Making the most of the Dartmouth Regatta 2024

The Dartmouth Regatta is one of those bucket list events you simply have to see. It’s a marvellous mash-up of water-based competitions, land-based contests, foodie feasts, community parties, live music and a fabulous fireworks display. But how best to experience it? Read the Leonard Cove guide to making the most of the 2024 Dartmouth Regatta and find out.

Note the dates

The Dartmouth Regatta, or to give it its full title: the Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta, was first staged in 1822 and is always held over a Thursday, Friday and Saturday that includes the last Friday in August. This year, the Dartmouth Regatta 2024 runs from Thursday August 29th to Saturday 31st.                     

A premium sailing event - the Dartmouth Royal Regatta Sailing Week - is also staged as part of the regatta each year. It draws around 250 entries, making it the UK’s second largest sailing regatta after Cowes Week. In 2024, the Sailing Week will be held from Saturday 24th August to September 1st.


See the sailing

One of the best things about the sailing at the Dartmouth Regatta in 2024 is that it encompasses all kinds of vessels, from yachts and keelboats to gaffers and dinghies. It also includes all abilities - from ultra-serious yachting competitors, to people who just enjoy pootling about in boats. 

If serious sailing is your thing, book accommodation to include Tuesday August 27th through to Saturday 31st. This means you can take in the Savills Passage Race, which runs from Brixham to Dartmouth - good vantage points include Berry Head off Torbay and Froward Point on the eastern mouth of the River Dart.  

You’ll also get to see the top-notch yacht and dayboat sailing which takes place in Start Bay, just south of Dartmouth. Superb vantage points run from Little Dartmouth, to the west of the mouth of the Dart, to Blackpool Sands - in fact right in front of us here at Leonards Cove.

Other sailing events in the Dartmouth Regatta 2024 include the Gaffers racing in Start Bay on Friday 30th and Saturday 31st, and dinghy racing in the River Dart, when a wealth of Toppers, Lasers and Solos take to the waters between Dartmouth and Kingswear.

Rowing Dartmouth

Revel in the rowing

For many, the rowing will be another top highlight of the Dartmouth Regatta 2024. Again, there’s an impressive variety of crafts and competition will be fierce. Here are some of our favourites:

West of England Amateur Rowing Association Championships Thurs 29th

See skilled rowers battle it out on a 1000 metre course between the Higher and Lower Ferries. Craft include eights, coxed fours and double and single sculls.

Pilot Gig Racing Day TBC

Watch six-strong crews compete in 32-ft long, clinker built boats that were originally used to race to be the first to get their pilots aboard ships coming into port.

Coastal Rowing Day TBC

Cheer on as coxed and un-coxed sculls row out of the river, around the Mewstone and back in impressive races of 6-8km.

Local Rowing Fri 30th

Watch local crews battle it out in the hotly-contested whaler racing - arguably the local highlight of Dartmouth Regatta 2024.

Bungee Rowing Day TBC

Laugh as crews of four try to row a whaler the furthest, despite being attached by a bungee chord to the Town Pontoon.


Cheer (or join!) the land based contests

One of the most satisfying things about Dartmouth Regatta 2024 is that it’s not all about the water. There’s a superb schedule of land-based competitions too. Look out for these highlights

Tennis Tournament Two events, Local and Open, with a wide range of categories in both. Held beside the river at Coronation Park.

Road Race Dartmouth has plenty of hills, which makes the road race, over a 5.1 mile course, an impressive event. Look out too for the youth race and a fun run.

Dog Show Your chance to enter your four-legged friend in a wealth of fun classes. No need to book - just turn up.


Join the family fun

There’s loads for families to love about the Dartmouth Regatta 2024, with plenty of contests for kids and families. Highlights include the Waterborne Treasure Hunt and a Shore Scavenger Hunt, as well as your chance to Spot the Oddity in the windows of local shops. 

You can also compete in the Junior Crabbing Competition, fancy dress, a pavement artist contest and - a very popular one with the kids - an ice cream eating contest. 

Dartmouth Town

Soak up the Atmosphere

Dartmouth is a delightful town year-round and during the Dartmouth Regatta 2024 there’s even more to enjoy. Our top tips:

Shop till you drop Explore a wealth of superb independent stores, featuring everything from swish lifestyle and clothing shops, to gourmet food and quirky art.

Take in some music Head to the Royal Avenue Gardens in the heart of town to enjoy sets played from the historic bandstand.

Enjoy the party Join the regatta’s family entertainment, Morris Dancing, stalls and fairground games. And sup a pint with the rowing competitors at pubs all around town. 


Feast on fine foods

Dartmouth Regatta 2024 is also a chance to sample great food ranging from burgers, hotdogs, fudge and ice cream, to prime local meats, shellfish and net-fresh fish. Food stalls pepper the town during regatta week while the local cafes and restaurants offer great deals. 

Be sure to book at table at Kendricks Restaurant, the sister venue to Kendricks at our Leonards Cove site. Our Dartmouth restaurant is set right in the heart of the regatta action, beside the picturesque boat float. At Kendricks, you can be sure of a vibrant atmosphere and fresh, local, seasonal ingredients cooked up with flair.

Leonards Cove - Drone Photo 2

Stay at Leonards Cove

And our final tip to making the most of the Dartmouth Regatta 2024? Book your accommodation early to be sure of somewhere to sleep. And book at Leonards Cove to ensure a fantastic stay.
At just 11 miles from Dartmouth, our stunning clifftop location is perfectly placed for enjoying the regatta. A gorgeous clifftop setting ensures you look out onto cracking sea views - and some of the sailing events. While our wide range of accommodation suits all budgets, from tents and campervans to luxury mobile homes, delightful cottages and stylish lodges - all with sweeping sea views. 

Our acclaimed on-site Kendricks restaurant rustles up fine grilled meats and fish, gourmet burgers and a great range of vegetarian food. Add wi-fi, a laundry service and a strong environmental ethos, and you have the idea base the make the very most of the Dartmouth Regatta 2024.

Why not explore your stay at Leonards Cove today?

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