Merry in Olde England - & a Wedding - Fall 2014 travel blog

Dartmouth

Dartmouth

Dartmouth Castle

Dartmouth Castle

dartmouth panorama

Torquay

Torquay

Torquay clock tower

Torquay pavillion

view from ferry

Torquay harbor

ferry


A cold front came through bringing autumnal temperatures and rain. We relaxed in the condo until the sun returned and headed to downtown Torquay. While its harbor was not as quaint as some we've seen, it boasts a ferris wheel, an attraction we got used to seeing in Japan where it seemed that every town had one. People sat enjoying the view, dining al fresco despite the cool winds. There are many ferries and scenic boat trips in this area and we had a long consult with a transport expert who sells a ticket combining trains, ferries and buses for a circle tour. He was very kind and helpful as the queue of ticket purchasers grew behind us. If the weather holds, that's on tomorrow's agenda.

Then we drove a few miles to Dartmouth, a historic town on the Dart River. We wanted to see its castle and were not surprised when the route included another car ferry across the river. When I bought the round trip ticket the seller cautioned me that there was more than one ferry and I need to return to this one. Of course, when we left the castle we ended up at the wrong one initially and after many tight turns and weaving through the old part of town, we finally found the lower ferry once again. The round trip ticket was cheaper, but the aggravation may not have been worth it.

The castle was disappointing. I wouldn't call it a castle. Rather it was a few remnants of a fortress that boasted cannons to defend the city. The abbey we saw yesterday was much more castle-like. But it had a scenic location and a nearby church had picturesque headstones. Part of the castle was across the river and heavy chains were strung across and raised every night to protect the city. It was of great strategic importance from the time the crusaders left from here. Sir Walter Raleigh also brought captured Spanish galleons here, Henry Hudson stopped by during his trip to search for the Northwest Passage, and the Pilgrim Fathers stopped here on the Mayflower on their way to the New World in 1620. There was much activity to defend.

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