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.

Bay Esplanade Hotel

Overlooking Paignton Beach, close to the Pier. Traditional seaside stay on the English Riviera, a few minutes from the town centre with fabulous views of the bay from the hotel’s informal lounge and bar areas.

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, Paignton

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 to enjoy a cream tea in.

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.

Bay Torbay Hotel

Superb location close to marina, opposite the promenade where you can join the Coast Path. indoor swimming pool, two bars, cafe & snack bar, and lovely sun terrace.

Millbrook Guest House, Torquay

All rooms ensuite, wi-fi & on-site parking. Garden. Guest lounge with TV & conservatory. 800m flat level walk to the sea front.

Garway Lodge Guest House, Torquay

Adults Only,4 Star Silver Award Licenced Guest House. Single, Double and Twin rooms. Award winning breakfast available, including special diets.

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.

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.

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.

Aveland House

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

Coastguard Cottage, Babbacombe

Small, cosy cottage accommodatioon with all rooms en-suite and with wifi.  Close to many amenities. A substantial breakfast is provided.07780661381 [email protected]

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.

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.

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.

Terrace Cafe Bar at Living Coasts

Free entry for non-visitors. Come in anytime for family friendly, freshly prepared local food & drink with panoramic views over the Bay.

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)

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.

Living Coasts

Playful Penguins, Otters, Octopus, Seals and much more. Cafe with panoramic sea views- free for non-visitors

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.

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