Dartmouth - Torquay
Geology, history and beaches
Dartmouth to Torquay 19.4 miles/ 2 days
From the historic maritime port of Dartmouth to the heart of the English Riviera at Torquay, this walk offers a diverse Coast Path experience. The nature and geology along this stretch of Coast Path provides some of the most spectacular scenery of the entire trail, which contrasts beautifully with the urban landscape. It takes you through part of the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the UNESCO designated English Riviera Global Geopark where the rocks date back over 300 million years.
Starting in Dartmouth, you can explore the many interesting buildings from castle ruins to gun batteries that illustrate its significant past before catching the ferry across the Dart to Kingswear. The route becomes more remote as it makes its way past Froward Point and its WWII defences, towards Brixham.
At Berry Head, a National Nature Reserve and Iron Age Hill Fort, look out for the resident Guillemots as they fly out of their breeding ground in the cliff face below. If you want a closer look, go to the visitor centre and café, which features CCTV footage of the birds.
It continues past the fishing port at Brixham, with its a busy fish market and a great selection of shops, cafes and restaurants surrounding the quay. There’s also a full size reconstruction of Sir Francis Drake’s vessel the Golden Hind.
The final leg of this journey takes you through woodland and past some lovely beaches, to emerge on the edge of Paignton. It continues along the sea front promenades of the bay to Torquay, with views of the red sandstone rocks that line the coast beyond to Babbacombe.