Home to the nation's most prestigious naval college, the riverside town of Dartmouth is one of Devon's prettiest, awash with pastel-coloured, punch-drunk 17th- and 18th-century buildings leaning at angles, and a picturesque harbour stacked with yachts and clanking boat masts. It may be distinctly chic these days, but it's still a working port, and the triple draw of regular riverboat cruises, the art-deco house of Coleton Fishacre and the former home of Agatha Christie make Dartmouth all but irresistible.
Dartmouth is on the west side of the Dart estuary. It's linked to the village of Kingswear on the east bank by fleets of car and foot ferries, also providing a key transport link to Torquay. It makes a lovely base for exploring Devon's south coast and the South Hams area.