with steep inclines.
- When walking riverside care should be taken with the tides.
Situated on the banks of the River Dart, Dittisham is found two miles upstream from Dartmouth. Accessible by both boat and car, the village is within close proximity to Dartmouth and Totnes. It’s at the end of a steep single track road with some passing spaces. If you can come via one of the ferries as this would be an easier option.
- Bus, The West Dart Bus is a community bus run by volunteers. The village bus stop is by the Church. It’s a ring and ride service, Office: 01752 690 444 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Car, a 15 minute drive from Dartmouth or Totnes, there are two car parks in the village, The Ham (TQ6 0HS) and The Level (TQ6 0HD). Visitors pay for parking using either the coin only machines or using their RingGo account.
- Ferry, There are 3 options with the passenger ferry from Dartmouth or Greenway. and the Anchorstone Water Taxi.
Tip: There is no timetable for the greenway crossing, instead a bell can be found on the quay to summon the ferry.
- If you’re here in August then you have to try a Dittisham Ploughman Plum grown only in the village. With a very short season, lasting no more than 10 days from early to mid August.
- There is no timetable for greenway crossing, instead a bell can be found on the quay where you can summon the ferry.
- Walking further afield to Caption or Dartmouth is challenging in places with steep inclines.
- When walking riverside care should be taken with the tides.
- Check out dittishamferries.co.uk.
- Get £30 off your first Airbnb trip of £55 or more click here.
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