Blog of our Salcombe to Torquay Walk October 2018
Day 1 – Travel to Salcombe
We drove from St Mawes to Totnes, parked our car in Jubilee Road and caught a taxi to Salcombe (about a 25 minute drive). We arrived at Waverley Bed and Breakfast, we were shown to a comfortable room on the ground floor. It is about a 10 minute walk down quite a steep hill into the town and then another 10 minute walk to The Crab Shed, I had a very passable crab linguine, an excellent new restaurant as long as you like crab!
Day 2 Salcombe to Torcross (Chillington) 15 miles
We walked down the hill into the town at 09:00, only to discover that the sandwich deli near the ferry did not open until 09:30, we looked around for options but found none so shared a hot chocolate at the Salcombe Coffee company. Sandwiches and drinks bought we caught the small ferry to East Portlemouth
We then walked on the road behind some houses only to find as it was low tide we could have done the First half mile on the beach and rejoined the path at Mill Bay. The weather was spectacular and the views stunning as we progressed along the path with the entrance to Salcombe on our right. We past a turn up to Gara rock and a café after a little over an hour but although tempted we continued on as we had a long walk ahead and felt it was too early to stop. A little further on East Prawle visitor centre and lookout post allowed us a chance to buy water and to chat with the lookout volunteers.
We pushed on trying to get to Start Point for lunch but the bays seemed to go on and on and finally at 13:30 we sat down on the path about half a mile short and watched fishermen in small boats fishing in the swirling tidal flows below while we ate our slightly disappointing sandwiches bought at the Deli in Salcombe.
Slightly stiff after lunch we soon mounted Start Point and continued on the road towards Hallsands, crossing the beach nearly tempted us to swim but we continued on to Beesands and our promised pints of cider at the Cricket Inn . We sat outside in the sun and relaxed a little. Afterwards we continued to Torcross and then a tough final 2 miles of road walking inland to our b&b Chillington House , very nice. Then an early supper at the excellent Bear and Blacksmith in the village.
We went to bed early as this was a very tiring day!
Day 3 Torcross to Dartmouth (11 miles)
The day started well with Paul the man moving our luggage giving us a lift to Torcross (thus saving 2 miles of boring road walking). He then gave us a tour of the war memorials to operation Tiger, an American D-Day landing practice that went horribly wrong in April 1944 and resulted in 900 plus servicemen dying.
The walk started with a long flat stretch past the roadworks rebuilding the coastal road. (It was nearly finished and in fact was reopened fully 3 days after our visit).
Just before the path turns inland off the beach was the Lime Co Café Hut, being about time for our morning coffee we stopped and had an excellent coffee.
The path then went inland and across some beautiful rolling hills before dropping down to Blackpool Sands where we had a good lunch at the Venus Café.
A few more miles some pretty, some a bit disappointing inland before arriving for a wonderful cup of tea and cake at Dartmouth castle overlooking the entrance to Dartmouth harbour and the many boats passing to and fro. Then onto Browns Hotel ,we treated ourselves to the suite which was a lovely room on the top floor with a bath. A great luxury for tired limbs. Supper was at Hendricks, a favourite of ours, that serves burgers and some Mexican dishes.
Day 4 Dartmouth to Brixham (11 miles)
Left the hotel at 09:30 and bought food and sandwiches before catching the ferry to Kingswear.
Got nicely warmed up with a good steep hike out of the town and then another couple of decent ascents before arriving at the lookout point and visitor centre at Froward point. The path takes you then down through the old gun emplacements used during WWII before some spectacular coastal cliff walking around the headlands
We stopped for a mid-morning frappuccino (bought at the Co-op) before more cliffs and a descent to Scabbacombe Sands then a big ascent. We had lunch above the beach at Man Sands. The sign there said Brixham 3 miles (we discovered later that this was not correct more like 4.5 ), anyway from there it was a big ascent and along around St Mary’s Bay and a couple of Napoleonic forts before arriving at Brixham and a pint at the slightly tacky Prince William, however the views of the harbour from the outside seating were excellent. Lots of fishing trawlers coming and going.
Then a short walk to Sampford Guest House and a warm greeting and a cup of tea before being shown to our very comfortable room with a view of the harbour.
For various reasons ate supper at The Old Market House, which we thought was disappointing and overpriced. We should have eaten at Simply Fish as recommended by our hosts at the guest house.
Day 5 Brixham to Torquay (9.5 miles)
A very different walk, the first few miles pretty along past a few small bays and then some wood walking, however the rest of the day was a walk past many built up areas. Pleanty of opportunity for stopping for drinks/ice cream/fish and chips etc. We felt that unless you are purist this section of the path is probably best bypassed by using the excellent bus service (a bus every 10 minutes) from Brixham to Torquay.
Day 6 Travel back to St Mawes
We caught the excellent “Gold Bus Service” from Torquay to Totnes (about 30 minutes), collected our car and returned to St Mawes.