Walk - Riviera Line - Paignton Station- Harbour & Roundham Head

2.7 miles (4.3 km)

Paignton Railway Station - TQ4 5EF Paignton Railway Station

Moderate - Almost all this walk is on pavements.

This very accessible walk around the centre-piece of the bay provides the walker with the colourful and varied activity of Paignton's picturesque harbour and a headland walk. Visit the pier, enjoy the promenade, walk through the public gardens built by Welsh miners.

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 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 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

The Millbrook B&B

Excellent en-suite accommodation 800 metres from Torquay sea front, fabulous locally sourced breakfast, wi-fi & on-site parking, garden. Guest lounge and Conservatory.

The Cleveland Bed and Breakfast

Consistently rated one of the 'best bed & breakfasts' in Torquay, The Cleveland is ideally located for access to the South West Coast Path and all local amenities.

Garway Lodge Guest House

Enjoy a 4 Star Award-Winning guest house bed & breakfast. Situated in Torquay. Early Breakfasts are available upon request.

Your-Home-From-Home

Fabulous, clean places to stay, great views, free parking, warm and cozy

Rose Court Holiday Apartments

Rose Court are self contained holiday apartments set in a delightful Victorian villa 5 minutes from the South West Coastal Path

Coastguard Cottage

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

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.

Holidayhomes4rent

Static caravan rental on South Bay Holiday Park. Next to Path. 2 & 3 bed units available. Prices starting from £125 for 3nts and £175 for 7 nt stays.

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.
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.

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.

Interactive Elevation

Route Description

  1. Leave Paignton Station and turn right on Victoria Street. Turn into Torbay Road by crossing the level crossing.

Walk past the shops and take the third road on the right down Queens Road. Turn into Torbay Park and walk towards the seafront.

  1. At the Esplanade cross the road onto the seafront. Turn left and walk, enjoying the seafront and Paignton Sands whilst passing the pier on your right and Paignton Green on your left.

The 780 feet long Pier was financed by Arthur Dendy, a local Paignton barrister and designed by George Bridgman. With its grand pavilion at the seaward end, it was opened to the public in June 1879. It was home to many forms of entertainment, most famously Gilbert and Sullivan's, HMS Pinafore, performed by the D'Oyley company in July 1880. In June 1919 the pier-head was destroyed in a fire. A period of decline followed and the pier was not repaired until after the Second World War. It was used in 1940 as a defence measure, for fear of German invasion. In 1980 a major project started the redevelopment of the pier to what can be seen today.

Paignton Green is home to the circular Paignton Green Mile. Launched in 2010, the route goes from the harbour along the seafront and past the pier. There are 9 distance markers set 220 yards apart. The initiative, by the local council and NHS, encourages everyone to to walk, jog, run or cycle around the route.

  1. At some suitable point re-trace your steps and walk towards the harbour.

Paignton Harbour, as you see it, was created in 1838 when a more efficient landing place was required to take out the two important exports of the area - cider and giant pole cabbages. Today a crab processing plant provides employment and a popular food for local hotels and restaurants whilst the leisure boats ply their trade with visitors.

At the top of the slope leading up to the road, the small whitewashed building overlooking the harbour, now the public toilets, used to be 'The Preventatives Station'. The preventatives, or coastguards, had the unenviable job of trying to apprehend the smugglers who were so numerous along this coast during the 18th and 19th centuries. Large quantities of contraband were landed on Paignton beach and much of the time the preventatives sensibly turned a blind eye!

Having explored the harbour come out onto Cliff Road

  1. To access Roundham Head from the harbour there is a choice of routes. The paved route, suitable for wheelchairs is via Cliff Road whilst another more difficult but interesting approach is along the South Quay and across Fairy Cove, climbing up the steps to join Cliff Road.

Once out onto the headland, the advantage of height to appreciate the view becomes obvious.

Below the footpath on the initial section are rocks known as the Paignton Ledges. Here in February 1804 a warship named Venerable was shipwrecked. Luckily out of a crew of 555 men only 3 lost their lives.

  1. As the route rounds the head itself, Goodrington Beach comes into sight and soon another choice of pathways. In order avoid steps, keep to the top path and this will eventually bring you to Roundham Road. For those who wish to descend to the promenade below, a well-constructed network of paths and steps lead the walker down over the red sandstone which gives this headland its attractive colouring.

This Rock Walk and the promenade were constructed during the 1920's, the work being carried out by Welsh miners as part of a work creation scheme during the Great Depression. Some of the semi-tropical plants that were supplied at the time by Herbert Whitley of Paignton Zoo, still survive today.

Returning to the top of the cliff by any one of a number of routes, you join with Roundham Road and make your descent back down to the harbour.

 From the Harbour retrace your steps back to the Station.

Nearby Events

  • The Something Wild Festival 2022

    Date;  July 29th-31st

    Some of the best coast routes on the South West Coast path for night run, 5k, 10k or half marathon, marathon and Summit Wild Ultra as well as kid’s races.  100 acre festival arena, with tipis, hot tubs and saunas, dining tents, café, stage for comedy night.  More Info here 

  • East Devon 8 Trigs

    12th November 

    Eight trig points sit on a beautifully varied trail loop in East Devon. The route starts on Budleigh Salterton seafront and follows the South West Coast Path to High Peak trig point. Far reaching views from here extend to Berry Head to the South West and Portland to the East.

    Back for a 3rd year, more info here 

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