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

Paddle Steamer
THE UK'S ONLY COAL FIRED PADDLE STEAMER

River Dart Telegraph

The UK'S only coal fired paddle steamer

2013 brought a local initiative stirring fond memories in this Area of Oustanding Natural Beauty. The river Dart, which for centuries provided a transport highway up and down this Devon waterway, will regain the last coal fired paddle steamer carrying passengers in the UK, the Kingswear Castle.

The decision was taken to return the KC to her home waters before the 2013 season began 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


 

Please note that on 17th May there will only be three 1¼hr river cruises (at 12:00. 14:00 and 15:30). We will NOT be running the Dartmouth-Totnes cruise.

2014 Fares

 

Paddle Steamer River Cruise

Adult

£15.00

Concession

£14.00

Child

£10.00

Family

£42.00

Paddle Steamer Steam & Cruise

Adult

£29.50

Concession

£24.50

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*

 

KC Round Robin Itinerary Planner

2014 Boat Bus Train
April      
21st 1015 1420 1615
       
  Boat Bus Train
May      
6th 1030 1420 1615
8th 1045 1420 1615
24th 1130 1420 1615
       
  Train Bus Boat
       
17th 1115 1300 1515
       
  Boat Bus Train
June      
2nd 1030 1420 1615
8th 1030 1420 1615
16th 1030 1420 1615
22nd 1030 1420 1615
23rd 1200 1520 1615
       
  Train Boat Bus
       
7th 1115 1300 1530
25th 1045 1300 1545
       
  Boat Bus Train
July      
2nd 1030 1420 1545
9th 1200 1520 1630
19th 1200 1520 1615
23rd 1200 1520 1630
       
  Train Bus Boat
       
12th 1115 1400 1700
26th 1115 1400 1700
       
  Boat Bus Train
August      
4th 1045 1420 1545
5th 1045 1420 1545
6th 1045 1420 1545
20th 1200 1520 1630
21st 1200 1520 1630
       
  Boat Bus Train
Sept      
4th 1130 1420 1545
6th 1200 1520 1615
13th 1015 1420 1615
18th 1145 1520 1615
2014 Bus Boat Train
April      
21st 1000 1200 1515
       
  Bus Boat Train
May      
6th 1000 1215 1515
8th 1000 1230 1515
24th 1100 1315 1700
       
  Train Boat Bus
       
17th 1030 1330 1620
       
  Bus Boat Train
June      
2nd 1000 1215 1515
16th 1000 1215 1515
22nd 1000 1215 1515
       
  Train Boat Bus
       
7th 1030 1345 1620
8th 1030 1400 1620
23rd 1030 1200 1520
25th 1045 1400 1620
       
  Bus Boat Train
July      
2nd 1000 1215 1545
       
  Train Boat Bus
       
9th 1000 1200 1520
12th 1030 1515 1720
19th 1030 1200 1520
23rd 1000 1200 1520
26th 1030 1515 1720
       
  Bus Boat Train
August      
4th 1000 1230 1545
5th 1000 1230 1545
6th 1000 1230 1545
       
  Train Boat Bus
       
20th 1000 1200 1520
21st 1000 1200 1520
       
  Bus Boat Train
Sept      
4th 1100 1315 1630
13th 1000 1200 1515
       
  Train Boat Bus
       
6th 1030 1200 1520
18th 1030 1145 1520
2014 Boat Train Bus
April      
21st 1200 1515 1600
       
  Boat Boat Train
May      
6th 1215 1515 1600
8th 1230 1515 1600
       
  Bus Train Boat
       
17th 1020 1215 1330
24th 920 1030 1130
       
  Boat Train Bus
June      
2nd 1215 1515 1600
16th 1215 1515 1600
22nd 1215 1515 1600
       
  Bus Train Boat
       
7th 1020 1215 1345
8th 1020 1215 1400
23rd 920 1030 1200
25th 1020 1130 1400
       
  Boat Train Bus
July      
2nd 1215 1545 1700
       
  Bus Train Boat
       
9th 920 1000 1200
19th 920 1030 1200
23rd 920 1000 1200
12th 1020 1215 1515
26th 1020 1215 1515
       
  Boat Train Bus
August      
4th 1230 1500 1600
5th 1230 1500 1600
6th 1230 1500 1600
       
  Bus Train Boat
       
20th 920 1000 1200
21st 920 1000 1200
       
  Boat Train Bus
Sept      
13th 1200 1515 1700
       
  Bus Train Boat
       
4th 920 1000 1130
6th 920 1030 1200
18th 920 1030 1145

 

Find Us

Find Us

Contact Us

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