Enjoying a location within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Dartmouth is one of the region's most popular towns. Here working fishing boats and small leisure vessels congregate at the harbour, overlooked by historic, sloping streets lined with 17th century buildings. The town has always been a strategic port, owing to its natural deep-water setting. Some of the 12th century crusades were launched from here, and by the mid-14th century Edward III sited the Royal Navy in the town. Dartmouth has seen activity in almost every sea-based conflict since - in the Second World War it was a base for US forces, and served as a launch point for D-Day landings.