Walk - Torcross to Dartmouth

10.3 miles (16.6 km)

Torcross Dartmouth

Easy - Easy to strenuous

The South West Coast Path leads you through an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, from the very striking level landscape at Torcross and Slapton, across wide, lush, open fields to rough, dramatic cliff tops. The sea is very present along the first stretch, in fact there was once a settlement near Strete Gate called Undercliffe, but this was lost to the sea in the early 1700s.

From Torcross it is an an easy start along the shingle alongside Slapton Ley, leading to more difficult walking around rugged headlands as you approach Dartmouth. The Path is sheltered at times as it meanders through woodland, contrasting with the enormous sense of space and light when it later passes along steep, grassy slopes which lead down to the sea.

There is a lot to see in the attractive boating town of Dartmouth. As well as the well-known Regatta and Royal Naval College, Dartmouth has much to offer a walker by way of cafes and restaurants offering the catch of the day and galleries and unusual shops in the interesting buildings of Foss Street.

Interactive Elevation


  • Throwing pebbles in the sea at Torcross. Here you will see two memorials. One is a memorial to all the locals who evacuated their homes to make way for allied troops preparing for the Normandy landings and the American Sherman tank memorial commemorates the US servicemen who died here during Operation Tiger when they were attacked by German boats.
  • Slapton Sands and Slapton Ley: Devon’s largest natural freshwater lake is a National Nature Reserve and home to many rare species of plants and birds.
  • Views from the fields above Forest Cove back to Slapton and Start Point and ahead towards Froward Point.
  • Stopping for refreshments at Blackpool Sands. This is a beautiful sheltered beach surrounded by trees where you will find an excellent cafe (see below for details).
  • Fantastic views from Warren Point. The offshore rocks are rather oddly named the Dancing Beggars.
  • The wonderfully named coves, including Compass Cove, Shinglehill Cove, Ladies Cove and Deadman’s Cove.
  • Watching the shags and cormorants from Blackstone Point.
  • Dartmouth Castle: work on fortifying this area began in the 14th century and it was the first castle to be built specifically for artillery. The castle is now managed by English Heritage and is open to the public.
  • Views across the Dart to Kingswear. Keep a look out for the Dart Valley Steam Train, which follows the line that was opened to use in 1864.
  • Walking on the cobbles of Bayard’s Cove: here you will find the shell of an Elizabethan fort. The cove was one of the last stops for the Pilgrim Fathers setting off for America in 1620, and has 'starred' in numerous tv shows and films including 'The Onedin Line'.
  • Dartmouth: built between steep wooded hillsides, with an attractive harbour and streets filled with interesting shops, galleries and award winning restaurants and cafes, Dartmouth makes a perfect end to your long day of walking. Dartmouth has always been an important port, in fact Richard the Lionheart and his Crusaders set sail from here, as did a number of troops for the D-Day invasion of Normandy. The Britannia Royal Naval College is still based here and there are many interesting buildings to look out for, including the Grade I listed Butterwalk and Agincourt House which dates from around 1380.

Places of interest

  • The Field Studies Council at Slapton Ley Field Centre. The Centre manages the Nature Reserve and runs residential environmental courses.
  • Strete Gate Picnic Site at the nothern end of Slapton beach has great views across Start Bay, short nature and orienteering trails and peaceful sheltered spots to eat lunch.
  • National Trust’s Warfleet and Gallants Bower: the remains of an English Civil War fort, built by Royalist occupation forces in 1643.

Shorter option

Stoke Fleming (5.9 miles, 9.6 km).

Longer option

Take the ferry across Dartmouth harbour to Kingswear.

Nearby refreshments

Refreshments are available at the beginning of the day in Torcross and then further on in Strete and Stoke Fleming, where there are pubs and general stores. There is the excellent Venus Cafe at Blackpool Sands, which serves local, organic produce and at the end of the journey Dartmouth has a wide range of pubs, restaurants and cafes.

Public transport

The nearest train station at Totnes, from where there are frequent buses to Dartmouth, Slapton, Strete and Torcross. You can also catch a scenic river cruise down the Dart from Totnes to Dartmouth, or from the mainline train station at Paignton catch a steam train to Kingswear (across the river from Dartmouth).

For timetable information, zoom in on the interactive map and click on the train stations or bus stops, visit Traveline or phone 0871 200 22 33.


Torcross, Slapton Sands, Strete Gate, Blackpool Sands, inland at Stoke Fleming, inland from Warren Cove, Dartmouth Castle and Dartmouth.

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