Despite the travails of Maid of the Loch and Waverley in the west of Scotland, one paddle steamer is still giving trips for the benefit of steamer dreamers (and tourists). One-hour cruises by the coal-fired PS Kingswear Castle are available daily until Wednesday 30 September on the River Dart in south-west England. The steamer leaves Dartmouth at regular intervals between 11am and 3.15pm.
CRSC Past President Iain Morgan, who took the accompanying photos, had the best intentions of sailing on Kingswear Castle during his recent trip to South Devon, but discovered that sailings on his chosen day had already sold out. If you are in the area over the next few days, your are advised to book in advance here.
Iain writes: ‘It was so sad that Waverley’s short season came to such a premature end, and it would be a nice story to say that I decided to go to the River Dart to see the only other working paddle steamer in the UK. Alas, it would have been exactly that — a story. The truth of the matter was that several of us had been invited by a friend to stay for the weekend at South Allington in Devon. Never having been anywhere near there before, I did take the precaution of looking on the map to see where it was and noticed that it was fairly near to Dartmouth. A hasty look at a timetable followed, from which I saw that Kingswear Castle was scheduled to give three sailings a day, including at 1.15pm. On our way home, we just happened to be in Dartmouth around that time. However, our luck was out: the ship was already full, and so I took the opportunity to take some pictures of her leaving for the one-hour river cruise. She still looks magnificent, and it was a delight to hear the sound of paddles again.’
To read Robin Copland’s onboard appreciation of Kingswear Castle, click here.
Click here for the Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boat Company’s home page.
Published on 26 September 2020