On 10th June we enjoyed a lovely trip down the River Dart on the Kingswear Castle Paddle Steamer with Visit South Devon and The Paddle Steamer Preservation Society.

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.

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 2012, she returned to the home waters of the river Dart after an absence of 47 years.

The Kingsway Castle is now operated by The Dartmouth River Boat Company on charter from the PSKC Trust.  For details of sailings please click here.