Walk - Babbacombe to Exmouth

14.4 miles (23.2 km)

Babbacombe Exmouth

Easy - Strenuous at first and then easy

A truly varied walk awaits as you set off from the hustle and bustle of Torbay and pass into a more rural, rugged landscape which then leads to more urban areas ahead. The twisting Path between Torquay and Shaldon has several tiring ascents and descents as it passes through open fields and high, thick woodland before easing on the descent to the mouth of the Teign.

After a short ferry crossing you can enjoy easy walking along Teignmouth’s promenade, which offers a rest after the more strenuous stretches earlier in the day. The Path follows part of the National Cycle Network on the way to Dawlish Warren, which includes some road walking. Train enthusiasts will particularly enjoy this section. Take time to look out for the wildlife of Dawlish Warren’s National Nature Reserve before taking the second ferry crossing of the day over the Exe Estuary to Exmouth, where you can find a good cafe or restaurant for a well deserved rest.

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.

The Thornhill

A warm welcome awaits you in our elegant Georgian building, situated on the seafront, comprising 10 comfortable well-appointed bedrooms, each furnished with flat-screen TV. 

The Blenheim

The Blenheim is an 18th century building sitated on the seafront in Dawlish with 11 ensuite rooms enjoying sea views.

Lynton House, Teignmouth

A welcoming B&B ideally situated on Teignmouth seafront, only yards from the main beach, the picturesque river beach and the main shopping centre.

The Croft Guest House

The Croft Guest House is ideally set in an acre of secluded gardens overlooking Cockwood Harbour. A 5 minute walk to local pubs, offering a 10% discount for our guests. Well behaved pets welcome.

Longmeadow Farm, Shaldon

Where the coast meets the country. Relaxing camping on a family run farm with 3 comfortable self catering holiday apartments. Ideally located for the Coast Path.

Coastguard Cottage, Babbacombe

Small, cosy cottage accommodatioon with all rooms en-suite and with wifi. Close to many amenities. A substantial breakfast is provided.

The Cary Arms & Spa

The Cary Arms & Spa “Inn on the Beach” exudes charm, style and comfort of a boutique hotel. Seaside English Heritage dining with chic rooms include dog-friendly accommodation.

Aveland House

Close to the Coast Path. All en-suite rooms,Free Wi Fi. See our website www.avelandhouse.co.uk for more details

Garway Lodge Guest House, Torquay

Award Winning Adults Only 4 Star Silver Guest House. Single, Double & Twin Rooms. Early Breakfast available for that early start.

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.

Salty Dog Kiosk, Holcombe

Relax in the sun where smugglers ran contraband off the beach into the night. Great coffee, proper scones & ice creams. 10am-4pm every day.

The Strand Cafe

Beachside cafe and bistro serving breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. A perfect start, break or end to your lovely walk by the sea.

Sea Light

Relax in a oasis of calm with organic drinks, delicious health-giving food, cream teas & licensed bar with original oil paintings

Interactive Elevation

Highlights

  • The views ahead from Babbacombe Downs to the classic red Devon sandstone cliffs edged by the South West Coast Path.
  • The historic cliff railway above Oddicombe Beach that runs during the summer.
  • The fantastic views across Babbacombe Bay from The Valley of the Rocks above Watcombe.
  • Looking out for cirl buntings in the carefully managed fields beyond the village of Maidencombe. Thanks to the restoration of hedgerows and the work of farmers, who leave their fields with winter stubble, these rare birds are returning to the Devon coast.
  • Walking round The Ness and enjoying the views to Shaldon, the Teign and East Devon and Dorset beyond.
  • Taking the foot ferry from Shaldon to Teignmouth. A ferry has operated here since the 13th century. Note the black and white pattern on the boats: a design which has been used for the past 300 years. If the ferry is not running you can take the fairly short journey over the bridge into Teignmouth.
  • Teignmouth: in this historic port and holiday town you can either watch the boats coming and going from one of the harbourside inns or head straight for the Victorian pier and the traditional seaside entertainment along the promenade. More facilities are to be found off route in the centre of town.
  • The Parson and Clerk Rocks at Holcombe Head: a curious legend tells of how an ambitious Dawlish priest and his clerk became lost during a storm after visiting the Bishop of Exeter. Needing a guide, the priest foolishly declared that ‘the devil himself’ would do and the pair were immediately greeted by a mysterious man who led them straight into the sea to their deaths. Look out for the Salty Dog kiosk.
  • Devon’s railway heritage: following the route of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s mainline, which passes through five impressive tunnels on its way round the coast.
  • Looking out for dolphins near the red rock stacks of Langstone Rock.
  • Taking the ferry from near Brunel’s ‘atmospheric railway’ pumping house at Starcross across the Exe Estuary to Exmouth.

Shorter option

Teignmouth (6.4 miles, 10.3 km) or Dawlish (10.1 miles, 16.2 km).

Longer option

Continue to Budleigh Salterton (an additional 5.4 miles, 8.7 km).

Public transport

There are train stations at both ends of this walk, Torquay (bus across town to Babbacombe), and Starcross. For timetable information, zoom in on the interactive map and click on the train station, visit Traveline or phone 0871 200 22 33.

Parking

Torquay and Babbacombe, Watcombe, Maidencombe, The Ness near Shaldon, Teignmouth, Dawlish, Dawlish Warren and Exmouth.

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