Walk - Dartmouth to Brixham

10.9 miles (17.5 km)

Dartmouth Brixham

Challenging - Strenuous

The journey begins with a ferry trip across the river Dart from the town of Dartmouth to Kingswear. The Coast Path then climbs through wooded areas containing Monterey and Corsican Pines, with fantastic views glimpsed back over the Dart to the spectacularly sited 15th century castle. Much of the first section is managed by the National Trust, who take great care to ensure a safe habitat for birds. A good place to spot many different species is along the stretch of cliffs around Froward Point, where you may see linnets, skylarks and the rare cirl bunting.

From where you pass Kingswear Castle through to Sharkham Point the path crosses a series of valleys, making one of more challenging parts of the Coast Path in South Devon - but also one of the most spectacular.

At Berry Head National Nature Reserve the cliffs are home to the largest guillemot colony to be found along the south coast of England. The surrounding limestone meadows also support a number of nationally rare plants and are full of beautiful wildflowers from May to August. From the tip of Berry Head you may see harbour porpoises and seals, although you are unlikely to spot any of the threatened Greater Horseshoe Bats who live in caves in this area.

There are a range of wonderful places to lay your head near the Coast Path for a well-earned sleep. From large and luxurious hotels, to small and personable B&B's, as well as self-catering options and campsites. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

Eight Bells B&B, Dartmouth

Variety of breakfasts with a stunning view. On waterfront, a few minutes from the Coast Path. 1 double, 1 family room. Both ensuite. Sleeps 6 max.

Beacon House B&B,Brixham

Nestled in the harbour bowl of this historic fishing town, Beacon House commands breathtaking views of the inner harbour, marina and beyond the breakwater. A warm welcome awaits all walkers.

Caravan at South Bay Holiday Park, Brixham

One spacious caravan @South Bay Holiday Park Brixham. Contact 01626 821221. Open 1 March →30 Nov.  Sleeps up to 8. All amenities on site. 5 mins from South West Coast Path.

Westbury Guest House, Brixham

A 14th century Georgian Guest House with great charm and character. Short level walk from the harbour, pubs and restaurants.

The Smugglers Haunt Hotel

This property is a 11-minute walk from the beach. Smugglers Haunt Hotel is a 300-year old building in the charming fishing town of Brixham.

Brixham House, Brixham

Friendly, licensed B&B. Renowned for fabulous breakfast choice. 10 minutes from Brixham Harbour.

Sea Tang Guesthouse, Brixham

Friendly, family run guest house located a few steps form the sea with beautiful views across Torbay.

Driftwood B&B, Brixham

Welcome to the new contemporary-classic boutique B&B in the heart of Brixham harbour. In an elevated position, 250 yards from the South West Coast Path, Driftwood combines peace & quiet with stunning views.

Camelot B&B, Dartmouth

Set back from the harbour with easy, quick access to all the attractions of Dartmouth. Tel: 01803 833805 / 07870 665863 or email [email protected] for more details.

Cladda House B&B and Self catering Apartments

Cladda House- en-suite B&B rooms, Super King Double, Twin or Standard Double. Also Self Catering Apartments.

Elberry Farm B&B, Broadsands

Uniquely situated just a few minutes from the Coast Path, this working farm offers you a home from home stay. Comfortable rooms with hospitality trays, TV all en suite. A hearty breakfast.  Our garden offers a peaceful haven.

Fairholme B&B

Fairholme is a small and friendly B&B just off the coast path famed for its excellent breakfasts.

You'll be spoilt for choice for where to eat and drink along the Path. With lots of local seasonal food on offer, fresh from the farm, field and waters. Try our local ales, ciders, wines and spirits, increasing in variety by the year, as you sit in a cosy pub, fine dining restaurant or chilled café on the beach. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

The Guardhouse Café, Berry Head

Stunning views, Napoleonic forts, rare wildlife and superb coastal walks – a visit to Berry Head has something for everyone (even before trying our fabulous food)

Interactive Elevation

Highlights

  • Taking the ferry across Dartmouth harbour to Kingswear and looking up the beautiful River Dart.
  • Looking and listening out for the Dart Valley Steam Train, which follows the line that was opened to use in 1864.
  • Kingswear Castle: slightly hidden amongst the trees is a
    15th century square artillery tower and a 16th century blockhouse. These are now owned by the Landmark Trust and can actually be hired as holiday accommodation.
  • Spotting grey seals around the Mew Stone. This is one of a number of offshore rocks with this name due to the nesting colonies of gulls (or mews).
  • The remains of WWII defences at Froward Point, decommissioned in 1956.
  • The lovely views from above Pudcombe Cove.
  • Scabbacombe Head: the National Trust manages this site using wild ponies to keep down the scrub and consequently encourage maritime plants and butterflies.
  • Swimming at Scabbacombe Sands or at one of the other beaches you pass.
  • The flowers of Long Sands Cliff. Along this stretch you may see bird’s-foot trefoil and early purple orchids, as well as some of the beautiful butterflies who also enjoy the many different species of flowering plants growing amongst the maritime grasses.
  • Man Sand with the remains of a 19th century lime kiln. Limestone was brought by boat and burnt to make lime which was used as a soil conditioner and a wash for the walls of the local cottages.
  • Views from Sharkham Point over St Mary’s Bay and on to Berry Head. Now managed as a conservation area, the Point was once an important site for iron mining, as well as serving as the town tip for Brixham.
  • Spotting the nesting kittiwakes, guillemots (known locally as the Brixham penguin) and fulmers.
  • Looking down on the long stretch of sand and shingle of St Mary’s Bay. Access to the beach can be difficult, but there are often people here searching for fossils, as well as enjoying the peace away from Brixham and the other holiday resorts of Torbay.
  • Walking round the high cliffs of Berry Head: this limestone peninsula is a National Nature Reserve and the site of an Iron Age hill fort and also has two well-preserved Napoleonic fortifications. Beyond the coastguard station is the Berry Head lighthouse which is known as the smallest, highest and deepest light in the British Isles. Due to the height of the cliffs, the tower only needed to be built 5 metres high!
  • The fishing port of Brixham: built around the quay, this historic town has a range of shops, galleries and cafes to welcome walkers. There has been a settlement here since Saxon times and the town went on to become the home of trawling and had one of the largest fleets of wooden trawlers in the world. There is a statue of William of Orange on Brixham Quay as he landed a crew of 20,000 men here in 1688 and here you will also find a full-size reconstruction of Sir Francis Drake’s vessel the Golden Hind.

Shorter option

It is not easy to shorten this section due to a lack of accommodation close to the Path, therefore we suggest you walk out a distance and then return to Dartmouth or Kingswear.

Longer option

Continue to Paignton (an additional 5.6 miles, 9.1 km).

Public transport

The nearest train stations are Totnes and Paignton. From Totnes you can catch buses to Dartmouth, and then catch the very regular ferry across to Kingswear. Alternatively you can take one of the river cruise boats down the Dart from Totnes to Dartmouth. From Paignton there are frequent buses to Kingswear, or you can arrive in style by taking the Steam train.

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

 

Parking

Dartmouth, Coleton Fishacre, Sharkham Point, Berry Head and Brixham.

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