Rosemary Cottage | Dittisham
The picturesque and historic village of Dittisham stands on the River Dart about two miles upstream from Dartmouth. Today there is a population of just over 400 but the village was mentioned in the Domesday Book, and in times gone by the quayside was a thriving centre for trade and the famous Dittisham plum is thought to have originated as part of a leftover cargo. During mid-August the Dittisham plums are ripe and you'll find many a resident offering bags for sale. The current parish church, Church of St George, dates from the early 14th century and was enlarged in the 15th century with restoration carried out in the 19th and early 20th centuries, actually stands on the site of a Norman church dating from about 1050. The red sandstone font dates from the 12th century and there is a rood screen across nave and aisles from the 15th century. Near the church where the roads fork left to Lower Street and right to the Level and on to Manor Street is the Red Lion pub, local shop and post office. Manor Street leads down to the quayside and pontoon (do not drive down Manor Street unless you are staying at one of the houses and have an off-road parking place). The pontoon has moorings for locals' boats and it is from here that you can take the ferry across to Agatha Christie's Greenway (summon the ferry by bell) and along to Dartmouth (a scenic 30 minute ride - worth booking in advance in high summer season).
Pubs, restaurants and shop
Just on the other side of the River Dart is Greenway, once the home of Agatha Christie and now belonging to the National Trust. You can summon the ferry to take you over by ringing the bell by the pontoon.
Marshall's sailing school offers sailing lessons in boats to suit all ages and levels of experience. Boats such as Mayflowers, Cornish Coble and Toppers are available for hire and paddleboard lessons and tours are also offered.
Dittisham Boats offers self-drive motor boats, including Orkney Longliners and Whaly 435s, sailing boats, kayaks (single and double) and stand-up paddleboards for hire.
Crabbing is a much-loved and popular activity for all the family from the Dittisham pontoon. Crabbing lines and bait can be bought from the Anchorstone Cafe. During the Dittisham Regatta in August there is always a crabbing competition for children.
The Ham, is a green field open space where children can play football and other ball games, you can picnic and watch the comings and goings on the river, and where there is also a children's playground in the shape of a galleon allowing for climbing, sliding and look-out stations.
Events in Dittisham
The Dittisham Regatta takes place on a Saturday in August every year - the date changes according to the tide. This full-day event offers a host of rowing, sculling and whaler races to take part in or to watch and a variety of child-friendly activities including the crabbing competition and the Plum Challenge, a children's obstacle/rowing event. Stalls are set up along the Quay and beach featuring traditional games and competitions, including a WI cake stall and a BBQ run by the Ditsum players. All profits from the day are donated to local organisations and charities.
The Dart 10K is arguably the finest 10K swim on the open water calender. This takes place in September each year and starts in Totnes, passing landmarks such as the Cormorant Tree, the white rock, Sharpham boat house and Bow Creek, and finishes on the Ham in Dittisham. There are now about 800 swimmers over two days. A range of food, drink and other goods are available all day for supporters.