I recommend that if you are going to visit Dartmouth for several days, pack your sailing gear if you
have any, in case you can wangle a sail on a local yacht or fancy one of the many available local daily boat trips up river, around the coast, or to Plymouth. At the very least pack walking boots or your green wellies & Barbour, or a water & windproof proof anorak, as it can get very windy and there are marvelous coastal walks from Dartmouth Castle onward. Definitely take your digital camera and a pair of binoculars too, if you have them, as there is a lot to watch and photograph around the town and harbor. Get a decent Ordnance Survey map of the town and surrounding countryside, as there are a plethora of lovely walks and views.
What's the weather like?
Dartmouth is in the South West of England and so the weather in the summer is walm and pleasant - occasionally wet. In the winter, mild and wet with occasional wintery weather (windy, stormy or even snow, but not very often!).
However if you want to find out for yourself and then to forcast the next few days, you could go and check the temperature and barometer on this instrument located at Bayard's Cove!!
Whilst Christian is struck dumb by nature's majesty, Tim realises his cheap-o specs he picked up from a dodgy street trader are fatally flawed! As if that fact wasn't blindingly obvious by its price tag.
Luckily he recovered in time to witness the awesome solar eclipse that darkened southwest England in August 1999.
We chose Dartmouth, a small seaside town in southern Devon, deep within the zone of totality.
Unfortunately it was cloudy here as was the rest of southwest England. In fact, I think the only part of Britain that wasn't cloudy was the part that wasn't in the zone of totality. Go figure.
This is when it went dark in Dartmouth!
We got away from the crowds by walking down the seafront to a small stone fort in Boyard's Cove built many hundreds of years ago. Very atmospheric! My friends and I had the whole place to ourselves. We sat in the openings where cannon used to point while guarding Dartmouth's harbour. The sea lapped just below our feet as we awaited the time of totality.
It didn't go completely black as we were hoping, but I think that was because the clouds diffused some light from elsewhere in the sky. I remember it going very cold as the sky darkened. Yachts in the harbour sounded their horns, several people let off fireworks and cheers went up from the crowds on the seafront.
There had been a mystical connotation attached to this event, it being the millennium and all. Yet the world didn't end, not like some people were thinking (and hoping?). But we heard some cheering as the moon passed on, as if people were relieved to see the sun again.
It wasn't the end of the world after all, though our hair tells a different story.