--------------------- Kingswear Castle---------------------

Paddle Steamer
THE UK'S ONLY COAL FIRED PADDLE STEAMER

River Dart Telegraph

The UK'S only coal fired paddle steamer

The river Dart in this Area of Oustanding Natural Beauty, which for centuries provided a transport highway up and down this Devon waterway, has regained the last coal fired paddle steamer carrying passengers in the UK today, the Kingswear Castle.

The decision was taken to return the KC to her home waters and 2012 and she now runs Dartmouth River Cruises and cruises between Dartmouth and Totnes, meaning passengers can now journey on her as part of the famous Round Robin excursion. So, this award winning circular tour has just got even better! The all inclusive ticket includes a steam train ride, a bus journey, connecting ferry and river cruise on the beautiful river Dart on the paddle steamer Kingswear Castle.

 
For enquiries contact Dartmouth Steam Railway & River Boat Company on 01803 555872.
 

Our History

The Kingwear Telegraph

The paddle steamer Kingswear Castle is the last remaining coal-fired paddle steamer in operation in the UK today. She was built in 1924 at Philip & Son of Dartmouth and plied her trade between Totnes and Dartmouth until 1965 (her engines are even older, dating back to 1904, eight years before the sinking of the Titanic). In her heyday when this impressive ship was the life blood of the river Dart, she could carry almost 500 passengers.

The first passenger steam boat service was introduced on the Clyde in 1812 and it wasn't until 1836 that the South Hams greeted its first estuary passenger steamer. Prior to this, goods were transported via pack horse or carters wagon. The arrival of the railways in the mid 1800's challenged their survival and at that point they became more reliant on the tourism trade.

The steam railway has had a long historical link with the steamers on the river Dart. Charles Seal Hayne was one of the early investors in the railway and associated steamer service. In 1859 he founded the Dartmouth Steam Packet Company Ltd which was later sold to Dart Pleasure Craft - now part of the Dartmouth Steam Railway & River Boat Company. PS Kingswear Castle was loaned to the US Navy during World War II for use as a harbour tender. She was purchased by the PSPS (Paddle Steamer Preservation Society) and left the Dart in an era when diesel engines and propellers were favoured over paddles and after a short spell operating from Cowes on the Isle of Wight, she moved to Chatham in Kent where the PSPS spent 15 years fully restoring her to her former glory and where she has been offering river trips on the Medway since 1985. In 2013, she returned to the home waters of the river Dart after an absence of 47 years.

 

The centuries old river trade in cargo and passengers, facilitating development of the wool trade in Ashburton, Buckfastleigh and Totnes, shifted to steam power during the mid 19th century using small paddle steamers. These steamers paused at the mouth of Bow Creek and off the villages of Dittisham, Stoke Gabriel and Duncannon to collect and land passengers and goods from open boats and from 1861 called at Greenway Quay to connect with the newly -completed railway at Churston. In 1922 a long pier was constructed at Dittisham to allow steamers to call at all states of the tide. By the late 1920s the all-year-round service had given way to summer-only tourist sailings. The three most modern paddle steamers continued through to the 1960s when they were replaced by screw powered vessels of the type that operate today.

Of the last three, the Totnes Castle sank whilst being towed to Plymouth, the Compton Castle became a floating restaurant at Kingsbridge and was then moved to Truro (where her hull survives to this day) leaving the Kingswear Castle to be saved by the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society.

© Chris Phillips Associates limited - 2011

 

Times & Fares

The Kingswear Castle was built in 1924 and has been lovingly restored to her former glory, she has flush decks and wheelchair friendly gangways but her toilets are below decks and are not DDA compliant. If you are concerned please call us on 01803 555872. 

