Walk - Dart Marina - Greenway

4.0 miles (6.5 km)

Dart Marina Hotel Dart Marina Hotel

Moderate - There are a few short stretches of ascent and descent, some of them fairly steep.

A breathtaking walk on the Dart Valley Trail, travelling through National Trust woodland high above the steam railway and the river. Take the Higher Ferry to Kingswear and walk to Agatha Christie's Greenway, returning to Dartmouth from here by ferry. There are a few short stretches of ascent and descent, some of them fairly steep,

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.

Camelot B&B

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.

Eight Bells B&B

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.

Brixham House

A friendly welcome, renowned for excellent breakfasts, approx 10 minute walk from the Coast Path and also on the bus route.

Westbury Guest House

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.

Beacon House B&B

Nestled in the harbour bowl, we command breathtaking views of harbour, marina and beyond the breakwater, 4 x en suite bedrooms, sumptuous breakfast. A warm welcome awaits.

Fairholme B&B

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

Sea Tang Guest House

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

The Clifton at Paignton

Steve and Freda look forward to welcoming you to the Clifton, which is ideally located, just off the sea front. Around the corner from shops and stations. Within easy reach of Dartmoor.

The Haldon Guest House

Situated 3 minutes walk from Paignton beach, pier and town centre, we are ideally located for exploring the beautiful English Riviera and beyond. Tasty breakfast and a sunny garden.

Tremlett House

Situated next to the Coast Path in Stoke Fleming. Light, airy double or twin rooms, ensuite. Full English or continental breakfast. Single night stays welcome

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 Cafe

Home-made seasonal food, cream teas and delicious coffee, all served with a smile and stunning views from our cliff-top Napoleonic Fortress. Weary walkers welcome!
What is on your list of things to do when you visit the Path? From walking companies, to help you tailor your visit, with itineraries and experts to enhance your visit, to baggage transfer companies and visitor attractions there are lots to people and places to help you decide what you'd like to do. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

Paignton Zoo

Over 2000 animals spread across 80 acres, you're in for a really wild time. Rain or shine, enjoy a fun-filled day out.

Interactive Elevation

Route Description

  1. From the entrance to the Dart Marina Hotel turn right and walk down Sandquay Road, forking left towards the river and crossing the Dart on the Higher Ferry. Reaching the far bank, walk up the road from the ferry to the permissive footpath on the right-hand side.

In 1828 Devon engineer James Meadows Rendel got together with Plymouth architect John Foulston to design a suspension bridge across the River Dart between Dittisham and Greenway, but the scheme was abandoned in the face of strong local opposition. After another two attempts which were also strongly resisted, Rendel changed his design to the Dartmouth Floating Bridge. Divided lengthways into three sections, it was powered by a steam engine, housed with its two boilers in the centre section. The two outside sections carried carriages, pedestrians and cattle, and the vessel travelled along two cast-iron chains fixed to granite blocks on either side of the river.
Commercially the Floating Bridge was an instant failure, so in 1836 the steam engine was replaced by two horses working a treadmill winch, and this design was used until 1867, when Dartmouth shipbuilders Philip and Son reintroduced steam power. Over time the chains were replaced with wire ropes and the steam engine gave way to a diesel-electric engine using a 400-volt generator to turn paddles. The current ferry was built by super-yacht builders Pendennis of Falmouth and arrived on the Dart in June 2009, accompanied by a naval escort.

  1. Turn right here and follow the path steeply up through the National Trust land at Hoodown and on to the Dart Valley Trail. Turn left, signed towards Greenway Ferry and Maypool, and carry on through the woods above the river. Follow the waymarkers as the path turns to a country lane above Lower Noss Point until it comes to the road.

For more than 100 years the Noss Shipyard employed hundreds of men, producing thousands of tonnes of shipping every year. During World War II the yard built 250 vessels for the war effort, and in 1942 it was attacked by German bombers. There is a memorial stone on the site, dedicated to the 20 workers who were killed in the raid. The yard finally closed in 2000.

