Walk - Brixham Breakwater

1.1 miles (1.8 km)

Brixham Harbour - TQ5 9AF Brixham Harbour

Easy - Predominantly level.

A gentle, predominantly level walk along the breakwater with panoramic views across the harbour and Torbay. There are two stretches of a gradient. The harbour edge does not have a handrail or barrier. There are toilets and plenty of car parking at the start or end of the walk. A cafe provides both refreshments and a panoramic view of Torbay.

To download our Access guide click here, where you can find additional mapping and photographs showing gradients, path surfaces and other detailed information such as parking and toilet provision.

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.

Berry Head Hotel Ltd

AA 4 star Hotel & Apartments with stunning sea views at the waters edge. Bistro & Restaurant, Indoor Pool on the Coastal Path.

South Bay Holiday Park

Set above the bustling town of Brixham, this lively holiday park has an action packed entertainment programme & childrens' adventure playground. Direct path to the delightful St Mary's Cove and the SW Coast Path. Range of chalets and caravans.

Earlston House Hotel

A 9 room dog friendly B&B with excellent reviews, super views, very close to the South West Coast Path and a large hot tub to relax in.

Mercure Paignton

Experience the true English Riviera at Mercure Paignton Hotel, a seaside haven on Paignton seafront, your gateway to Devon's stunning coast and countryside. Enjoy sea-view rooms and unforgettable experiences.

Roadtrip Tavern

I have a loft space that is divided into 4 separate pods and is open plan like a dormitory and is specifically for SWCP Walkers.

The Osborne Apartments

Luxury self catering apartments nestled in the heart of the English Riviera with stunning sea views.

Haytor Hotel

Elegant and welcoming Victorian villa, offering delicious breakfasts, a peaceful night's sleep. 4 mins walks from harbour and beach.

Waterfront House

We have been awarded gld in the best bed and breakfast in Devon and silver in the best bed and breakfast n the south west . Set in a breath taking spot on the harbour

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.

The Cimon

The Cimon, a gorgeous Victorian villa, a few minutes walk from the Coastal Path, restaurants and attractions. Muddy boots welcome. Seasonal outdoor heated pool & bar.

The 25 Boutique B&B

Funky 5-star adult-only boutique B&B, (twice named “Best B&B in the World”) located in easy walking distance of the coast path, restaurants, tourist attractions & harbour
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. Open all year.

Harbour Light

Light-filled, rustic tavern with a terrace offering bay views, plus a menu of pub classics.

Ebb & Flow

An independently run cafe in Kingswear with a spectacular view! Serving breakfast from 8am and a range of homemade cakes and light lunches

Kings Arms at Strete

Community pub on South West Coast Path with stunning views

Salcombe Dairy Shop & Café, Dartmouth

Our ice cream and bean to bar café is set in the beautiful coastal town of Dartmouth. It’s an irresistible spot for walkers in need of sustenance.

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.

Shoalstone Seawater Pool

Shoalstone Seawater Pool is a great place to swim and paddle, and picnic on the green looking across the Bay. Shoals Café serves breakfasts, lunches and evening meals.

English Riviera Tourist Information Centre

Find all the information you need about accommodation, things to do and places to go to enjoy your visit to the English Riviera.

Sea Kayak Devon

Experience Devon's stunning coastline by sea kayak. Let our guides take you on an unforgettable journey. Individuals, groups, families. No experience necessary.

Dartmouth Visitor Centre

Find out everything you need to know to enjoy your visit to Dartmouth and the surrounding area

Discover Dartmouth at the Flavel Cafe

Lively arts cafe in centre of Dartmouth with information about things to, where to go and places to stay in the area. Or for more information on line please visit www.discoverdartmouth.com

Interactive Elevation

Route Description

  1. Leave the car park - fee payable – and move the short distance from the car to the start of the walk. The ground is flat and tarmaced.  The pathway is concreted along the whole of the walk.

To your left can be seen the Torbay Lifeboat Station. Brixham Lifeboat Station was opened in 1866 but since 1924 it has been known as 'Torbay'. The lifeboat station was granted the Honorary Freedom of the Borough of Torbay on 29 April 1988. Since 2005 it has operated an all-weather lifeboat and an inshore lifeboat. For the period 1875 to 1923 Torquay also had a Lifeboat Station located at the 'Ladies Bathing Cove' (now known as Beacon Cove) close to the Imperial Hotel. 

To your right is Breakwater Beach. It has won many awards, including the Breakwater Beach Blue Flag, Quality Coast Award, and is a Marine Conservation Society Good Beach Guide Recommended Beach.

There is a plaque commemorating the American servicemen who left here, from the slipway for the D-Day landing beaches in 1944. As part of the D-Day preparations, a concrete "hard" was built inside the breakwater down which tanks and other vehicles were embarked before the final departure at the end of May 1944. Shortly before this took place, two houses in Berry Head Road were demolished so that the US Army's largest transporters could turn into the assembly area. The occupants of the properties were given just a few days to leave. "Churchill Gardens" occupies the site today.

  1. There are 2 gradients – the first is about 1 in 4 with a height gain of 5 metres.
  2. The second gradient has a rise of about 1.5 metres in its 10-metre length.

There are metal, backless seats placed at regular intervals all along the walk. However, be careful to not go too near the edge as there is no handrail or barrier between you and the harbour water. There is a regular placement of lifebelts.

Towards the lighthouse, there are the remains of an abandoned pier. The Americans constructed the pier and slipway in WW2.

Brixham was subjected to a number of air attacks during World War 2.  On 14 July 1940, a daylight raider dropped 4 bombs at Brixham and "sank a liner", according to the German News Agency. This was, actually, the coal hulk London City, which sank at her moorings. She was later refloated, only to be sunk a second time on 27th February 1941. On this occasion too, the German High Command reported a major success. During a raid in 1942, the London City was "sunk" for the third time.

During the war, over 1,000 small vessels were built or repaired at Upham's shipyard. The old Jackman's Yard on the north side of the Breakwater was also used for a while. The Central Diving School of HMS Vernon was relocated to Brixham and trained frogmen and other specialists for underwater operations in Europe and elsewhere.

  1. The lighthouse at the end of the breakwater marks the necessity to turn around and go back to the start of the walk.

A lighthouse was established here in 1878 - the current one was built in 1916. It is 9 metres high, painted white and has a lantern and a gallery. For maintenance purposes, it is accessed via a small door on its side.


Car parking - fee payable - is available at the start of the walk. The short distance from the car to the start of the walk is flat and tarmaced.

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