2016 timetable

 

 

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12:00 RC, 14:00 D-T, 16:00 T-D

 

 11:30,12:30,13:30,14:30

 

 12:00,14:00,15:30 RC

 

 

 11:45 D-T, 13:45 T-D & 15:30 RC

 

11:15 D-T, 13:15 T-D, 15:30 RC

 

No colour, no service

2016 Fares

 

Paddle Steamer River Cruise

Adult

£15.00

Concession

£14.00

Child

£10.00

Family

£42.00

Paddle Steamer Steam & Cruise

Adult

£27.00

Concession

£25.00

Child

£17.00

Family

£71.00

Paddle Steamer Round Robin

Adult

£29.50

Concession

£27.00

Child

£20.00

Family

£80.00

Paddle Steamer Dartmouth-Totnes River Cruise

SINGLE FARES

Adult

£16.50

Concession

£15.50

Child

£11.00

Family

£46.00

RETURN FARES*

Note: the prices marked * denote one way by paddle steamer, one way by another of our vessels

Adult

£25.00

£20.00*

Concession

£24.00

£19.00*

Child

£16.00

£13.50*

Family

£68.00

£55.50*

 

Round Robin Planner

Kingswear Castle Round Robin Dartmouth 2016

Date:            2016 Boat from Dartmouth Bus from Totnes Train from Paignton Ferry from Kingswear
30-May 11:45 14:20 16:15 16:55
01-Jun 11:15 15:20 16:30 17:10
13-Jun 11:45 14:20 16:15 16:55
16-Jun 11:45 15:20 16:30 17:10
27-Jun 11:45 14:20 16:15 16:55
30-Jun 11:15 15:20 16:30 17:10
12-Jul 11:45 15:20 16:30 17:10
27-Jul 11:45 15:20 16:30 17:10
28-Jul 11:45 15:20 16:30 17:10
11-Aug 11:45 15:20 16:30 17:10
  Ferry from Dartmouth Train from Kingswear Bus from Paignton Boat from Totnes
18-Jul 10:45 11:15 12:00 16:00
01-Aug 10:00 10:40 12:00 16:00
15-Aug 10:00 10:40 12:00 16:00
13-Sep 10:00 10:40 12:00 16:00

Kingswear Castle Round Robin Paignton 2016

Date:  Train from Paignton Ferry from Kingswear Boat from Dartmouth Bus from Totnes
01-Jun 10:00 10:40 11:15 17:30
16-Jun 10:00 10:40 11:45 17:30
30-Jun 10:00 10:40 11:15 17:30
12-Jul 10:00 10:40 11:45 17:30
18-Jul 10:30 11:10 14:00 17:30
27-Jul 10:00 10:40 11:45 17:30
28-Jul 10:00 10:40 11:45 17:30
01-Aug 10:00 10:40 14:00 17:30
11-Aug 10:00 10:40 11:45 17:30
15-Aug 10:00 10:40 14:00 17:30
13-Sep 10:00 10:40 14:00 17:30
  Bus from Paignton Boat from Totnes Ferry from Dartmouth Train from Kingswear
30-May 10:00 13:45 16:30 17:00
13-Jun 10:00 13:45 16:30 17:00
27-Jun 10:00 13:45 16:30 17:00

Kingswear Castle Round Robin Totnes 2016

Date:  Bus from Totnes Train from Paignton Ferry from Kingswear Boat from Dartmouth
30-May 09:20 10:30 11:10 11:45
01-Jun 09:20 10:00 10:40 11:15
13-Jun 09:20 10:30 11:10 11:45
16-Jun 09:20 10:00 10:40 11:45
27-Jun 09:20 10:30 11:10 11:45
30-Jun 09:20 10:00 10:40 11:15
12-Jul 09:20 10:00 10:40 11:45
18-Jul 09:20 10:30 11:10 14:00
27-Jul 09:20 10:00 10:40 11:45
28-Jul 09:20 10:00 10:40 11:45
01-Aug 09:20 10:00 10:40 14:00
11-Aug 09:20 10:00 10:40 11:45
15-Aug 09:20 10:00 10:40 14:00
13-Sep 09:20 10:00 10:40 14:00

 

Find Us

Find Us

Contact Us

Kingswear Station office
Kingswear Signal Box
The Square
Kingswear
TQ6 0AA
 
Telephone: 01803 555872