Torbay and Dartmouth Walking Weekend

Torbay and Dartmouth Walking Weekend

June 21-24, 4 days and 3 nights.

 

Following our successful Devon weekend in Lynton last year, we’ve decided to do it all over again - but in a different location. This time we’re off to Torbay and Dartmouth in Devon for a long weekend of top-notch walking - once again on the fantastic South West Coast Path. The Torbay area (which comprises Torquay, Paignton and Brixham) is known as the English Riviera, and it has something of a Mediterranean feel to it with its exotic palm trees and balmy climate. 

We’ll be staying in the centre of the lively, vibrant resort of Torquay at the Shearings Torbay Hotel. The Victorian resort is famous for its sandy beaches and many attractions as well as its shopping, restaurants and popular nightlife.

However, probably of more interest to us is that it is close to some pretty spectacular coastal walking - and we will be exploring the area thoroughly on this weekend. We will have three Moderate grade led walks from the nearby historic ports of Dartmouth, Kingswear and Brixham.  We also have some great suggestions for self-led leisurely walks in the area if that is what you would prefer.

The cost of the break is £114 per person for a standard room and half-board. That’s for three nights and four days - so a bit of a bargain. A single room supplement of £15 applies (there’s a limited number of single rooms so you will need to book promptly). There are also some front-facing and Standard Plus rooms for a supplement of £21 per person. Limited secure car parking is available close by for £6 per day - otherwise there are several public car parks around the area.

Note: The hotel has an unheated swimming pool.

For more information about the walks, contact paul@sandwellramblers.org.uk

To book, or for booking details, contact rashid@sandwellramblers.org.uk

The deposit for the weekend is £45 per person, which you will need to pay as soon as possible. The balance is due in May.

To pay your deposit, either pay the amount in cash to Rashid, or pay by bank transfer into our Social Account as follows:

Sort Code: 60-83-01

Account: 20368887

We do not accept cheques.

 

 

The Walks
The led walks plan at the moment is detailed below. This is not final and it could change, especially if the weather turns out to be inclement. 
 

Walk 1  Strete to Dartmouth Linear Walk
Saturday June 22
Moderate 7 miles
Start: 10.00 from Kingswear Marina Car Park.
River ferry from Kingswear to Dartmouth
Bus from Dartmouth to Strete 10.30.  Finish at 16.30 (leaving time to explore Dartmouth after)


We will car share and drive from Torquay down to the port of Kingswear, a lovely village with beautiful views across the River Dart estuary to Dartmouth and its imposing naval college. This village has long been the doorway to Dartmouth for railway travellers from Exeter and London and the station here is now part of a heritage steam railway to Paignton.

From Kingswear, we will cross the picturesque river to Dartmouth. This bustling town just begs to be explored, with its historic buildings, museum, art galleries and independent shops. It has an exceptionally scenic river location and there will be an opportunity to explore it after the walk.

Next, we take a bus to the village of Strete, from where we will walk back to Dartmouth along the South West Coast Path. The walk from Strete starts across high pasture, with extensive views over Slapton Sands to the south.

The path then descends through woodland to idyllic Blackpool Sands (a little different to the namesake Lancashire beach and resort) where there will be a swimming opportunity and a beach café stop.

We then continue inland through Stoke Fleming and then return to the coast - which is now our constant companion - and through more woodland to the 15th Century Dartmouth Castle. There will be another welcome café stop here, and the views across the Dart estuary to Kingswear castle are simply gorgeous.

Finally, we walk back to Dartmouth to explore this fascinating town and to catch the return ferry to Kingswear.


Walk 2 Scabbacombe Sands and Froward Point Circular Walk
Sunday June 23
Moderate 7 miles
Start: Scabbacombe Sands Car Park 10.00. Finish: 16.00.


This walk explores a spectacular, beautiful and wild piece of coastline between Kingswear and Brixham - it certainly feels a million miles away from the bustle of Torquay.  The walk starts at the Scabbacombe Sands car park, high above the cove beach, and follows lanes and tracks down to the River Dart estuary near Kingswear castle. We then descend to Mill Bay Cove before climbing through pine woodland to Froward Point from where there are impressive views. Here there is also the National Trust-owned remains of a World War Two gun emplacement built to protect Dartmouth from German attack.

We then continue along a classic rollercoaster coastal path all the way back to Scabbacombe Sands (another potential swimming opportunity), passing the tropical gardens of the National Trust property at Coleton Fishacre and Pudcombe Cove.  

 
Walk 3 Brixham, Berry Head and St. Mary’s Bay Circular Walk
Monday June 24.
Moderate 4 miles.
Start: Berry Head Country Park Car Park 10.00. Finish 13.30.  


This is a walk full of historic and natural interest. We start at the Berry Head Country Park, which is a nature reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The area is said to have over 500 species of plant, including many rare species, and also has the largest guillemot colony on the South Coast (also known as the Brixham penguin).

The Park also features an unusual lighthouse and a Napoleanic fort, built to defend against French invasion. There are extensive views from Berry Head over Start Bay and Tor Bay.

The walk begins through woodland and continues on open clifftop paths to the red cliffs of secluded St. Mary’s Bay before descending into Brixham, a working fishing port that still has the atmosphere of a traditional fishing village with its narrow streets and colourful houses.

Finally, we walk along Brixham harbour (with a possible café stop) and gently climb back to Berry Head to complete our walking weekend.