The Round Robin tour from Paignton takes in some of South Devon’s most scenic sights and includes a bus ride to Totnes, river boat cruise to Dartmouth, ferry to Kingswear and steam train back to Paignton.
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I stayed in a cottage in Loddiswell (you can view it through the link above), and the person who looks after the property recommended this tour to me. It turned out to be the highlight of my time in Devon, it’s a great way to see a lot of the area in one day.
Above: River Dart and Kingswear
I purchased my Round Robin tickets online and picked them up by Paignton train station where there’s also a pay and display car park if you’re arriving by car. Just across the road a bus was waiting in Paignton bus station to take our tour group to Totnes.
The bus driver provided some commentary about the local area, the most memorable part for me was when we drove through a residential area that had animal sculptures in many of the front gardens – such a unique and quirky idea!
The bus stopped by the river in Totnes where we boarded our river boat down to Dartmouth. Before boarding there was just enough time to use the toilets and pick up some drinks and snacks.
The river cruise from Totnes to Dartmouth takes around 90 minutes or so, and there’s plenty to see on the way. The crew shared lots of interesting facts about the area and pointed out all sorts of wildlife that live on the river.
We also caught a glimpse of Greenway, Agatha Christie’s holiday retreat, The Sharpham Trust and admired beautiful scenes of riverside villages like Dittisham. The best view for me was saved right at the end as we approached Dartmouth as you also see a pretty view across to Kingswear.
Dartmouth made an immediate impression, as I walked along the small harbour and through the park I thought how lovely it was. I was keen to find a viewpoint to take some photos so I walked up Ridge Hill past a Community Orchard which overlooks the impressive Britannia Royal Naval College. I eventually found a steep street called Mount Boone Hill where you can look across the rooftops to Kingswear and the river mouth.
There was just enough time to enjoy a bite to eat before taking the short ferry ride from Darmouth to Kingswear. Kingswear is where you board the steam train back to Paignton, so before it arrived I had a little walk around the hilly streets and waited above the train station to watch as the steam train approached.
There were more lovely scenes of Kingswear and Darmouth to see from the steam train, and as we neared Paignton we had an awesome view of the coastline and the beach huts.
I think the Round Robin ticket from Paington was really good value for the travel experiences we had included. The river cruise was my favourite part of the day, followed by the scenic steam train ride back to Paignton. Tickets are currently priced at £34.50 for adults and £22 for children – there are concession rates and family tickets available too.