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Buying a holiday home to let in Dartmouth 

Sitting pretty on the River Dart, Dartmouth ranks as one of the most picturesque towns in the Southwest. It oozes appeal for the holidaymakers who are spoilt for choice of history, water sports, foodie treats and world-class festivals. Not for nothing is Dartmouth a hotspot for second homes and by extension, self-catering properties.

Joining the legions of second homeowners and buying a holiday home to let in Dartmouth will allow you to tap into the lucrative local self-catering sector and of course, enjoy holidays in the town yourself. But before you start perusing estate agents’ listings, let’s take a look at the attractions in this part of South Devon, what to consider when choosing the location for your let and lastly, how much you can expect to pay. 

Why buy a holiday home to let in Dartmouth

South Devon features as one of England’s best-loved holiday destinations and within it, Dartmouth occupies a privileged position. Its Dart estuary location is just the beginning of a long list of attractions that makes it a compelling holiday choice for thousands every year. 

Here's why:

Scenic location 

Dartmouth is naturally blessed with a deep-water port and the River Dart ranks as one of the best sailing rivers in the UK. 

The town itself perches on the riverside so water views are a given from many properties. 

And across the River Dart sits Kingswear, a smaller but equally picturesque village that provides a picture-perfect backdrop for Dartmouth. 

Historic roots

Given its strategic waterfront location, it’s no surprise to discover that Dartmouth has a long naval history. The Crusades left here to travel east, the Pilgrim Fathers stopped at the port for repairs to their ship and the town is home to the Royal Navy College.

As a result, Dartmouth boasts several fine medieval and Elizabethan buildings such as the merchants houses on Butterwalk and the Tudor Bayards Cove Fort. 

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Year-round events 

Dartmouth plays host to a year-round calendar of events and festivals. Perhaps the most famous is the Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta, held at the end of August and a must in all sailors’ diaries. But visitors also flock to the town to enjoy the Dart Music Festival in May and the Dartmouth Food Festival in October.

Foodie feasts 

South Devon is one of the prime gastro spots in the UK with local produce at the top of the menu. Think freshly caught fish and seafood, meat, cheeses and of course, Devonshire cream tea. While on tap are locally produced wines, beers and gin from the award-winning Dartmouth distillery. 

Proven appeal 

As a location ticking all the must-haves on the holiday wish list, Dartmouth notches up solid visitor figures year after year. The rise in staycations since early 2020 has boosted its appeal with many holidaymakers discovering South Hams for the first time.

According to English Riviera Tourism, the number of tourists in summer 2021 reached record numbers and increased 10% on 2019. “South Devon will stay a very strong staycation destination of many, many years as feedback has been positive,” said Carolyn Custerson, CEO at the tourist board. Devon Live

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Where to buy a holiday home to let in Dartmouth 

The reasons for buying a holiday home in Dartmouth are obviously compelling and its year-round appeal also makes a persuasive case to tap into the holiday let market. But as with all property purchases, location is the prime criteria.

And there are other essential criteria to bear in mind too. Not least because your holiday let in Dartmouth will face intense competition – a recent local survey estimated that between 30% and 40% of all property in the town were second homes and a significant proportion of these, holiday lets.

Town centre, outskirts or outside 

Your first decision will be to decide where to buy in Dartmouth. Each area, whether it’s bang in the centre, slightly out of town or in the surrounding countryside, has its own advantages and much will depend on your own preferences for a holiday home.

Town centre 

Being at the heart of the action acts as a real draw for many holidaymakers who value having the town centre on their doorstep. Things to bear in mind when looking at property here include: 

Is there a view? – waterfront vistas come at a premium and even homes boasting a glimpse of the river are popular. Think twice about a property with no view at all.

Can you park? – often a holidaymaker’s nightmare so buying a property with a designated parking spot will add to your holiday let’s appeal. If a private space isn’t available, consider renting one nearby or buying an annual parking permit to make things easy for your visitors (and you when you stay).

Can we sit outside? – lockdowns have pushed an outside space to the top of most people’s priority lists so ensure your property in Dartmouth comes with at least a private balcony. Better still if it has views of the river…

Did you know? Pricing advice is just one of the services we offer to support our holiday let owners. Use it to ensure you charge the right amount to attract bookings to your Dartmouth holiday let and boost your profits. pricing your holiday let

Dartmouth town 

Some holidaymakers may prefer to be slightly detached from the busy town centre, yet within easy walking distance. Choosing to buy outside the heart of Dartmouth allows you to take advantage of elevated parts of the town where, of course, views are more far-reaching. Think about:

Is there a good view? – to ensure steady (and repeat) bookings, buy a property with the best view you can afford. Go for an eastern outlook for sunrises over the river or a northerly aspect to take advantage of views of the Royal Navy College.

Is it too far? – or is it too steep? Being within walking distance to the town centre is obviously a perk, but make sure your holidaymakers don’t have too far to go or climb on the way back.

Can we sit outside? – being slightly out of the town centre should get you more room outside, probably a small garden. But ask yourself how the space can add value for holidaymakers. Could you install a hot tub, for example, and/or a barbecue area? 

Outside Dartmouth 

You may prefer to forego the town altogether and tap into the delights of the surroundings. Kingswear on the opposite side of the river, for example, gives you stunning views of Dartmouth (and the sunset over the river). Or you might want to venture further upriver to Dittisham or the hamlet of East Cornworthy.

Glorious Devon countryside is, of course, guaranteed, but don’t forget to think about:

Is there a good view? – the vistas might not be as picturesque as those from Dartmouth itself but go for a property with a pretty outlook even if it’s ‘just’ over the rolling pastures.

How far is it into town? – the whole point of buying a holiday home to let in Dartmouth is obviously to enjoy the town itself. If you’re buying outside, gauge the distance carefully – any longer than a 30-minute car journey and you could find holidaymakers choosing to stay somewhere nearer.

Can we sit outside? – sizeable space is probably a given in any property on the outskirts of Dartmouth and it’s here that you’ll find the potential to make your holiday let shine. Go for a hot tub at least, a pool at best. And add features for the kids and the dog.

Did you know? All our holiday let owners in Dartmouth have access to a local host, on the ground to allow you to tap into their expert knowledge and experience. Find out more. Why our clients choose HolidayHost

Non-optional extras 

Wherever you decide to buy your holiday home to let in Dartmouth, make sure you fit it to the highest standards. In today’s competitive world of self-catering, only the best equipped properties fill their booking calendars and make the most profit for their owners as a result.


How much to expect to pay for a holiday home to let in Dartmouth 

Unsurprisingly, property in Dartmouth doesn’t come cheap. According to Rightmove, the average price in the town last year was £418,131. Terraced properties topped the sales lists with an average price of £433,948. Flats, on the other hand, were considerably cheaper, selling for an average £270,187.

Of course, these figures hide big variations in price and the price tags on properties with a river view come in at least one third higher while those on the waterfront fetch millions. However, despite these statistics, Rightmove also found that sales prices in Dartmouth fell by 14% in 2021 compared to 2020 and were just 5% higher than in 2017.

Now to let your holiday home 

Once you’ve made the decision to buy in Dartmouth and found the property that ticks your boxes, it’s time to jump right in and start your holiday lets. And remember, if you’d like to enjoy more of the profits and keep absolute control over how often you let your home in Dartmouth, choose Holiday Host for your professional hosting. Get in touch to find out more.

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