  1. Cross the road, and another smaller one beyond, and carry on through the trees, heading inland above the creek at Cart Wood and turning sharply left with the path as it doubles back towards the River Dart.

The 6½ mile Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway was built by the Dartmouth and Torbay Railway between 1861 and 1864 and taken over by Great Western Railway in 1872. First built as a broad gauge line, in 1892 it was the last of Brunel's GWR lines to be converted to narrow gauge. West of Greenway it oroginally crossed the two creeks at Longwood and Noss by means of wooden viaducts, although in 1923 the line was moved inland around the creeks and the viaducts were demolished.

  1. Ignoring the path joining from the right, carry on through Long Wood, following the waymarkers around Oakham Hill. Coming out of the trees, the path travels downhill to Higher Greenway.

Long Wood is an ancient semi-natural oak woodland covering more than 100 acres. It is a haven for wildlife, with fallen branches and mossy boulders creating a wealth of habitats for insects. Together with the berries on the holly bushes these provide a larder for small mammals as well as many birds, including blue tits and marsh tits, sparrowhawks and tawny owls. Look out for buzzards wheeling overhead, and keep an ear open for the screech of a jay or the drilling of a woodpecker. Carpets of spring and summer wildflowers attract moths and butterflies, while foxes and badgers can sometimes be heard rustling through the undergrowth. Occasionally even a shy roe deer is spotted among the trees.

  1. Following the waymarkers over the stile to the right of the path, carry on downhill along the edge of the field to the lane, turning left here towards Maypool, Galmpton and Greenway Ferry and then left again towards Greenway Gardens. Coming out on the road at Maypool, the Dart Valley Trail is joined by the John Musgrave Heritage Trail and the Greenway Walk. Carry on through Maypool towards Greenway.
  2. Going through the gate onto the National Trust property at Greenway carry on along the path, following through the gate to the right above the river, signed Greenway Gardens, to walk through the field beyond. Ignoring the path to Galmpton, carry on towards Greenway gardens, descending steeply to the car park.

Managed by the National Trust (and well worth a visit!), Greenway (www.nationaltrust.org.uk/greenway) was the home of Elizabethan explorer Sir Humphrey Gilbert, who founded Newfoundland. His half-brother, Sir Walter Raleigh, also spent time here. A little way downstream on the opposite bank of the river is Hamblyn's Coombe, once the family's hunting lodge, and Raleigh is said to have experimented with growing potatoes here after he brought them back from the New World. Nearby land is still owned by the Raleigh family. Another Elizabethan explorer who lived by the Dart was John Davis, who discovered the Falkland Islands and gave his name to the Davis Strait between Greenland and Canada.
Almost four centuries later Greenway became the home of crime novelist Agatha Christie, who bought it in 1938 for £6000 after falling in love with it as a child. It was requisitioned by the Admiralty during the Second World War, and the American officers occupying it painted a frieze on the library ceiling. The house (the setting for the novels 'Dead Man's Folly' and 'Five Little Pigs') was given by the family to the National Trust in 2000 and opened to the public in 2009 following major restoration work.

  1. Follow the waymarkers signed to Dittisham via the ferry to descend to the quay for the return journey to Dartmouth. There is a charge for the trip to Dartmouth. Please check www.greenwayferry.co.uk for further details.

People have been crossing the River Dart from Greenway Quay to Dittisham since the Bronze Age, 4000 years ago. For many centuries horses and cattle were carried across by boat. With the advent of motor transport the ferry was adapted to carry cars, but this stopped in 1974. Now only foot passengers are conveyed across the river. The ferry is still summoned by ringing a ship's bell mounted on the quayside at Greenway.

Text by Ruth Luckhurst and the SWCP team

Public transport

For details about the ferry back to Dartmouth visit www.greenwayferry.co.uk

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