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Dartmouth - Devon
Dartmouth from the River Dart. Wikipedia photo
Two hundred thirty six miles southwest of London, 35 miles south of Exeter, Dartmouth can be reached by rail from Paignton and Totnes (on the Paddington to Plymouth line' or by road take A38 from Exeter to A384 to Totnes and follow either A385 via Paignton or A381 via Halwell). The great pinkish building of Britain's prestigious Royal Naval College towers over the deep water port of Dartmouth, home of England's navies since the time of Edward III and influential in the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1604, and in the Normandy landings in 1944.
Touring the town's steep, haphazard alleys can be a delight; the four-storey Butterwalk, built for a local merchant in the 17th century has a wealth of fine wood carvings. Medieval Agincourt House is also worth a look.
The town's small museum is dedicated to maritime curios. By the riverside is the world's first effective steam engine designed by Thomas Newcomen. Nearby 15th Century Dartmouth Castle was never tested in battle, and is thus remarkably well-preserved. On its site are also defensive works from the 19th century and World War ll.
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